by Alan David Perkins
Copyright © 2006
Full-length play with music.
We see an empty band room and hear a eulogy for an old, beloved band
director. One by one, some former students tuck away to the band room
to reminisce about their high school days as seen from the band's
perspective. Eventually, eight former classmates return to the band
room -- not only physically but emotionally as well as they face what being
in the band meant to them, how it's followed them throughout their lives and
how it's shaped their relationships with each other.
Along the way, they
take some time to play. Each one gets their turn to feature with
authentic band music, which helps to bring them to their former "home."
Finally, we learn that one of the eight has been pegged to take the place
of their beloved band director, and to carry the "note" that he has so
lovingly bestowed upon them.
BIRDIE (Flute) – Female. Birdie is all woman. She takes no crap from the other folks. Birdie is the only band geek who can move undetected through non band-geeks.
SQUEAKER (Clarinet) – Female. Squeaker strives the most to be normal. Probably the smartest in the group, she bent over backwards to fit into the mainstream, but always failed at it.
REED (Alto Sax) – Male. Reed is coolness personified. Jazz and Rock are not just music types to Reed ... they’re a way of life.
BUZZ (Trumpet) – Male. Buzz is deeply in love with himself, to the exclusion of others. He aspires to have the coolness of Reed but misses. He thinks he’s as cool as Reed actually is. He’s at odds with himself as he fights being a band geek.
PECK (Horn) – Male or Female. Peck revels in being the best musician of the bunch and, as a result is quite obnoxious. He/She is, however, highly respected and revered in the band ... just not anywhere else. The Band was the only place he/she truly fit in, and even there it’s a strained relationship.
SLIDER (Trombone) – Male. Slider is a cowboy. The joker of the bunch, he seeks fun at any turn. He’s larger than life and likes it that way.
BOTTOM (Tuba) – Male, but there's no reason why Bottom can't
be female. Bottom is a goofball. He follows Slider in all his pranks, and is sometimes the butt of them. Still, he’s a jolly soul who truly loves not only playing, but playing the Tuba. He is also very handy and resourceful, and holds the (literal) keys and secrets to everything. He was also Peck’s only real friend.
MARK (Drummer) – Male. Mark is a maniac. He talks in a colloquial that nobody understands, sees things nobody else does and, for the lack of a better express, marches to the beat of his own drummer. During his life he has only excelled at one thing -- being a drummer.
90 to 120 minutes (I won't know until we actually put it together with the
España! by Jay Bocook
Them Basses by G.F. Huffine
Molly on the Shore by Percy Grainger
Harlem Nocturne by Earle Hagen
Festivo by Vaclav Nelhybel
Pie in the Face Polka by Henry Mancini
Rolling Thunder by Henry Fillmore
Second Suite in F – March by Gustav Holst
Instant Concert by Harold L. Walters
Valdres by Johannes Hanssen
American Overture for Band by Joseph Wilcox Jenkins
Second Suite in F – Fantasia on the Dargason by Gustav Holst
(Permissions have been secured to use all of these pieces.)
The play takes place in the Band Room of a high school. The room
should be as true to form as possible, being liberally littered with chairs
and music stands. There should be the perfunctory band room props
around: music cabinet, conductor's stand, strobotuner, fingering charts,
Costumes needed are dress suits for the men and dresses for the
women, and old band uniforms for all.
The play takes place in one uninterrupted act.
Oh, and the actors also do all the playing.
I know I've said this before about other projects, but
is, to me, my most personal project to date. This play reflects who I
am based on who I was. It's a reflection of my own journey from my
own, real roots as a band geek.
The journey to write this play has also
been a long one. The concept has rolled around in my head for years,
and it took a good while for it to form into something with enough drama to
be of interest to an audience. I feel there are still elements missing
from the script, and I don't expect them to come to life until I actually
cast the show and rehearse it. I need the experiences of all eight
cast members to be reflected here, not just mine. And I can't get that
until I have all eight.
What is worrying me is the music. First, all actors must be
instrumentalists first. Second, the music won't be known to the
public. I want the music to be true to the form -- genuine symphonic
and marching band music. I believe that if you present something with
authority, the audience will get it. I'm hoping that this will be the
case with the music.
The music itself was a long-standing sticking point with
The hunt for viable music took a very long time. My goal was to pick
music that most band folk would know, was not too unplayably difficult, and
could be tooled to feature a specific instrument without going for "soloist
and band" pieces. Also, it had to be able to be reduced to eight
players and still be effective.
And, finally, I wrote this for myself. No, literally. I wrote
the part of Peck to be performed by me. Am I Peck? Not now, but
I think at one time I was, and, therefore, he's in me. I look forward
to bringing this one to life.
CONTACTING THE PLAYWRIGHT:
The entire script and musical arrangements of
Band Geekz are
available upon request from
No production of this play can take place without the permission and
agreement with the playwright.