Most of the characters in Eggheads (except
can be played by both genders. To avoid confusion in
such a short,
large-cast play, only two names are actually mentioned
Phil). The setting is just a bench in a neighborhood
where 4th graders
go. The pace of the play should be fast and quick, and
should be larger than life--over the top. This play
can be done by
grades 4th and up. If it is done by grades above the
4th, just change
the one or two lines that mention the grade. Most of
the names of the
characters can be used by the players as source
material. Ask them to
look up the meaning of the names. Have fun with the
exits. The players are free to improvise a little
dialogue during these
transitions (if necessary).
This play can be done by fewer players, if players take on more than one role.
(most of the characters can be played by either gender. Have fun.)
A bench in a place where 4th graders hang out.
A bench, a vase with some flowers in it, two dollars.
Eggheads was first staged by the 5th grade at The Vartan Gregorian Elementary School in Providence, R.I., USA in September of 1999.
Eggheads was first published in 2000 as part of the collection Plays For Kids To Do: Volume 1
Gwyneth has found out that she has been certified a genius (egghead) because of some tests that she took. At the local favorite bench, she tells Amiga who then scares Gwyneth about what the future may bring. Gwyneth runs off . Along comes Gabble. Amiga tells Gabble about Gwyneth, but distorts the truth every so slightly. Amiga leaves, and along comes Invidious. Gabble tells Invidious about Gwyneth, and distorts the truth a little more. This goes on for awhile as one character leaves and another enters. Soon, the story is that Gwyneth has "eggy head", a condition of accelerated genius given to her by aliens, and is going to go work for the government in a secret lab. And finally, Phil is told the story that she has been arrested for hacking into the FDA's website and changing the page about eggs to a page about legs! He is bummed out by the news of Gwyneth. He really likes Gwyneth. Gwyneth comes along and Phil realizes it was a false rumor. Phil then helps Gwyneth see that she is not alone, and that she doesn't need to be afraid to stand out in the crowd. They become friends.
(LIGHTS UP. AMIGA AND GWYNETH SIT ON A BENCH. THERE IS A POT OF FLOWERS NEAR THE BENCH. THERE IS SILENCE FOR A FEW MOMENTS)
GWYNETH: Nice flowers.
AMIGA: What's wrong, Gwyneth?
AMIGA: Come on, you can tell me. I'm your friend.
GWYNETH: Nothing's wrong.
AMIGA: Something's wrong. I'll figure it out. I'm not only the world's best dresser, but also the best guesser. Let's see...mmmmm....Gwyneth is upset that she'll never be able to fly like a eagle.
GWYNETH: Oh, I'm flying. Flying straight to college on a nuclear powered rocket marked "mutant." And you're not the world's best dresser—you're missing a sock.
AMIGA: I missed on purpose. Oh, wait, wait—I know..."The boys don't like Gwyneth. Especially Phil."
GWYNETH: Don't patronize me.
AMIGA: It's Phil.
GWYNETH: It's not Phil.
AMIGA: (DOESN'T BELIEVE HER) Okay.
GWYNETH: It's not.
AMIGA: Well, then tell me.
GWYNETH: Alright, but you can't tell anyone.
AMIGA: I won't.
GWYNETH: You googly vow?
AMIGA: Don't make me googly vow.
GWYNETH: Then I don't tell.
AMIGA: Alright. Googly, googly, googly. (AMIGA "GOOGLY VOWS." IT'S A COMBINATION OF SOME ARM, HAND, AND FACIAL MOVES WITH THE WORD "GOOGLY" REPEATED. Note: BE CREATIVE!)
GWYNETH: Alright. (PAUSE) I'm a genius.
AMIGA: (DOESN'T BELIEVE HER) Yeah, you're a genius.
GWYNETH: I am. You know those tests we took a few months ago? Well, I'm a genius—a certified, indisputable egghead.
GWYNETH: I knew you'd be upset. That's why I didn't want to tell you. Now, you'll see me as an egghead—everyone will. Especially when they send me to 7th grade next year.
AMIGA: 7th grade?
GWYNETH: That's my level. My parents are thinking of sending me to a special school for eggheads. I'm an egghead—I can't believe it—I'm an egghead. This is awful.
AMIGA: But we're only in 4th grade, how could you be going to 7th? They'll eat you alive.
GWYNETH: Think so?
AMIGA: Yeah. And they won't even bother spitting you out. I saw a show once, and the older kids had bacon and eggheads for breakfast AND lunch. You're dead.
GWYNETH: Don't try to scare me.
GWYNETH: I know you're jealous. Don't be. I can't help it.
AMIGA: An egghead omelet.
GWYNETH: (TRYING NOT TO CRY) Oh, no. I have to go.
AMIGA: Where are you going?
GWYNETH: Hurtling towards a certain future, that's where. It's all planned out for me. I am what every parent wants—an egghead with jealous friends. (EXITS. ENTER GABBLE)
GABBLE: Where's Gwyneth running to?
AMIGA: I can't tell you.
AMIGA: I just can't. (PAUSE) What I can tell you is that someone did really well on those tests we took. You know, the ones with all the tiny circles we had to fill in. And that person is a certified genius. Belongs in high school.
GABBLE: Oh. Who?
AMIGA: Someone with a name that rhymes with pinneth.
GABBLE: What's a pinneth?
AMIGA: Instead of "puh" (THE SOUND OF "P") say "gwuh" (GW)
AMIGA: Puh—inneth. Gwuh...
GABBLE: Puh-inneth-gwuh? Puh-inneth-gwuh.
AMIGA: Inneth! Inneth!
GABBLE: I thought it was pinneth.
GABBLE: Gwu-gwu...inneth-inneth. (LAUGHS) I sound like that Hamlet guy we saw in that play.
AMIGA: Look, I gotta go shop on-line with my mom. We found a website where they'll sell you one sock. Good luck. (EXITS. ENTER INVIDIOUS)
GABBLE: Inneth-inneth-inneth. Gwu-gwu-gwu. Gwu-gwu-gwu-inneth-inneth—Gwyneth!
INVIDIOUS: Boring day.
GABBLE: No, it's not.
GABBLE: Gwyneth is going to college next year.
INVIDIOUS: Gwyneth is a pointy rock in my shoe. A shoe that should be comfy, like you're a wearing a marshmallow on your foot.
GABBLE: Did you hear what I just said?
INVIDIOUS: She walks around like she's so smart. She's always getting A plusses.
GABBLE: Gwyneth is an egghead. She aced the intelligence tests, and is going to college next year.
INVIDIOUS: Just last week, my parents pushed me and pushed me to do well on that math test. I studied so hard, and Gwyneth gets an A. I get a C. And you can tell all the teachers just love Gwyneth. It's always Gwyneth...
GABBLE: (OVERLAP) You're not listening.
INVIDIOUS: (note: HAVE FUN WITH THIS) ...Gwyneth. Gwyneth, Gwyneth. Gwyneth. Gwyneth. Gwyneth, Gwyneth. Gwyneth...
GABBLE: See ya later. (GABBLE EXITS. ENTER METTLE AND TRAIL)
INVIDIOUS: Gwyneth is like loud dripping water in a sink in the middle of the night, drip-drip-drip, keeping me from falling into dreams where I rest, free of tests, free of pressure, and free of my backpack.
METTLE: I think Gwyneth is cool.
TRAIL: Yeah, cool.
INVIDIOUS: She's an egghead.
METTLE: No, she's not. She dresses too cool to be an egghead.
TRAIL: Yeah, too cool.
INVIDIOUS: She's going to college next year. She's some kind of computer genius.
INVIDIOUS: That rich egghead guy, Bill Gates, is interested in her. Really.
METTLE: She dresses like that, and she's an egghead?
TRAIL: No one who dresses like that is an egghead.
INVIDIOUS: I have no time for this. I have to study. I will catch her. And when I do, I will turn to her in class and say "You only got an A-plus? Well I got an A plus-plus!" (EXITS)
METTLE: Wow. Isn't it so weird how you don't really know people?
TRAIL: Is it weird?
METTLE: Yes, it's weird. Gwyneth never looked smart.
TRAIL: She never did. You're right.
METTLE: She's pretty.
TRAIL: I don't think so.
METTLE: She's pretty.
TRAIL: Yeah, she's pretty. (ENTER BEAT AND BROW. THEY ARE BULLIES. BEAT IS THE LEADER. THEY SURROUND METTLE AND TRAIL)
BEAT: What did we tell you about sitting on our bench? You're cruising for a bruising.
BROW: You're cruising for a bruising.
TRAIL: Sorry. (GETS UP , BUT METTLE STOPS TRAIL)
METTLE: No, don't. We're not moving.
METTLE: No. No more.
TRAIL: (SITS) I feel sick.
BEAT: (TO METTLE) Whoa. You're so brave today.
BROW: (TO TRAIL) You're so brave today.
METTLE: We're tired of being pushed around by you.
TRAIL: (NAUSEATED) Here come the corn flakes. (METTLE GIVES TRAIL SOME GUM AND NON-VERBALLY ENCOURAGES TRAIL TO BE STRONG AND BRAVE)
BEAT: (GRABS METTLE BY THE COLLAR) Come on. Get off our bench.
BROW: (GRABS TRAIL THE SAME WAY) Yeah, get off our bench.
METTLE: Your cousin has "eggy head." Real bad.
BEAT: My cousin doesn't have—which cousin?
BEAT: Gwyneth doesn't have—what's "eggy head?"
METTLE: It's...(SEARCHING)...she was abducted by aliens...(WANTS TRAIL'S HELP)
TRAIL: Yeah, ugh, they, ugh...they had big egg-shaped heads...
METTLE: And they scrambled the pathways in her noggin...
TRAIL: And now she's showing signs of accelerated genius...
METTLE: And her head is getting larger....
TRAIL: And the government is going to take her away...
METTLE: To a work in secret laboratory...
TRAIL: Never to be seen again...
METTLE: Except on commercials...
TRAIL: For "Hooked On Phonics." (PAUSE)
BEAT: That's a lie.
BROW: That's a big lie.
METTLE: I'm a Scout, and we never lie.
BEAT: You vow?
METTLE: On a box of thin mint cookies.
BEAT: You googly vow?
METTLE AND TRAIL: (MOVES ARE IN SYNCH) Googly, googly, googly.
BEAT: Oh, Gwyneth.
BROW: Oh, Gwyneth
BEAT: I feel faint. I need to sit.
BROW: Yeah, we need to sit.
METTLE: Two bucks.
BEAT: But we're gonna pass out.
TRAIL: Maybe we should move.
METTLE: No. Two bucks.
BEAT: (TO BROW) Pay the two bucks.
BEAT: We have to sit. We're feeling faint.
BROW: Yeah, faint, but two bucks...
BEAT: Pay it. (BROW RELUCTANTLY PAYS)
METTLE: Thank you. Now both of you googly vow that you'll never bother us again.
BEAT AND BROW: (WITH NOT MUCH ENERGY) Googly, googly, googly
METTLE: It's all yours. Have a nice day. (THEY GET UP. BEAT AND BROW FALL ONTO THE BENCH AND COMICALLY AND TIREDLY WRESTLE FOR THE BEST SEAT ON THE BENCH. FINALLY JUST LYING ON TOP OF EACH OTHER. METTLE AND TRAIL MOVE TO EXIT. METTLE OFFERS TRAIL A DOLLAR) Here.
TRAIL: You keep it.
METTLE: You earned it.
TRAIL: The feeling I have right now...
METTLE: You're not going to be sick are you?
TRAIL: No. I'm not going to be afraid anymore.
METTLE: Yeah. (RUNS OVER AND LAYS THE TWO DOLLARS ON THE MOTIONLESS BROW. METTLE AND TRAIL EXIT. BOOPIE ENTERS, STOPS AND OBSERVES)
BEAT: I wish Scouts lied, but they don't. Gwyneth is a Girl Scout, and she never lies. I'm so sad they're gonna take her away. She helped me with my math. I really stunk at fractions. I know what halves are because of her. (CRIES ON BROW'S SHOULDER)
BROW: She helped me train my new puppy. Ooooh...(THEY CRY TOGETHER)
BOOPIE: Would you like to talk about it?
BEAT: Go away. We're grieving.
BROW: Yeah, grieving. (THEY CRY HARDER)
BOOPIE: What happened?
BROW: Her cousin Gwyneth has "eggy head?"
BOOPIE: "Eggy head?"
BROW: Yup. And she's gonna work for the government and never be seen again.
BEAT: It's a hard job. (THEY CRY MORE)
BOOPIE: I can help.
BEAT AND BROW: Go away.
BOOPIE: It's just that my mom is an emotional counselor, and she teaches this tapping technique that helps you to process your emotions faster. Less pain and fast she always says. That's less pain and fast.
BEAT: Less pain?
BROW: And fast?
BOOPIE: And you'll feel more powerful as a person. Life will be easier for you.
BEAT: Help me.
BROW: Yeah, help. (BOOPIE SITS BETWEEN THEM)
BOOPIE: Okay. Sit up. Good. Now, put your index and middle fingers together like this. (PUTS FINGERS TOGETHER) Good. Now, tap your knees like this. Now, tap your tummies. Wonderful. Now, your temples. Doing great. Now, tap the top of your heads. Excellent. Now, back to the knees. Now, say what is wrong as loud as you can.
BEAT: My cousin Gwyneth has "eggy head".
BROW: Gwyneth has "eggy head."
BEAT: (LOUDER) Gwyneth has "eggy head."
BROW: (LOUDER) Gwyneth has "eggy head."
BOOPIE: And how do you feel?
BEAT: I feel sad.
BROW: Me, too.
BOOPIE: Now, tap your tummies and say "yummy, yummy, yummy, there is joy in my tummy."
BEAT AND BROW: Yummy, yummy, yummy, there is joy in my tummy.
BOOPIE: Now, tap your shoulders and say "the sadness that was boulders on my shoulders is growing older, and my joy is growing bolder." (BEAT AND BROW LOOK AT BOOPIE LIKE IT'S GETTING TOO HARD)
BEAT AND BROW: The sadness that was boulders—ugh, the sadness...growing bolder—growing bolder—growing bolder!
BOOPIE: Now, tap your temples and say "no matter what happens in life, I'm a happy traveler."
BEAT AND BROW: (PAUSE) Happy traveler! Happy traveler! Happy Traveler!
BOOPIE: Now, stand up and tap your heads. Come on. Good. Now, run with me around the bench. (THEY RUN AROUND THE BENCH TAPPING THEIR HEADS). Now, say "even though I feel like crying, my soul is a flying." Come on. Even though I feel like crying, my soul is a flying. Even though I feel like crying, my soul is a flying.
BEAT AND BROW: Even though I feel like crying, my soul is a flying! Even though I feel like crying my soul is a flying! Even though I feel like crying, my soul is a flying! (BEAT AND BROW RUN OFFSTAGE SAYING THEIR LINE OVER AND OVER)
BOOPIE: Now, run with the wind, and spread your joy! (BOOPIE SITS, AND SPEAKS TO THE AUDIENCE) The things you do for a bench these days. Oh, no, people. (ENTER SOFTY AND PHIL. Note: IMPROVISE DIALOGUE)
SOFTY: What's up?
BOOPIE: (SARCASTIC) Nothing's up. (LIKES PHIL) Hi, Phil.
PHIL: Hi, can we sit with you?
BOOPIE: Well, of course you can. (THEY SIT ON OPPOSITE SIDES OF BOOPIE. IN THE NEXT BEAT, BOOPIE SLOWLY PUSHES SOFTY OFF THE BENCH) Did you hear that Gwyneth was arrested? The government just swooped right in and...gone.
PHIL: No possibility.
BOOPIE: Possibility. Computer hacking. She hacked into the Food And Drug Administration's website—
BOOPIE: FDA. Oh, that's right. FDA. You're so smart, Phil. She hacked into the FDA's website and changed the page that was all about eggs.
PHIL: No possibility.
BOOPIE: Changed all the "eggs" to "legs." (SOFTY FALLS. GETS UP AND TRIES TO SIT ON A LITTLE PIECE OF THE BENCH. BOOPIE PUSHES HER OFF)
PHIL: That's possible.
BOOPIE: Gwyneth is smart. You're smart, too. You could probably do what she did.
PHIL: True. But I wouldn't—it's illegal. You're telling the truth?
BOOPIE: Googly, googly, googly. (SOFTY GIVES UP AND SITS ON THE GROUND)
PHIL: Awesome. But not awesome. She's gone?
BOOPIE: Googly. Arrested. F-B-I. But I'm here, Phil. For you. (PHIL IS SHOCKED)
SOFTY: That's so shocking. That's so sad.
BOOPIE: Ain't no boulders on my shoulders.
SOFTY: I'm so shocked. I shared my Twinkies with her yesterday. I shared my Twinkies with a felon. (PAUSE) I'm so shocked...
BOOPIE: Want to be un-shocked? My mother's an emotional counselor and she's taught me the secret to happiness. I can teach you. Although, I don't think I can teach Phil. I don't think he can talk. Can you talk, Phil? (NO ANSWER)
SOFTY: I have to go home and immerse myself in cable tv.
BOOPIE: That's a good idea.
PHIL: You go, too. I need to be alone.
BOOPIE: I can help.
PHIL: No, please go. I'll talk to you in school tomorrow at lunch.
PHIL: Googly, googly, googly to infinity.
BOOPIE: (TO SOFTY) Come on. I'll get you happy on the way home. Hey, Phil. Your soul is flying! (NO ANSWER) Well, maybe it's just taking a nice stroll. See ya tomorrow!
SOFTY: Bye, Phil. (THEY EXIT. PHIL SITS STUNNED. HE GETS UP. PULLS A FLOWER FROM THE VASE. SITS. HE SMELLS THE FLOWER AND THINKS. ENTER GWYNETH. SHE SITS, AND OBSERVES PHIL FOR A MOMENT)
GWYNETH: Hi, Phil. (HE TURNS, STARTLED)
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