Coral & Tiller

Coral & Tiller


 

Cast

Actor 1 Coral: A young mermaid who dreams of being a warrior.

Actor 2 Tiller: A young swordfish who is a bit of a coward. He is also Coral’s best friend.

Actor 3 Sir Ballast: An octopus. He is the King’s herald and messenger.

Sea Monster: Grogger’s Super Sea Snake invention gone wrong. (a full body puppet operated by Actor 3)

Actor 4 Grogger: A crab. He is an inventor who always means well but often misses the mark just a bit with his creations.


The lights come up to reveal a cave made out of what appears to be brightly colored coral and covered with plants, like a coral reef.  The stage is dimly lit with a blue cast to it and gobo's giving the illusion that we are under water.  Strewn about outside the cave are gadgets and gizmos that have drifted to the ocean bottom from passing ships and have been collected by Grogger, the crab.  We hear clanks, wizzes, pops and other "inventing" noises coming from inside the cave. 

 Grogger: (exits the cave and addresses the audience): This is it!  My greatest creation, the super sea snake, is almost complete! 

Grogger scuttles about outside the cave and looks around excitedly for the missing piece to his invention.  Like a crab he moves sideways using short, quick steps and has large pinchers for hands.  Suddenly he spots the missing piece, crosses to it, picks it up, and laughing crazily scuttles back inside the cave.

 Grogger: And now I’ll add the final piece to bring my creation to life!  (Grogger pauses to admire his work) It's finished!  It's beautiful! It's perfect! 

 Grogger's excitement is cut short by a ferocious growl and the sound of a heavy metal object crashing about.  Bursts of bright lights explode out of the cave. 

 Grogger: Oh no! Something’s wrong! It’s a sea monster!!  Ahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!! 

 Grogger runs out of the cave with the sea monster right on his heels.  The sea monster is in the shape of a Chinese dragon but appears to be made of metal parts that Grogger has collected and put together.  The sea monster will be a full body puppet made to be larger than life and operated by Actor 3.  The puppet which I can build would be based on the actor’s shoulders with rods extending upwards and supporting its head. The body and tail of the sea monster would be like that of a Chinese dragon, a simple cloth body that extends from the head and down the actor’s back. The sea monster’s arms extend from its body and can be put on like sleeves .The sea monster corners Grogger who tries to defend himself by pinching at it with his claws.  This doesn't work, of course, as the sea monster is made of metal. 

Grogger: (realizing that the sea monster is going to attack him) Ahhhhhh!!!!! Please!  Don't hurt me!!  Help!! Help! Oh noooooo!  Just as the sea monster is about to attack Grogger he screams at the top of his lungs Ahhhhhh!!!! Scared of the loud noise the sea monster backs off. When Grogger is silent again the sea monster approaches. Grogger yells Ahhhh!!!! and the sea monster backs off. This goes on a few more times until Grogger gets the idea to yell as loud as he can and clap his hands making as much noise as possible and when the sea monster backs off Grogger seizes the opportunity to escape, breaks free and scuttles down the center stage stairs hiding just below the apron.  Confused, the sea monster searches the cave and the rest of the stage for Grogger. 

Grogger: For the first time Grogger notices the audience.  Will you help me?  (audience responds Yes)  Can you see the sea monster? (audience responds yes) Where is it? (audience points to stage) The sea monster has now moved towards the front of the stage and is sniffing around, pawing the ground, and clearly looking to attack Grogger. If I don’t do something soon the sea monster will hurt me! Maybe if we all yell and clap our hands really loudly the sea monster will be frightened and leave me alone!  Everyone yell!  (Grogger demonstates “Ahhhhhhh!!!” and encourages the audience to do the same)  Oh yes!  That's very good!  Now clap your hands! (Grogger demonstates by clapping his pinchers together)  The sea monster is now at the front of the stage and is starting to come towards Grogger. Here comes the sea monster!  Yell and clap as loud as you can!  The sea monster has crossed down the stairs stage right and is searching the area in front of the stage for Grogger when he hears the audience yelling and clapping.  Terrified and confused the sea monster takes off running right past Grogger, down the center stairs and out the house left door.

 Grogger: It worked!  I'm saved!  The sea monster ran right past me and... (Grogger pauses realizing where the sea monster is headed) Oh no!  The sea monster is headed for Reefland!

 Black out.  When the lights come up we are now in Reefland, a city of sea creatures made to look like a coral reef.  There is a sign saying, "Welcome to Reefland.”  The whole city has a very cartoon-ish feel to it, like the royal kingdom in the Shrek movies.  Coral the mermaid and her best friend Tiller the swordfish are stage right practicing Tiller’s sword fighting moves. Tiller uses his snout as his sword and fights by swinging his head back and forth. Coral fights using a long sword shaped piece of coral. Coral is easily the superior fighter and keeps pinning Tiller to the ground.

Coral: (fencing with Tiller) 1, 2, 3 (Coral easily pins Tiller to the ground) I win again!


Tiller: (very unenthusiastically) Wow Coral. Good for you. You pinned me again.


Coral: Tiller! You’re not even trying! If you want to be a warrior you have to learn to sword fight. Now get up and try again.


Coral helps Tiller up and they take the fencing stance.


Coral: (again advancing towards Tiller and swinging her sword) 1, 2, 3 Tiller stops and walks away before she can pin him again. Exasperated. Tiller!


Tiller: (mimicking her tone) Coral! I hate sword fighting.


Coral: But you’re a sword fish!


Tiller: So.


Coral: So…swordfish are warriors. If you don’t practice sword fighting you’ll never be a warrior.


Tiller: I don’t want to be a warrior.


Coral: (stops dead in her tracks, her jaw drops) You don’t want to be a warrior?


Tiller: Nope.


Coral: But being a warrior is the greatest job there is! A warrior carries a sword and a shield.


Coral holds up the pieces of coral that she has been using as a sword and shield.


Coral: A warrior goes on adventures! A warrior fights sea monsters!


SONG – about how great it is to be a warrior. During the song Coral attacks Tiller with the “sword” as if he were a sea monster, swinging the sword through the air in a choreographed fight sequence, she ends it by pinning Tiller to the ground again.


Tiller: (on the ground and at the end of Coral’s sword) Coral, I don’t want to be a warrior. I don’t want to carry a sword and shield! I don’t want to go on adventures! I don’t want to fight sea monsters! Besides, have you ever heard of a sea monster trying to attack Reefland?


Coral: (defeated) No.


Tiller: Exactly.


During this exchange Sir Ballast, an octopus who is the King’s herald, has entered and crossed center stage. He holds a long scroll and when he gets to center stage he unrolls it and reads. It should be timed so as soon as Tiller says, “Exactly,” Sir Ballast says his line.


Sir Ballast: (addressing the audience as if they are the townspeople) A sea monster wants to attack Reefland.


Coral: (excitedly) What?


Tiller: (in disbelief) What?


Sir Ballast: (very snooty and upset at having to repeat himself) I said (dramatic pause) a sea monster wants to attack Reefland.


Coral: (crossing to Sir Ballast making sure she heard him correctly) A sea monster?


Tiller: (following Coral, completely terrified) A sea monster?


Sir Ballast: (Beginning to lose control) Yes a sea monster! He flips the scroll around to reveal a large picture of the sea monster heading towards Reefland ready to attack. (His anger is building) A sea monster! (As if steam is going to come out of his ears) A sea monster!!!! On the final “sea monster” he very deliberately points at the picture of the sea monster. The same picture appears on the power point.


Coral: (thrilled) Wow!


Tiller: (terrified) Wow….


Sir Ballast: (in complete annoyance with Coral and Tiller) Wow.


Coral: Excuse me, Sir Ballast, but did you see the sea monster?


Sir Ballast: What?


Tiller: Did you see the sea monster with your eyes?


Sir Ballast: Well, no but…


Tiller: (cutting him off) Then maybe it’s not real!


Sir Ballast: (puffing his chest up) Are you calling me a liar?


Tiller: (stammering) Well..no..but…


Sir Ballast and Tiller get into an argument. More physical than verbal it really involves Sir Ballast pushing Tiller around upstage stage while they talk. This all moves very quickly.

During the argument Coral has crossed downstage, lost in her own thoughts about the sea monster she completely ignores Sir Ballast and Tiller fighting.


Coral: A sea monster! How exciting! My whole life I’ve wanted to fight a sea monster! It has to be real! Sir Ballast didn’t see the sea monster but someone must have. (speaking to the audience) Did you see the sea monster? (audience responds Yes, Coral is overjoyed) You did? That’s great! A sea monster, wow, a real sea monster!


By this time Sir Ballast and Tiller have made their way downstage. Sir Ballast is sitting on Tiller pinning him to the ground.


Tiller: Owww, you’re crushing me!


Coral: (seeing what is going on) Stop!! (pulling Sir Ballast off of Tiller) There really is a sea monster! They saw it! It’s real!


Sir Ballast: (standing and regaining composure) Well of course it’s real.


Tiller: Who will fight the sea monster?


Sir Ballast: Well, as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted. (He unrolls the scroll and begins to read again) Citizens of Reefland! A sea monster wants to attack our reef. All of our bravest warriors are gone, searching for buried treasure. There is no one left here to fight the sea monster. We are doomed.


Tiller: Doomed?!?!?


Sir Ballast: Yes, doomed. Done, over, finished, ended, kaput, zonked…


Tiller: (cutting him off) Doomed!!!


Tiller runs behind Coral and hides.


Coral: Tiller!


Tiller: I’m scared!!


Coral: Tiller!


Tiller: I want to live!! I need to live!!


Tiller runs down the center stairs and hides beneath the apron.


Coral: (becoming annoyed) Tiller!


Tiller: (desperate) What are we going to do?


Coral: I’m going to fight the sea monster.


Sir Ballast: You?!?!?


Coral leaves Tiller still hiding beneath the apron and crosses upstage towards Sir Ballast.


Coral: Yes.


Sir Ballast: Hahahahha that is the craziest idea I have ever heard. Hahahahaha.


Coral: Why?


Sir Ballast: To fight a sea monster you need a sword and a shield to keep you safe. Do you have a sword and a shield?


Coral: No, but…


Sir Ballast: (cutting her off) And you need a map, you cannot find the sea monster without a map.


Tiller: A map?


Sir Ballast Yes, a map. A map tells you where you now are and where you are going, with a map you can never get lost. Do you have a map?


Coral: No.


Sir Ballast: Then you cannot fight the sea monster. I must go now. I have to tell the king that there is no one to fight the sea monster. We really are doomed.


Sir Ballast exits. Tiller crosses to the stage right side of the reef and takes out a bag from behind one of the coral coves. He starts pulling out things from the cove and packing them in the bag: a teddy bear, a giant jar of fish food, a magazine called Underwater World etc..


Coral: (seeing Tiller) What are you doing?


Tiller: (not looking up) Packing.


Coral: (crossing to him) What?


Tiller: I’m packing Coral. You heard Sir Ballast, there is no one to fight the sea monster, Reefland is doomed. We will have to move.


Coral: Reefland is our home and I am going to save it. I am going to fight the sea monster.


Tiller: But Coral, you don’t have a sword, a shield, or a map.


Coral: It doesn’t matter.


Tiller: Yes it does.


Coral: (getting very heated) No, it doesn’t!


Tiller: (yelling) Coral! You’re not a warrior!


Coral: (pausing to catch her breath) What did you say?


Tiller: You’re not a warrior. You’re a mermaid. You can’t fight the sea monster.


Coral: Yes I can! You’re just jealous because I’m braver than you are! I am going to fight the sea monster and when I save Reefland I’ll be a warrior and you, you’ll still be a scared little swordfish.


Coral walks by Tiller and picks up the piece of coral she had been sword fighting with earlier. Then she glares at Tiller and walks off stage.



Blackout. During the blackout Coral crosses to the audience right door and comes out into the audience searching for the sea monster. On stage the set is changed from Reefland back to Grogger’s cave which has now been almost completely destroyed by the sea monster. Parts of Grogger’s inventions are strewn about haphazardly outside the cave and everything is in disarray.

Coral crosses slowly towards Grogger’s cave, we can tell that she’s nervous but trying her best to hide it. Grogger is hiding inside.

Coral: (calling out) Hello? Is anyone there? Hello?

Coral reaches the entrance to the cave and carefully peeks inside.

Coral: (cupping her hands to her mouth and yelling) Hellooooooooo?

Startled Grogger springs from the cave screaming and clapping his pinchers together. He comes out with such force that he knocks Coral to the ground.

Grogger: Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

Coral: (on the ground) Stop, please! It’s alright!!

Grogger is hurling himself towards Coral, pinchers at the ready. Just as he is about to attack her he realizes she is not the sea monster and is in fact just a mermaid.

Grogger: (advancing towards Coral, snapping his pinchers) Who are you?

Coral: My name is Coral, I’m…

Grogger: (cutting her off) What are you doing here? It isn’t safe here, there’s a (huge stage whisper) sea monster on the loose.

Coral: I know. I am here to fight the sea monster.

Grogger: No!! You can’t!!

Coral: Yes I can.

Grogger: No! You don’t understand. This isn’t any ordinary sea monster.

Tiller: (coming forward) Then what kind of sea monster is it?

Grogger: (ashamed and trying to get the words out) It’s…it’s…(he dissolves into sobs)

Coral: (clearly uncomfortable with Grogger’s tears, patting him very softly on the back) What’s wrong?

Grogger: I (he sniffs)… I created the sea monster.

Coral: What?!?! You created the sea monster? How?

Grogger: It was an accident! It was supposed to be my greatest creation ever.

*Song about how Grogger created the Sea monster*

Grogger: Well, I finished building it and (he pauses to catch his breath) at first nothing happened and then all of a sudden it came to life and…and…tried to attack me!

Coral: Attack you?

Grogger: Yes! It chased after me growling and snapping its teeth. I started yelling and clapping my hands and the sea monster got scared. Then I had my friends help me, and the sea monster ran away and headed right towards Reefland. Grogger demonstrates by roaring loudly and using his arms as the sea monster’s teeth to snap at Coral. Now it wants to attack Reefland and it’s all my fault! He launches into a fresh round of sobs.

Coral: Will the sea monster come back here?

Grogger: Yes, it wants to attack me. We will have to make noise so it will run away again.

Coral: I don’t want the sea monster to run away.

Grogger: You don’t?

Coral: No. I want to fight the sea monster and stop it right here.

Grogger: How are you going to fight the sea monster?

Coral: I need a sword to fight with and a shield to protect myself. Do you have anything like that?

Grogger: Hmmm (Grogger scuttles around looking through the old parts and bits of trash outside of his cave) I don’t think so Coral.

Coral: (crossing down and talking to the audience) There has to be something here I can use. (she wanders around the stage picking up various objects: a wheel, a watering can, really any mismatched part and holds them up to the audience asking) Is this a sword? (audience responds No, finally she comes across an old sword hidden behind some sea weed) What about this? (she holds it up, audience responds Yes) Great! I can use this as a sword to fight! Now I just need a shield.

Grogger and Coral continue searching for a shield. As they are looking the sea monster enters from the house left doors and crosses towards the stage. Grogger hears the sea monster coming and looks up just as it is reaching the center stage stairs.

Grogger: Look out Coral! The sea monster is coming!!

Coral looks up as the sea monster climbs the stairs and comes crashing towards her. The sea monster has a long tail that he swings about knocking things over and huge teeth that he snaps at Coral and Grogger. The sea monster focuses on Grogger backing him into a corner and roaring at him.

Grogger: Coral! Helppppp!!!!!!

Coral: Don’t worry Grogger, I will save you!

Coral takes the sword she found and swings it around over her head.

Coral: Hey!! Over here!!!

The sea monster turns and sees Coral.

Coral: I’m not afraid of you!!

The sea monster turns away from Grogger and comes crashing after Coral. Coral swings her sword at the sea monster but it bounces off the monster’s metal skin without doing any harm. Coral and the sea monster cross back and forth across the stage in a fight sequence as Coral tries again and again to stab the sea monster but isn’t able to.

Coral: Something’s wrong! My sword’s not working!

Grogger: Of course! I made the sea monster out of metal!

Coral: (still fighting the sea monster) What?

Grogger: You can’t stab it, it’s made of metal!

Just as Grogger issues this final warning Coral swings the sword over her head and makes a huge charge at the sea monster. She stabs at the sea monster with all her might and the blade of her sword bends.

Coral: My sword! It’s broken!!

Grogger: Run Coral, hide!!!

Grogger and Coral run quickly inside the cave and hide just within the opening. The sea monster tries to get in but is too big and cannot fit through the opening. As the sea monster tries to get in a rock gets pushed in front of the cave’s opening trapping Coral and Grogger inside.

Coral: We’re trapped!

Grogger and Coral: (screaming) Help!!! Help!!!!! Heeeellllppppp!!!!!!!!!

Blackout. When the lights come up we are back in Reefland. Tiller is seated on the center stage stairs visibly upset.

Tiller: “Scared little swordfish,” Coral’s right. I am scared. I’m scared of the dark. And of water spiders. And of sharks. I’m scared of everything!

Song: “Scared of Everything” song about all of Tiller’s fears which are geared towards the same things young kids are scared of in the real world: the dark, spiders, being alone etc….

At the end of the song Sir Ballast enters and sees Tiller sitting alone on the center stage stairs crying .

Sir Ballast: (crossing to Tiller very upset) You! What are you doing out here alone? The sea monster could attack any minute…

He stops short when he sees that Tiller has been crying.

Sir Ballast: (clearly uncomfortable with emotion) Ahem. (he pauses to collect himself) Are you alright?

Tiller shrugs his shoulders.

Sir Ballast: (trying to muster up some compassion but clearly struggling) Where is your mermaid friend?

Tiller: She went to fight the sea monster.

Sir Ballast: She did what?!?!?

Tiller: She went to fight the sea monster (gulp) alone.

Sir Ballast: But how is she going to fight the sea monster? She doesn’t have a sword, a shield, or a map!

Tiller: I don’t know.

Sir Ballast: (pacing back and forth debating the correct move) Going after the sea monster alone! How could she? She’ll be attacked!

Tiller: (horrified) Attacked?!? Oh no! Coral! I have to go help her! I need a shield!

Sir Ballast: Absolutely not! I will not allow it! I…

Tiller: (cutting him off, yelling very loudly) I HAVE TO HELP HER!!!!

Sir Ballast is stunned into silence by Tiller’s outburst.

Tiller: Sir Ballast, please, I need a shield.

Sir Ballast: What about a sword?

Tiller: I already have one! (Tiller points to his snout)

Sir Ballast: (very torn) Oh….oh alright. But it’s not my fault if the sea monster attacks you both.

Tiller hugs the extremely uncomfortable Sir Ballast very tightly.

Tiller: Thank you!

Sir Ballast: Hold on a second. Sir Ballast goes off stage and returns with a shield. Here is a shield, it will protect you and a map so you will never get lost.

He hands the shield and the map to Tiller.

Tiller: Thank you, Sir Ballast.

Sir Ballast: Yes, well.. (regaining his pompous attitude) Hurry up! We don’t have all day! Go!

Blackout. The scene changes for a final time back to Grogger’s cave. Coral and Grogger are still trapped inside the cave. Tiller enters from audience left and starts pacing back and forth in front of the audience. He has his shield on his back.

Tiller: Oh no. I think I’m lost. I’ll never be able to find Coral if I don’t know where I’m going. I need your help. I have my sword to fight the sea monster with and I have my shield to protect myself, but what do I need to see where I’m going? (audience responds Map) Oh yea! Sir Ballast’s map! Tiller pulls out the map, unrolls it, and studies it. Now I see where I’m going! I’m coming Coral!

Tiller runs up the stage left stairs calling for Coral.

Tiller: (yelling) Coral! Coral!!

Coral: (from inside the cave) Tiller? Is that you?

Tiller: (still calling to her) Coral?

Coral: Tiller! We’re in here! Help!!!!

Tiller rushes over to the cave entrance dropping his shield and the map.

Tiller: Coral! Are you alright?

Coral: I’m ok. The sea monster attacked us and now we’re trapped.

Tiller: Hold on Coral. I’ll get you out.

Coral: Hurry Tiller! The sea monster could come back any minute!

Tiller grabs hold of the rock that is blocking the doorway and braces himself to pull it away from the door.

Tiller: Ok, I’m ready. Now on the count of three push against the rock as hard as you can. Ready? 1, 2, 3!!

Tiller pulls on the rock with all his might while Grogger and Coral push from inside. The rock moves and the entrance to the cave is opened. Grogger safely makes it out of the cave but before Coral can get completely out the rock shifts again and Coral’s tail gets stuck. We hear a roar and the sound of metal crashing offstage.

Coral: I’m stuck!!

Grogger: Oh no! It’s back!! The sea monster!!!!

Tiller grabs his shield and slashes his snout through the air like a sword.

Tiller: I’m ready to fight!

Coral: Tiller the sea monster is made of metal, you can’t fight it with a sword.

Tiller: Then what do I do?

Grogger: The sea monster is scared of loud noises.

Coral: But if we make a loud noise the sea monster will run away!

Tiller: I have an idea!

Grogger: What is it?

Tiller: What if we used our friends to trap the sea monster?

Grogger: What do you mean?

Tiller crosses down to the audience and begins to pull people out of their seats instructing them to make a wall.

Tiller: Ok everyone I need your help to trap the sea monster. Stand up, you too stand up. Grogger come help me.

Grogger crosses down to the audience to help Tiller. The two choose a number of audience members to come up on stage and form a semi circle enclosing the right side of the stage. *Note: Ideally 5 or 6 people would be brought on stage but this could work just fine with even one person.*

Tiller: Ok get everyone in a line. Listen everyone, when the sea monster comes we will surround him and make as much noise as we can.

Coral: Then what?

Grogger: ( taking responsibility for creating the sea monster) Leave that to me.

We hear roaring and metal crashing as the sea monster gets closer and closer to the stage.

Tiller: Ok everyone! The sea monster is coming! On three we are going to make as much noise as we can..1…2…3!!!!

The sea monster crashes on stage and immediately Tiller and Grogger start clapping, yelling, and stomping their feet, making as much noise as possible. They instruct the on stage audience members to do the same. The sea monster is weakened by the noise but is still roaring and crashing about as if fighting it off.

Tiller: We need more noise! He addresses the audience as a whole. Everyone, make as much noise as you can! The audience yells, claps, and stomps their feet making as much noise as possible. That’s it! It’s working!

The sea monster is weakened more and more, starts to cower, and fall to the ground. Tiller instructs the on stage audience members to close in around the sea monster. As they do the sea monster stops moving altogether. Grogger comes in carrying an anchor and knocks the sea monster on the head.

Grogger: Everyone back up! Back up! Grogger uses his pincher to remove the “battery” of the sea monster, the final piece he put in at the beginning that brought the sea monster to life. He takes it out and holds it up. There, the sea monster can’t hurt us anymore.

Coral: (still stuck in the cave) We’re saved!!

*Song about the joy of living again in the peaceful sea* During the song Tiller and Grogger sing and dance the audience back to their seats and then continue to dance in the audience for the rest of the number. At the end of the song they exit through the house right doors arm and arm and discussing their great feat. Coral is left stuck on stage with the dead sea monster.

Coral: Hey guys! Guys? Hello?? The lights begin to slowly fade to black. I’m still stuck! I’m still here…with the sea monster…the dead sea monster...it’s pretty gross. Tiller? Grogger? The lights are nearly black. Um, I’m scared of the dark! Blackout. Hey! Turn the lights back on!

The lights come up and the cast comes out to bow.

THE END


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Synopsis
This is a children's musical theatre script, written both for entertainment and for the teaching of ESL.
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