PLAYS by KEITH JOHNSTONE
“Many people find my adult plays disturbing but isn’t the whole universe disturbing? Anyway, be warned. And I apologise for not being about to write more comfortable plays. Here are extracts from a few of the ones I like.”
~ Keith Johnstone
SHORT (TILT) PLAYS
Additional plays and other writings are available through Keith Johnstone Workshops Inc. and/or in the Keith Johnstone Papers at Stanford University Archives. If you are interested in acquiring and/or producing a Keith Johnstone play or publishing literary content (including artwork) created by Keith, please contact Keith's literary executor.
An excerpt from the play by Keith Johnstone.
(The opening speech)
Crusoe (PLEASED WITH HIMSELF) My name is Crusoe - Robinson Crusoe -
and this is the island on which I was shipwrecked by Mr. Daniel Defoe
in the book which is a landmark in the history of the English Novel.
I'm quite self-supporting here. I grow my own food, and I dress
myself in the skins of the animals that I kill. And of course I fish
in the sea surrounding the island - that's where you are!
This is my parrot that I have taught to speak: (TALKS LIKE
VENTRILOQUIST) "Polly wants a cracker! Polly wants a cracker!" - and
you see me now on the famous day when I discover the footprint in the
sand. (HE WAITS) I should be seeing it any moment now in fact!
FRIDAY RUNS IN, SEES AUDIENCE, PLONKS FOOT DOWN IN FRONT OF CRUSOE,
RUNS OFF AGAIN. MAYBE HE PEEPS AROUND EDGE OF THE FALSE PROSCENIUM AS
Great heavens! There it is! The water still oozing into it! Am I
dreaming? Can it be my own? (CHECKS SIZE AGAINST OWN). No....Ah! I
hear a cry!
Friday (OFF-STAGE) Ahhh!
Crusoe Stealthily I crawl to the top of a dune and part the branches
of a small bush. (MIMES THIS. MAYBE HE PICKS UP A BRANCH TO PEER
THROUGH?). Oh! Dreadful sight! A pack of cannibals have got a prisoner
in a pot and the Cook is seasoning him! Seized by an overwhelming
revolution, I sight my musket, and fire! Reloading with extraordinary
HE CLEANS THE 'GUN', POURS IN POWDER FROM A BABY POWDER-TIN, MIMES
PUTTING IN THE BULLET, USES RAM-ROD TO PRESS IT HOME, ETC.; ALL THIS
DONE AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE, I.E. FRANTICALLY, WHICH TAKES QUITE A
.......I discharge again. And by exposing myself on the sky-line,
(THRUSTS PELVIS FORWARDS) I put them to flight.