by Fred Passmore copyight 2004
Characters: Miss Mary Hart, G. Willikers (the dummy), Nurse Wendy Daye. Also a female voice is needed offstage to come over an intercom.
Note: This script requires a female ventriloquist for the part of Miss Hart. Alternatively, you could have someone offstage on a mic provide the lines and voice for the vent figure, or dummy.
Setting: The inside of a patient's room in a nursing home. A small bed, with a table and lamp beside it.
Props: Puppet or vent figure, a suitcase for it to fit it, wheelchair.
NOTE: Your actors deliver the dialog and you play the background music and effects tracks as listed in the script to enhance your performance.
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(If you are using the Supplemental Skit Trax CD, begin Track #18, the skit open music.)
(A nurse carefully pushes a wheelchair into the room containing an elderly woman, Miss Hart.)
Nurse: And here is your room, Miss Hart. I'm sure you'll be happy here at Shady Glen Rest Home.
(The nurse positions Mary facing the front of the stage and moves to stand beside her.)
Mary: (Smiling.) If everyone here is as kind as you are, Nurse Daye, I'm sure I will be. And call me Mary, please!
Nurse: Thank you, Miss Har... Mary. Please call me Wendy. Would you like to get in bed to rest some after your trip?
Mary: Not just yet, sweetie. I'd think I'd just like to sit in front of the window here and watch the sun set a little while.
Nurse: All right. (Indicating the bags and suitcase by the door.) As you can see, everything has been brought in for you. We can arrange the room and decorate it like you wish tomorrow when you've rested.
Mary: Thank you. Before you go, would you mind handing me that suitcase over there? The old one.
Nurse: (As she picks it up and hands it to her.) My, this certainly looks like it has been around.
Mary: Oh, yes, it has... around the world several times, in fact. (She holds it in her lap.) Thank you.
Nurse: (Laying a hand on her arm, she pats it as she speaks.) Just push the button by the bed if you need me before I get back from my rounds, Mary. (She goes to leave the room.)
Mary: I will, Wendy. Take your time.
(As Nurse Wendy is about to exit, she pauses for a moment and, unseen, looks back at Mary with a tender expression. She seems to know her better than one having just met her. She then leaves.)
(Mary opens the battered suitcase on her lap as the nurse is leaving, tenderly lifting out a ventriloquist figure or puppet, that of a little boy. She puts the suitcase on the floor beside her, then lifts the figure onto her lap, regarding it affectionately. She straightens his clothes and brushes his hair back with her hand. Then she leans back and gazes out of the window.)
Mary: Such a beautiful sunset. (Sighs wistfully.) Looks like it's just us again, eh, Willikers?
(The figure slowly raises it's head, her arm inside it.)
Willy: Just like old times, Mary.
(He looks at her and she smiles, leaning forward to touch her head to his.)
Mary: And what times they were, my knotty little friend. Traveling around the world, helping children laugh... and learn about Jesus.
Willy: And not just the children.
Mary: Heavens, no. Remember the old headhunter chief?
Willy: How could I forget? He wanted to take me apart to see how I talked! I almost lost my head!
Mary: He thought it was the Jesus we spoke of, inside you speaking!
Willy: Well, he wasn't far off. Your words were coming through me, and Jesus' words were coming through you!
Mary: (Tilting her head.) Why, so they were. You always have such a way of putting things, Willy. I can always depend on you to make things clear and simple for me.
Willy: Hey, "simple" is my middle name!
(Nurse Wendy steps back into the room with a glass of water for Mary.)
Nurse: Miss Hart? I mean, Mary... (She glances around the room.) I thought I heard you speaking to someone.
Mary: Oh, just entertaining myself a little. There's nobody here but me... and my old friend, G. Willikers.
Willy: (The puppet turns it's head to look at the nurse.) How ya doing?
(The nurse sees the figure and stares.)
Nurse: Oh, my goodness... you... you still have him!
Mary: Beg pardon?
Nurse: The dummy!
Willy: (Indignantly.) Beg pardon?
Nurse: (Covers her mouth to stifle the amazed laughter, she kneels to look at him closer.) I'm sorry. (She looks at Mary.) He's the same one you had... all those years ago.
Mary: I'm sorry, I don't quite understand...
Nurse: I didn't tell you this before... but when I was only ten years old, you came to my church for a children's revival... with Mr. Willikers!
Willy: Call me Willy.
Nurse: (Speaking to him as a real person, as a child might.) Willy... you made me laugh... and cry. And I asked Jesus into my heart, just like you said I should. And I've never forgotten what... (She chokes up and wipes a tear that surprises her.)
(Mary smiles and Willy looks at her and nods.)
Nurse: (Recovering.) ...What you taught me. (Looks back at Mary.) That was almost twenty-five years ago... and you still have him.
Mary: Well, of course, Willy has been my partner in the ministry for... nigh on 57 years, now. He's a part of me!
Willy: And she's a part of me! I guess that goes without saying. So, where she goes, I go! (Leans forward.) Not that I have much choice... (Looking back to Mary.) But I would anyway!
Nurse: (Touching his face gently.) He still looks the same as he did back then.
Mary: He's weathered the years much better than I have, I'm afraid.
Willy: Except for that bout of wood fungus I had a few years back, I'm in pretty good shape. (He looks at Mary and the nurse.) Sorry I can't say the same about you folks!
Mary: Willy! Be nice.
Nurse: He seems so real... actually alive.
Mary: He's as real as I am.
Nurse: But... he is you.
Mary: (Quietly.) Exactly.
Nurse: (Nodding slightly in dim comprehension, she stands back up.) Would you like to get into bed now? I know you must be tired after your trip.
Mary: I think so, dear. I am getting a bit peaked now. (She sets down the G. Willikers figure on the suitcase.)
Nurse: Alright, let's get you comfortable. (The Nurse wheels Mary over next to the bed, then helps her get out of the chair. As they do this, they talk.)
Mary: Well, dear, it's good to see how nicely you turned out. You've devoted your life to helping people. Are you married, have you any children?
Nurse: (Helping her in to bed.) Oh, no... I guess I've always been kind of married to my work. I never took time for a family. Most of my love goes to my patients here. I'm quite attached to them.
Mary: And I know they're attached to you! I feel that way already... after all, you became a Christian from listening to me and Willy. So, in a way, we're family!
Nurse: That's true! (Covering her and adjusting her pillow so she can sit up.) There you go. Would you like the TV remote?
Mary: No, thank you. TV rots the brain. I like to keep mine active.
Nurse: Well, then...can I get you anything?
Mary: Just Mr. Willikers, if you will.
Nurse: (Smiling, she picks him up carefully and hands him to her.) Here you are. Just press the call button if you need anything and I'll be right here. (Walks to the door.) Anything else I can do before I go?
Mary: Just tell me this...
Nurse: (Turning back.) Yes?
Willy: (Turning his head and finishing the sentence.) How is it with you and Jesus now?
Nurse: (Pausing, she is taken off guard by the question.) I... I'm afraid I haven't really been... I mean... (She puts her hand to her mouth.) I have to go. I'll stop back in later... before I leave. If it's not too late.
Mary: It's never too late, Wendy... as long as we breathe.
(Wendy swallows, nodding wordlessly, and hurriedly leaves.)
Mary: Oh, my... I think we touched a sore spot..
Willy: Speaking of sore... you should have told her how much you're hurting.
Mary: (Shrugs.) There's nothing she could do except give me another pill. I'm tired of pills.
Willy: You know, you're going home soon, Mary.
Mary: Home? Not likely. I have no-one there. I have no-one anywhere, left alive.
(She sighs and wipes her eyes with her free hand.)
Mary: I find myself thinking often, lately, of Sis, and Momma, and Poppa. Sometimes, just as I'm about to drift off, I seem to hear their voices, calling me. I've even heard little Scooter barking with joy, like he used to when I would come home. I wonder, Willy... does that mean I'm crazy?
Willy: Crazy? Are you nuts? Your mind is just as sharp as mine!
Mary: That's not very reassuring, Willy.
Willy: And just because you talk to a dummy doesn't mean you're crazy, just...
Willy: Yeah, that's it. Just a little eccentric. Besides, if you were crazy, I'd be the first to know, wouldn't I? But, when the dummy begins to talk back... that's when you should worry!
Mary: (Laughs, then becomes serious and sighs.) You're all I have left, Willy. Never settled down long enough to marry. But I remember when I was a little girl... I wanted children someday, and I would put a doll on my knee, and talk to it, and for it, and pretend it was my child. Strange, to think of that now. (She coughs.)
Willy: You have children, Mary. You have children all over the world... the children you touched for God, who were born into His kingdom because of you.
(Mary considers this, then closes her eyes.)
Mary: What a wonderful legacy. But I'm tired, Willy. So tired. I need to rest a little.
Willy: (With great tenderness.) "Come unto Me, and I will give you rest, Mary."
Mary: (With her eyes still closed,she breathes the name is welcome recognition.) Jesus...
(She opens her eyes again, looking around as if expecting to see Him. Reacting to this, Willy looks around too, as if wondering what she is looking for. He turns back to her and they look at each other oddly.)
Mary: I've always wondered something, Willy...
Willy: And what's that?
Mary: Who are you, really?
(Willy does a double-take.)
Willy: Whaddaya mean, '"who am I?" You are startin' to lose it! (He turns his head toward the door and raises his voice.) Hello, Nurse? Bring in that pretty white jacket with the loooong sleeves!
(She remains serious, touching his mouth to close it.)
Mary: No, you say things sometimes, things so wise, and I have no idea where they came from. You tell me things I don't know. How is that possible?
Willy: (Gently.) Aw, you know 'em alright, Mary. All God's children have that small, still voice inside of them. Not too many ever take the time to listen to it. But you just let me make it be heard.
Mary: So those times when there seemed to be more to you than just me...
Willy: Well, Mary, there's more to you than just you, you know. God's Holy Spirit dwells inside you. And sometimes He just bubbles up and spills over into me!
Mary: No wonder you seemed so alive...
(She pauses, a sadness coming into her eyes and voice.)
Mary: I wish you could live forever, Willy. One day, soon maybe, I'll die, and it makes me sad to think that you'll die too... No more days to brighten for the poor children. No more smiles brought to faces that have only known sorrow. When I'm gone, your voice will be silent forever.
Willy: What you do for Christ lives on, Mary. It will last forever.
(Mary falls silent for a moment, her eyes closed. She seems to be on the verge of dozing off. Suddenly she opens her eyes.)
Mary: Did someone just call me?
Willy: (Looking back and forth.) I didn't hear anything.
Mary: I must have been dozing. (Wonderingly.) I seemed to dream that I was a child again... night was falling, and Momma was calling me to come home. Inside, where the lights were shining warmly, and laughter rang out.
Willy: (Knowingly.) It's time for you to go home, Mary.
Mary: (Dawning.) Home... to be with Jesus? You think so?
Mary: You were right, Willy! I am going home!
Willy: I'm so happy for you!
(Begin Track #19, Mrs. Hart Goes Home music.)
Mary: Oh, but Willy... I-I'm going to miss you so. I regret leaving nothing behind in this life, except you.
Willy: Ah, I'm nothin' but some wood and cloth. Get outta here.
Mary: No, you're more to me than that. You were my partner in ministry, my secret pal... you kept me from being lonely, and you encouraged me to keep going when I felt like giving up. And you never complained about all we went through.
Willy: Well, I didn't like having to travel in that beat-up old suitcase, but other than that, it was great. But don't worry about me, Mary... you know that what you give to God, you can never lose. I'll always be with you. Like you said, I'm a part of you. Where you go, I go! So, knock off the waterworks, already!
Mary: (Looking up, she sees something invisible to the audience.) Oh, my!
Willy: What is it, Mary?
Mary: (With awe, she lifts a hand to shade her eyes a little as she looks,) It's... heaven! I can see it!
Willy: Tell me about it!
Mary: Oh, it's so lovely and bright! (She puts her hand to her mouth.) So many people... and angels! And there's Momma, and Poppa, and Sis! They're waving to me! (She waves a little wave back.)
Willy: (Looking up.) Hey, I think I can see it too! There's little Scooter, even! Hey, little buddy!
Mary: (Raising her eyes a little higher, they shine with joy.) Look! It's...it's HIM!
Willy: Go on, Mary... go to Him!
Mary: (She sits up as if to leave, reaching toward her Savior.) I'm coming, Lord!
(She slowly leans back in the bed, her eyes closing, her head slumping to be next to G. Willikers, who also slumps to lean against her. She is gone, but a smile remains on her lips.)
(The nurse comes into the room just then. The previous track, #19, should be ending by now.)
Nurse: Mary? I've got some medication to help you rest better. (She reacts to the silence and looks closer.)
Miss Hart? Are you...? (She feels for a pulse, and feeling none, slowly lowers her hand. She is blinking back tears as she rises and moves to push the call button.)
Charge Nurse: (Just a voice over a mic.) Yes?
Nurse: This is Nurse Daye in Room 103. Miss Hart... has left the building.
Charge Nurse: She's missing?
Nurse: No, she's... departed this world.
Charge Nurse: Oh... (Then urgently.) Oh! I'll call a code blue!
Nurse: No... Miss Hart had just filed a non-resuscitation request. She went peacefully.
Charge Nurse: Alright... I'll inform the Doctor on call right away.
Nurse: Thank you.
(You hear a general page over the intercom, which is offstage on a mic.)
Charge Nurse: Paging Dr. Brown, Paging Dr. Brown. Please call the front desk, stat.
(Begin Track #20, The Gift Goes On music.)
(She goes back to Mary and leans over the bed, placing a hand on her forehead gently.)
Nurse: I'm sorry I wasn't here to be with you when your time came, Mary. (Seeing the puppet against her.) But... I don't think you were ever really alone, were you? Oh, Mary... The world will never see your like again. But I know you're happily at home now. (She gazes at the motionless Willy and touches him.) And the kids will miss you too, Mr. Willikers. I wish I had done more for the Lord after you brought me to Him. I always wanted to do what Miss Hart did, sharing the Gospel with puppets, but I let my work get in the way. And now it's too late.
(She stands, and wipes her eyes as she turns away. But then she stops and looks back.)
Nurse: Or... is it? She tried to tell me... it's never too late... as long as you breathe. (She moves to Mary and gently lifts the figure from her arms, regarding it.) I think Miss Hart would rather me have you, than to see you end up anywhere else. Maybe it's not too late to do what I was called to do... Maybe you and I can be partners, Willy. Maybe we can work together to cheer up some of the patients here. I think Miss Mary Hart would be happy about that... very happy.
(She walks to the door, carrying Willy like a child.) "Miss Wendy Daye and her pal, G. Willikers." It has a nice ring to it, don't you think?
(She has put her arm inside Willy and he turns his head toward her, then nods silently. She smiles at him as she concludes:) Yes, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship!
(She leaves, turning off the light. The music playing comes up and ends the drama.)
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