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  • Writer's pictureChristine Stevens

Excerpt from von Trapped: Sound of Music, Part II

Updated: Aug 4, 2020

(Enter Maria, with a full laundry basket and a whistle. She is in her 50’s. She moves center and blows the whistle. Nothing happens. Tries again. Nothing. A third time. Grimaces, sighs)

Maria: Liesel! Friedrich! Louisa! Kurt! Brigitta! Marta! Spit spot!

(Silence.Then, yelling to offstage)

Whose turn is it to empty the dishwasher? (offstage: Gretel’s!)

Why was the dirty laundry in the dining room? (offstage: Gretel left it there)

Has anyone seen my reading glasses? (offstage: Gretel has them!)

They think I haven’t noticed that Gretel moved out 3 years ago to start an internet company, marketing an on-line, all music-based remote learning curriculum for homeschooling students. Very successful, that one.

I’m still stuck with the rest of them.

Well, I’ve had quite enough.

(thinks for a moment)

I know. Watch this:

(blows a note on tuner, “You are Sixteen Going on Seventeen” music swells)

(singing sweetly)

You wait, grown adults without any goal

For life to hand you the next thing

Your lives, slacker dears, are an aimless scroll

Of Instagram and texting

Liesel (walking in, on phone): And texting…

(Friedrich, Louisa, Kurt, Brigitta and Marta shamble out in various states of dress, looking at phones, tablets, wearing ear buds, headphones, etc.)

Maria:You are thirty four going on seventeen

Kiddos, I’m on the brink

Still living at home, please get off your phones,

Dear God I need a drink

You’re all thirty four going on seventeen

Stop acting half your age

Pick up your shit, get a job you nit wit

Even at minimum wage

Totally unprepared are you

To face a world so cruel

Lazy and scared and in debt are you

Still trying to pay off school

Children: If you won’t scold and dominate us

We will never give you cause to hate us

Maria: Oh do shut up.

You’re all thirty four going on seventeen

I’ve got to draw the line

Captain is gone and I’m on my own

Where is that glass of wine?

Children: We won’t hide your spectacles so you can’t see

Maria: I knew it!

Children: Put toads in your bed, or pepper in your tea.

Children (music swells, Children begin dancing, adapting moves from So Long Farewell, DO a Deer, Lonely Goat Herd, etc):

We are thirty four going on seventeen

Fledglings that won’t take wing

Job market sucks and rent costs too much

When you’re working at Burger King

Totally unprepared are we

To face a world of stress

Mary (oops!) Maria makes it e-easy

To stay in our lovely nest

(big finish)

Maria: I need something stronger than a merlot

Or I’m gonna show you the do-or

You need to grow up, get out and get on

I’m not - your fucking nanny - anymore!

(Children stop, look concerned)

Maria: No I won’t - take care - of you.

(Beat. Children laugh uproariously, run off waving, saying So long! Farewell! Auf wiedersehen! Goodbye! Maria puts the laundry basket over her head and walks off.)

by Christine Stevens

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