EDSEL GREENWAY: Grampa (age 80-90) (M)
Edsel's granddaughter (age 40-50) (F)
ALLY GREENWAY: Ida's daughter (age 10-15) (F)
HALL: Ida's nephew (age 10-15) (M)
(Son of Ida's sister, Eva Greenway Hall, who does not appear in the play.)
Winning Drama for Young Audiences
Children's Play About Love, Friendship and Growing Up!
ArtReach Touring Theatre, One Act Drama for Young Audiences
THE SHINING MOMENT
William Henry has come to stay with his cousin for the summer. He craves the attention he never got from his own parents. Somehow he understands that Grampa's time is at an end when he has this dream...
WILLIAM HENRY: Aunt Ida tucked me into my little bed on the sleeping porch. She told me she was glad I came to stay and kissed me. When she left I could hear her humming down the hall. In a little while she switched off the last light and it was dark.
(IDA & ALLY start humming "Silvery Moon" and move away from each other. They hum quietly and sway to the music.)
WILLIAM HENRY: I lay pretty quiet for awhile getting lazy in my mind and thinking dazy thoughts.
WILLIAM HENRY: When all of a sudden there was a...
IDA & ALLY: Whoosh!
(IDA & ALLY move around stage creating a violent atmosphere.)
WILLIAM HENRY: Like you never heard and a...
ALLY: And buzzing!
WILLIAM HENRY: Like some ferocious space ship is falling...
ALLY: Plum out of the sky!
WILLIAM HENRY: It was...
IDA: And whooshing!
WILLIAM HENRY: And then the darkness just rips apart with a terrible...
IDA & ALLY: SCREECH!
WILLIAM HENRY: And it's bright like you're standing in a spotlight only it's all around everywhere you look and things are glowing and looking hot and red like there's a fire...
IDA: Only there's no fire!
WILLIAM HENRY: I jump out of my bed and run to the window...
ALLY: But the light's so bright!
WILLIAM HENRY: It hurts my eyes. So I take off running and tearing down the steps and out of the house like a wild Indian and I'm calling Ally! Aunt Ida!
IDA: Ally! Aunt Ida!
ALLY: Ally! Aunt Ida!
(IDA & ALLY & WILLIAM HENRY twirl frantically calling "Ally! Aunt Ida!". This commotion builds then suddenly stops.)
WILLIAM HENRY: Then all of a sudden it's gone, it's over. It stopped.
(IDA & ALLY have stopped upstage with back to audience.)
WILLIAM HENRY: And there I am. I'm standing in the middle of the yard and my feet are all wet and cold from the dew. I can see the soy bean plants rustling their leaves across the ground like little rippling waves on a pond. It was all peaceful.
WILLIAM HENRY: That's when I saw him.
(IDA & ALLY turn around and look out at a fixed point beyond the audience. They gasp.)
WILLIAM HENRY: I could see his outline like a scarecrow standing way out far in the field and he's got his arms held high and he's swaying back and forth in the breeze and pretty soon I know it's Grampa standing straight and tall and swinging around like he's got a bat in his hand like he's hitting a ball with all his might.
IDA: But there's no bat.
WILLIAM HENRY: He's only pretending to hold something.
ALLY: And there's no ball flying nowhere.
WILLIAM HENRY: Just then a sound from the house creeps up gentle on me and in awhile I can tell it's music, it's such pretty music!
(IDA & ALLY sing "la-la" to Brahms' Lullaby, circling in opposite directions around WILLIAM HENRY .)
WILLIAM HENRY: I don't know how I knew but I was sure in my mind that Ally was playing my records only the record player worked now and the sound was like a whole chorus of sweet ladies singing lullabies!
IDA & ALLY: (whispering building) Billy Boy... Billy Boy... Billy Boy...
WILLIAM HENRY: And Grampa's swinging away and he's calling something now but I can't tell what he's saying and he's pointing to the black sky and we both look up...
(IDA & ALLY stop calling and all look up, follow comet across the sky.)
WILLIAM HENRY: ...and there's a baseball that's made of yellow...
IDA & ALLY & WILLIAM HENRY: Fire!
WILLIAM HENRY: ...with a tail that's streaking through the sky like some kind of secret salute!
(They pause looking at comet then WILLIAM HENRY drops to the ground and gestures out. He is almost in tears.)
WILLIAM HENRY: Grampa!
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