A One-Act Play About A Man In A Straw Hat

Oh No, The Wind Has Taken My Hat!
by J. Effry Skowden

Characters
Winslow
Marsh

[There is only one set used throughout this play: a bench in the middle of a sprawling city park, with a street light left of the bench, and 3 very large, unusual bales of hay to the right of the bench. It is high noon on a windy Sunday afternoon. A large fan is off-stage ready to simulate the wind upon cue.]

[Lights up. Our main character is Winslow, a dapper middle-aged man wearing a honeysuckle-colored three piece suit, complete with bolo tie and very prominent straw hat. The straw hat should be about 20 inches in diameter. He begins the play sitting on the bench with several plastic bags at his feet. He has just come from the local grocer. He is whistling for the first 2 and a half minutes of the play.]

Winslow (post-whistling, sing-songy)
I’ve got some peas and carrots, you’ve got a lot of parrots
My name is Winslow Door, your name is Candy Moore
Oh what a lovely frock, would you like to hop your socks
My favorite birds-a-hummin’, this freight train’s-a-comin’
My cousin’s name is Rudy, give me a slice of-

[The singing is cut short as Marsh appears from the right. She looks over the bales of hay as she takes a seat on the bench as far away from Winslow as possible. She is in her mid-2os and 8 and a half months pregnant. She’s wearing a brown sweatshirt jacket, a tank top, pregnant woman stretch pants and Converse Chuck Taylors. She has not showered in 3 days.]

[Marsh looks over at Winslow and is immediately uncomfortable. She pulls out her phone and starts playing with it. Winslow has not taken his eyes off of Marsh. He pulls breath spray out of his jacket pocket and sprays his mouth 7 times with it.]

Winslow
Hello, my dear. What brings you to Chesthair Park on this lovely afternoon?

Marsh (still looking at her phone)
Just having a seat, trying to rest up…

Winslow
That’s quite a load you’ve got in your undercarriage there, when will you be sprouting?

[Marsh looks over at Winslow, clearly annoyed by his lack of tact and charm. She positions herself so he cannot make eye contact with her. Winslow also adjusts himself so he will not be ignored.]

Winslow
Is this your first time?

Marsh
Listen dude-

[The fan turns on offstage and immediately blows all of the hay from the hay bales onto Winslow & Marsh. They are getting blasted face first with hay from this “gust of wind.” Winslow’s hat blows away off of his head and off stage. They are trying to shield themselves from the wind and hay, but upon losing his hat, Winslow becomes manic.]

Winslow
MY STRAW HAT! HEAVENS TO BETSY, NO!!!

[Winslow begins running around the entire set looking for his hat, as the wind keeps blasting them with hay. Marsh is still sitting on the bench, trying to shield herself. At this point all of the hay should be blown from the bales and the fan can be turned off. The “wind has died down.” Marsh is brushing all of the hay off of her. Winslow has come to a resting state on his knees in front of the bench.]

Marsh
Jesus Christ…are you alright?

Winslow
NO I’M NOT FUCKING ALRIGHT YOU BITCH, I JUST LOST MY STRAW HAT!
I LOOK LIKE A LUBED-UP ASSHOLE WITHOUT IT!

Marsh
Whoa dude, chill the fuck out!

Winslow
NO, I ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT. AHHHHHHHH!!!

[Marsh gets up, brushes all the hay off of herself. She gives Winslow the finger right in his face and begins to walk away.]

Winslow
Wait!

[Marsh stops in her tracks and looks at Winslow. Winslow turns to the other side of the stage, and a cane is thrown to him from offstage. The closing musical number is about to begin!]

“I Lost My Hat, But Made A Friend”
words by J. Effry Skowden
music & choreography by Tone Bonier
[very similar to the tune of Camptown Races]

I lost my hat, but made a friend, doo daa, doo daa
Fine young woman with a bun in the oven, all the doo daa day
I don’t know her name!
What’s her child’s name?
Gonna try to pork her now, hope she likes sorbet

[At this point in the song, Winslow is about to embrace Marsh for a passionate kiss. Marsh pushes him away and knocks him to the ground. She produces pepper spray from her sweatshirt jacket and sprays him in the eyes and does not stop. At this point, a large banner is unfurled from the rafters and it reads “LOVE TRUMPS HATE.” The spraying continues as Winslow screams in absolute pain all the way until the lights go down and the curtain closes.]

The End!

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