Dramatic, by Ken Bradbury, 1997

They told Jack-Boy not to go into the swamps. Therein lived the most evil creature — Ol' Marlybone. Of course, Jack-Boy doesn't listen. Powerful drama.

The number and gender of characters can be changed to accommodate available participants. Price is for a master script. Make as many copies as is required for your ensemble.


20 - 25 minutes

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  • 23 Characters

Product Id: #707

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An excerpt …

CONGREGATION: Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound

                                  That saved a wretch like me.

                                    I once was lost but now I’m found

                                   ‘Twas blind, but now I see. (they continue to hum)

CALLICO: (over the music) It weren’t yesterday, but it seem  like …

YARN WOMAN: It seem like yesterday …

CALLICO: When that Jack Boy he fought that awfulest  fight.

YARN WOMAN: That awfulest  fight in the Scoagie Swamps.

CALLICO: Like no other fight you ever seen in the hills of old ApPalache!

YARN WOMAN: In them weird an’ mystifical hills!

CALLICO: ‘Tweren’t nothin’ but a tale so some folks said!

YARN WOMAN: Not so! ‘Twas the gospel!  True I say! You listen to me!

(Jack goes into the forbidden swamp.)

(swamp noises)

JACK: This is ain’t no good place. This ain’t no good place a’tall! There’s somethin’ here and I can feel it! My daddy, he told me to neva neva go in these old Scoagie Swamps. He tell me there be spirits here that even the Great God Almighty couldn’t whup!

PREACHER MAN: That be a lie!

JACK: Preacher Man!

PREACHER MAN: That be hog-wash and you know it, Jack Boy! There ain’t nothin’ that the Great God Almighty’s a-feared of and you know it!

JACK: I guess I do. But sometimes when I get skeered, I guess I don’t.

PREACHER MAN: Whether you do or whether you don’t, don’t make a tinker’s dif’rence to the Great God Almighty, Boy!

JACK: But Preacher Man, what if ole Marleybone, he get me?  He get me like he got my Pa and my Grandpappy?!

PREACHER MAN: They was weak, Jack Boy. They wasn’t strong like you. They didn’t have your gift!

(Jack finally meets Old Marlybone.)

MARLEYBONE: Why, don’t chu know ‘bout Marleybone? I’m s’prised you asked!

            I ruled this land ‘fore you were born, I raised myself on the rotten corn!

            Back ‘fore your family stumbled here ‘twas me that ruled the mornin’ air!

            Marleybone! They called me Lord! ‘Fore your GrandPap talked ‘bout God!

            I ruled the land, I ruled this sea, I ruled ‘bout far as you can see!

            ‘Til your old GrandPap started preachin’, it ‘twas me that ruled with all my legions!

JACK: What chu want with me, Marleybone? I ain’t done nothin’ to you!


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