The Artificial Play Projection System by Wyatt Johnson


Back alley of New York

Curtains still closed, Announcer walks to the center of the stage

David: Welcome everyone! My name is David Walker. Investors, future stockholders, and hopefully future customers, what you are all about to see will completely change not just Broadway, but all forms of staged performances. Welcome to the first public showing of The Artificial Play Projection System, or APPS for short. APPS are capable of completely generating life-like visuals and sounds, meaning we no longer have to build sets, buy materials or costumes, heck! We don’t even need to hire actors anymore. APPS does everything a human can do and better, not to mention the projectors are so good the average person won’t even realize the things on stage aren’t even real! The only thing this bad boy needs is a narrator to tell it what to do. And heck, you could probably just have pre recorded messages do that too! (calmly) But for today we will actually have someone, and you will be hearing their instructions. Normally you wouldn’t be able to, but for demonstration purposes, today you will. So when you hear this sound (Buzzer), that’s when you know they’re talking to the computer, and when you hear it again, that’s how you know they’ve stopped. Now without further ado, what do you all say we get this show on the road? Welcome, TO THE FUTURE!

David exits stage


Over the intercom you hear the narrator getting situated

Narrator: All right… (shouting away from the microphone) Everything ready!?

David: (distant voice) Everything’s on, just read the script, and you’ll be fine!

Narrator: Well, if everything’s ready (Buzzer) Setting is a back alley in New York, Jessica Hunter is sitting in the alley smoking a cigarette. Michael enters and Jessica is curious as to why he is there.  (Buzzer).

The curtains open to reveal a NewYork Back Alley with Jessica Hunter sitting there smoking a cigar

Narrator: That’s a cigar, not a cigarette… Whatever close enough.

Michael enters, sits close to Jessica

Michael: Would you rather win an Olympic medal or a Nobel prize?


Jessica Hunter: What?

Michael: It’s an ice breaker.

Jessica Hunter: Um, ok.

Michael: So?

Jessica Hunter: I would rather win a Nobel.

Michael: Why?

Jessica Hunter: I value human intellect over strength I guess?

Michael: And why is that?

Jessica Hunter: (annoyed) What do you want?

Michael:  We’re both kinda just here and I was just trying to make conversation.

Jessica Hunter: And why are you here exactly?

Narrator: (Buzzer) Michael is in this alley for a very similar reason to Jessica. They’re both trying to step out from this party, Michael because of his friends, and Jessica because of her evil father. (Buzzer)

Michael: I just don’t really care for this party, but my friends wanted to go, and they’re kinda my ride home.

Jessica Hunter: Yeah, I’m in a similar situation with my father.

Michael: Your father a party guy?

Jessica Hunter: No, not exactly, he just uses these parties as an excuse to meet with… coworkers.

Michael: Coworkers, huh?

David: (distant) (to narrator) Hey dude, you missed your line!

Jessica Hunter: We’ll go with that.

Michael: And are you a fan of these “Coworkers?”

Jessica Hunter: He’s not cheating, if that’s what you’re thinking.

Michael: Oh, sorry for assuming.

Jessica Hunter: It’s fine.

David: (closer) Heyyyy buddy, I don’t know if you noticed, but you were up, like, I don’t know, 4-5 lines ago?

Narrator: What? Oh. (Buzzer) Jessica doesn’t have a mother; she never knew her. Throughout her life, she has seen her father date 9 different lovers, all of which he was very loyal to. So she quickly went to dismiss Michael’s suspicion. (Buzzer)

David: (annoyed) Good thing you were only VERY late.

Narrator: L-look, I can fix this, one mistake is easily recoverable. I doubt it even caused that much damage

David: Oh, really? Alright let’s see then.

Michael: Party’s almost over; your dad and my friends will probably be looking for us soon.

Jessica Hunter: Yeah, you’re right. You gonna head out then? Avoid seeing my dad?

Narrator: Wait, the party is ending? (audible page flipping) That’s not supposed to happen for a while.

Michael: Why do you not like him or something?

Jessica Hunter: What? Oh-no, I fucking love my dad.

Narrator: (overwhelmed) That’s.. You’re not supposed to like him… ok um…

David: Not much damage huh?

Narrator: Shut the fuck up I’m thinking!

Jessica Hunter: I was just saying since he’s the leader of the Mafia and all…


Michael: Your dad’s part of the Mafia?

Jessica Hunter: Do you seriously not know who I am? Or what this party is?

Michael: Am I supposed to?

David: You know, the longer you don’t say anything, the more it will just make shit up right?

Narrator: (Stressed) (Aggressive Page flipping) I know I know, I’ll just.. Um.. uh…

David: (mockingly) Mhm, for sure.

Narrator: Screw it, we’re skipping ahead. (Buzzer) Benjamin Hunter enters stage, and confronts Michael about his intentions with his daughter! (Buzzer)

Benjamin Hunter and his Nine wives enter stage

Narrator: (More stressed) Who the hell.. Why are you here?!

David: I don’t know about you, but last time I checked the script, this guy was hopelessly alone.

Jessica Hunter: Hey, guys!

Benjamin Hunter: Hey, honey, are you ready to go? (notices Michael) Oh, hello.

Michael: Hi-

Wife 5: (Very angry) WHO ARE YOU!?!?!

Wife 4: (Quietly, trying to mask her voice) Let’s not bring too much attention to us; the last thing we need is all my fans trying to get my autograph.

Wife 3: (Aggressive Southern Accent) Darlin’, y’all was in one movie, and it flopped harder than a fish out of water. Let’s just take a breath and settle down a bit, ok?

Wife 4: (Gasps offendedly)

Wife 5: We are not ignoring that this BOY is FIDDLING with our daughter without our permission!!

Wife 8: Do you even know what “fiddling” means?

Wife 6: She doesn’t know a lot of things

Benjamin Hunter: Ok, let’s try not to insult each other-

Wife 5: You’re missing the point!

Wife 1: Oh my god, She doesn’t need our permission; she’s almost 18 for god sake.

Wife 2: (High as shit) Oh man, I can’t believe she’s already almost 18. How time flies…

Jessica Hunter: Oh, lets not start this…

Wife 3: Well, shucks, I just can’t believe she’s done gone and grown up on us.

Jessica Hunter: Guys, please.

Wife 2: (still high) Wow, can you even fathom the fact that it’s been such a long time? I mean, it feels like just yesterday we were plucking you from that- uhh… What’s it called? Place?

Wife 1: Adoption center?

Wife 2: YEAH, adoption center.


David: She’s adopted?

Michael: You’re adopted?

David: Hey, that’s what I said.

Jessica Hunter: Yeah, why?

Michael: It’s just that, you know, you have nine moms. You’d think that one of them would be, you know, the mom.

Wife 9: That would give that mother more power than the others.

Michael: What?

Wife 6: Think about it: if one of them was the biological mother, then they would have been able to use that in order to put themselves above the rest of us.

Wife 7: Listen kid, we wanted to avoid any “I’m the true mom” arguments. This way we all had equal say over her.

Benjamin Hunter: To be honest, I just wanted to adopt. Going to that adoption center and bringing a kid home with me, knowing that altered their life for what would hopefully be the better. It just felt good.

Michael: Wow, for the head of The Mafia, that was oddly sweet.

Benjamin Hunter: Nah, it’s all right kid, I get that a lot. Most Mafia families are just people hungry for power, but I like to think that ours can be like a real family. Especially to those who need it.

Jessica: Awww, Dad.

They hug

Wife 9: (subtle crying)

Wife 8: Are you seriously crying right now?

Wife 9: (trying to hold back the tears) I’m sorry, that was just so sweet. How are you not crying?

Wife 8: Come on, we both know that I’m not a bitch like you and can only cry if its in a large group

Wife 7: (begins to cry)

Wife 8: Oh, come on.

Wife 7: (trying not to cry) I’m s–*sniffle*–sorry it– it’s just that *sniffle* the speech, and then the hug *sniffle.* And with there being ten of us *sniffle* he–*sniffle*– he doesn’t *sniffle*– he doesn’t get a lot of time with her an–*sniffle*–and It was just so sweet. (sobbing)

Wife 6: (starting to cry) 

Wife 8: Oh, not you, too!

Wife 6: (trying not to cry) I’m sorry– it’s just. I can’t believe she’s all grown up.

Wife 5: I’m sorry (begins to hold tears) I’m– I’m sorry– It’s just–Wife 3: (crying) Aww shucks, now y’all got me crying.

Wife 1: (crying) What are we gonna do when she moves out? We–we won’t have our little girl around anymore! (sobbing)

Wife 4: Come on, guys, what did I say about drawing attention towards us? I don’t want my fans seeing us like this!

Wife 7: (crying) Sh–shut up. Your movie freaking sucked; no one’s gonna want your autograph! 

Wife 4: Tha– thats so mean! (cries)

Wife 8: (beginning to cry) Come on guys, dammit, now I’m crying!

Wife 2: (still high) You know what everyone, bring it in. We all just need to hug it out.

All the wives huddle together and cry

David: (subtle crying)

Narrator: Are you seriously crying right now?

David: Shut up, I’m invested.

Narrator: Ok, well this has seriously gotten out of hand, (Buzzer) Pause (Buzzer)

Everyone on stage freezes

David: You could have done that the whole time?

Narrator: Honestly, I can’t believe that worked. That was out of complete desperation.

David: Well, hit play. I wanna know what happens next.

Narrator: As much as I would love to know what happens after, whatever that was. (Buzzer) Benjamin Hunter hates Michael. (Buzzer)

David: What are you doing?

Narrator: Fixing things… (Buzzer) Jessica Hunter proclaims her love for Michael betraying her father (Buzzer)

David: STOP! You’re going to ruin the play!

Narrator: Sorry man, boss says the play needs to end as he wrote it. (Buzzer) Michael is set on saving Jessica from her family. (Buzzer)

David: Come on, you don’t understand. This is the most interesting story that this thing has generated. We can’t ruin it now!

Narrator: Sorry, man, I need this job. (Buzzer) The nine wives– 


David begins to fight the narrator for the microphone

Narrator: Dude, what are you doing?!

David: (crying) I won’t let you ruin their perfect family any more!

Narrator: Dude, are you serious?! The longer this goes on for, the more the audience will realize that the system is frozen! I need this job man, so just back OFF!

David: You know that fish you brought for lunch? That precious meal you only get once a month? If you don’t stop this, I will march my way down there, and EAT IT!

Narrator: You wouldn’t dare!

David: Oh, I would, so GIVE ME THE MICROPHONE!

Narrator: Dammit dude get off!

He pushes David off him

David: (Crying) Please, just– don’t do anything to the wives!

Narrator: I’m sorry man; it’s just– oh no!

David: What?

Narrator: We never turned it off.

David: Turned what off– oh my god.

Narrator: Everything that just happened, it’s–

David: It’s going to interpret it all into the story.

Narrator: GOD DAMMIT DUDE! Why did you do this!?

David: Well, turn it off!

Narrator: God dammit (Buzzer).

David: (Buzzer) Unpause (Buzzer)

Everyone unfreezes, wives still crying

Narrator: WHY!? You know what? Get out.

David: No! I must save the wives!

Narrator: I said get out!

Narrator is forcing David out of the room in the background

Wive 1: Oh shit guys, guys you got to get off me.

Wive 6: Why, what’s wrong?

Wive 1: Crap, it’s that time of the month again. Sorry, I’ll be right back.

Wive 6: No, we’ll come with you. (to Jessica and co) We’ll be right back guys.

The nine wives exit stage

Michael: What happened to her?

Jessica Hunter: Oh, she has a… condition.

Michael: Like what? Did she leave to get her meds or something?

Jessica Hunter: Well, um…

Benjamin Hunter: You’ll see.

The Nine wives reenter stage, covering Wife 1 so she’s out of site

Wife 4: Ok, listen kid, If you’re gonna date Jessica–

Michael: Never said I was

Jessica Hunter: (shocked, disappointed) You don’t want to?

Michael: (shocked) What- do you want too?

Jessica Hunter: Well– I mean– sure, yeah.

Michael: Well, I mean– if you want to–

Jessica Hunter: Sure.

Michael: Wow, um. All right, sweet.


Wife 4: Ok um– well, if you’re gonna do that… you know what it’s easier if we show you.

All the wives step aside to reveal that Wife 1 has turned into a humanoid fish.

At the same time, the narrator finishes pushing David out of the room and returns.

Narrator: Ok, he’s finally gone– (notices). What the fuck happened?

Michael: What the hell is that?

Jessica Hunter: That is one of my moms.

Michael: But– its– what.

Wife 1: Sorry to disappoint you kid. Turns out mermaids aren’t as flattering as humans expected.

Michael: Mermaid– but– what–

Benjamin Hunter: If you can’t accept this, then you’re not dating my daughter.

Jessica Hunter: I can date whoever I want.

Michael: No, he’s right. It’s completely my fault for being shocked by that woman turning into a fucking fish!

Benjamin Hunter: Ok,.. fair. But still.

David: (aggressively banging on door) Hey, man! I forgot to tell you!

Narrator: Go away!

Michael: You know what? I’m sorry. It’s just a lot.

Narrator: I fucking hate this play. (Buzzer) All the nine wives leave and are completely forgotten (Buzzer).

All the wives exit stage

David: Look, I’m sorry, but this is seriously important!

Narrator: I don’t care! (Buzzer) Benjamin hunter declares he will never allow their love.  (Buzzer)

Benjamin Hunter: You know what? I never want to see you again boy!

Jessica Hunter: Dad!

David: Seriously, man you gotta listen to me!

Narrator: Even in the original script, this ending is stupid. (Buzzer) Jessica Hunter yells at her father about how he changed after her mom’s death. (Buzzer)

Jessica Hunter: After mom died, you never let me do anything, dad! I’m dating this boy, accept it!

Benjamin Hunter: You’ve known him for like 10 minutes!

David: They can hear everything! The audience can hear everything you’re saying!

Narrator: (Buzzer) Pause (Buzzer)

Everyone on stage freezes


David: They have it set to where the audience can hear your commands so they can understand how the system works! They heard everything!

Narrator: … Are you serious?

David: Yes! I’ve been trying to tell you!

Narrator: What about the TV broadcasts?

David: Everyone. Heard. Everything.


Narrator: (to the audience) Hey! How’s everyone doing today? Um, well it appears that I have very slim odds of keeping my job, so… Screw it. (Buzzer) A meteor hits the Earth and everyone dies. (Buzzer)


Narrator: Oh right, (Buzzer) Unpause (Buzzer)

Everyone drops to the floor and the set collapses and gets set on fire. Curtains close and the play ends