• Coming Home (The Musical)
On the Open Prairie:   
Little Baby Mine:  
Coming Home:  

Coming Home
(The Musical)

Daris and Donna Howard

Coming Home
Copyright ©1998 by Daris Howard
All Rights Reserved
CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that COMING HOME is subject to a royalty.  It is fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America, the British Commonwealth, including Canada, and all other countries of the Copyright Union.  All rights, including professional, amateur, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, and the rights of translation into foreign language are strictly reserved.
    The amateur live stage performance rights to COMING HOME are controlled exclusively by Howard Music and Publishing Company and royalty arrangements and licenses must be secured well in advance of presentation.  PLEASE NOTE that amateur royalty fees are set upon application in accordance with your producing circumstances.  When applying for a royalty quotation and license please give us the number of performances intended, dates of production, your seating capacity and the admission fee.  Royalties are payable one week before the opening performance of the play to Howard Music and Publishing Co., 1588 E. 361 N., St. Anthony, Idaho 83445.      
    Royalty of the required amount must be paid whether the play is presented for charity or gain, and whether or not admission is charged.  For all other rights than those stipulated above, apply to Howard Music and Publishing Company, 1588 E. 361 N. St. Anthony, Idaho 83445.
    Copying from this book in whole or in part is strictly forbidden by law, and the right of performance is not transferable.
    Whenever the play is produced, the following notice must appear on all programs, printing and advertising for the play, “Produced by special arrangement with Howard Music and Publishing Co.”
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Publication of this play does not imply availability for performance.    Both amateurs and professionals considering a production are strongly advised in their own interests to apply to Howard Music and Publishing Company for written permission before starting rehearsals, advertising, or booking a theatre.

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    I dedicate this musical to the good people of communities everywhere that make you feel like you are coming home when you are there.  I especially dedicate it to the good people of the Snake River Valley in Idaho where I grew up.
         Daris Howard

Dramatists personae
Smith Family
Richard (Ben) Smith - This has got to be a person that is about 40-50 but can be made to look about 80 with makeup.
Shauna Smith - A sophisticated lady who is about 40-50.
Susan Smith - A young lady of about 22-24 years of age.
Sally Smith - A young lady of about 14-16 years of age.
Tom - Susan’s fiance.  He is a young man of about 22-24 years of age.

Community People
Mayor (Ray Perky) - A sarcastic man of late 30's to 50 years old.
Bob Hansen - City councilman.  Older man made to be in his eighties.
Fred Jensen - A man of about 30-60 years of age.
Jed Coppinger - A man probably at least in late forties.  Leader of VFW post.
John Jones - A man of any age from twenties older.
Jim Stout - A man in age of about forty.        

Virginia Olsen - Young lady newspaper reporter of about 20-25 years of age.
Mary James - Lady that can be in age from about 25-40 years old.
Jenny Hampton - Lady probably in her forties or fifties. Leads women’s choir.
Mrs. Brown - Lady in her mid forties.  Old enough to have ten children, but young enough to have a three year old.            

Children and Youth
Billy Stout - A scout of about 12 or 13.
Cindy Stout - Billy’s little sister.  Probably about six.  She has no lines.
Dixie Brown - Little girl of about 3.  Possibly in pig tails and as cute as possible.
There could be more children and community people in the community scenes. Coming Home[Director’s Notes: In our stage we did not have curtains so we used side wings, floor, and blackouts to make the scene change effects.]
Act I ,   Scene 1

{The curtains open to a scene that is a town backdrop with old style buildings.  There could be a park type bench down stage left.   The music starts the minute the curtains open and plays under the next bit of dialogue. Ben is tipping his hat and saying hello to everyone he meets as they come on.}

Ben: Hello Mrs. Brown how are you today?

Mrs. Brown: I’m fine Ben.  Is this it?

Ben: This is it. {Just then the Mayor goes by and Ben turns to him.} Mayor have you talked to everyone else?

Mayor: I think I have.  You think they’ll like it?

Ben: We’ll see.  I just want everyone to be normal.  They must like it with everyone just being themselves.

Mayor: You don’t have to worry about that.  No one is ever different.

Jim: {Who has just coming in.} That’s the problem around here if you ask my opinion.

Mayor: Well no one did that I recall.

Jim: Now wait just a minute...

{Jim is cut off by Ben singing.  They all gather around Ben as he sings.}

Song - “It’s Going To Be A Beautiful Day”

Ben:  It’s gonna be a beautiful day
Everything is going just the way I planned.
To make dreams come true they say
Sometimes you need to give it a little hand.

Mayor: What’s this I hear you might be here for quite a while

Ben: You never know though I hope so if fate will only smile.

Town folk: It’s gonna be a beautiful day
Everything is going just the way you planned.
To make a dream come true they say
Sometimes you need to give it a little hand.

Ben: Sometimes you need to give it a little hand.
         Remember this is just a normal day.

Everyone: Normal, normal day.

{Everyone begins to fade off stage until it is bare.  Shauna. Smith comes in from stage left followed by her daughters, Susan and Sally.  Sally turns and waves from the direction they came.}

Shauna: Sally, stop it.  You don’t want to encourage him.   I have never been so humiliated in my whole life.  Riding in the cab of a tractor, all four of us with that ... that cowboy.

Susan: Well, at least we didn’t have to walk the five miles to town.  

Sally: And he was kind of cute.  How old do you think he is?  Sixteen, seventeen, maybe?

Shauna: Who cares.  The thought of having to stay the night in this, this, dumpy little town is more than a person can stand.  I can’t even get a signal on my cell phone.

Sally: But Mom.  Think of the excitement.  Think of the adventure.

Shauna: I think I can live without it on my resume.  I plan to get hold of your father and get out of here tomorrow with our without my car.  I’m going to make a call from that phone booth.

{She goes over to a phone booth that is at the corner of upstage right or she can go off stage.  Tom comes in looking quite bedraggled.  He has four big suit cases, one under each arm and one in each hand.  He has hand bags around his neck and at least one camera and is basically weighed down with as much luggage as a person can get wrapped around them.}

Sally: {Running over and taking the camera from around Tom’s neck.} Thanks Tom, I want to see if I can get a picture of the guy driving that tractor.

{As Sally pulls the camera loose it causes Tom to drop all of the bags.  Sally runs off stage with the camera.  As he is trying to pick things up Shauna comes back.}

Susan: Tom, you didn’t have to carry all of those bags.  You could have made a second trip.

Shauna: {Coming back on.}  Yes, Tom.  If we have to live out of those suit cases we don’t want anything broken.

{Tom begins to pick up the bags.  When he gets them all stacked he sits on the curb or suitcases or a bench..}

Susan: What did father have to say?

Shauna: Actually I got his secretary.  She said he didn’t even come in today.  She doesn’t know where he is.  

Susan: What about at home?

Shauna: The maid said she hadn’t seen him, which isn’t unusual since he has almost always gone to the office before anyone else is up.

Susan: He does know we’re on our way?

Shauna: Yes, in fact he was very insistent that I call the minute the car was packed and we were heading out the door.

Susan: Well, that’s it?  He must be planning a surprise.  I mean he missed graduation so he’s probably got something up his sleeve.   I can’t wait for him to meet Tom.

Shauna: He’ll be the one who surprised when we don’t make it home Sunday. {Shaking her head.} And he just had my Mercedes gone clear through.

Susan: Daddy won’t be worried yet.   It is a long trip from Chicago to LA.  We’ll just spend the night here and maybe our car will be ready tomorrow.

Shauna: Just what I wanted.  To spend my Friday night on Memorial Day weekend in a cow town.  There’s probably not even a restaurant.  

Susan: You did tell his secretary where we are didn’t you?

{Sally comes in from one side of the stage and Ben, with his cane, comes in from the other  The music starts.  The chorus begins to drift in behind as town people going down the street or they could be on stage doing things like changing a light in a street light, etc.}                            

Shauna: How could I tell her where we are.  I don’t  know the name of this town.  It’s not even on our map.

Song: Town Cast - “Small Town USA”

Mayor: Welcome to small town USA.
Everyone: Welcome to small town USA.
Male Chorus Solo: We are a dying breed
Male Chorus Solo: Some say we’ve just gone to seed.
All: Welcome to small town USA

Male Chorus Solo: The locals know your pickup and where you’re headed to
Male Chorus Solo: No need to use a blinker to tell folks what you’ll do.
Male Chorus Solo: Pickups here are all we drive, a dog ridin’ in the back.
Mayor: {To Jim} Combines in town knock you off the road
Jim: {Defiant} It was a truck with a cattle rack.

Councilman Hansen: {Splitting up the argument} Welcome to small town USA.
Everyone: Welcome to small town USA.
Jim Stout: A mayor elected by just ten votes.
Male Chorus Solo: Cows, and sheep and billy goats.
All: Welcome to small town USA

Female Chorus Solo: You can not have a secret ev’n if you wanted to, cause              even simplest doings are likely headline news.
Mary James: Dial wrong numbers on the phone, you know them anyway.
Jenny: Talk so long you forget your call or what you even meant to say.

Mrs. Brown:  Welcome to small town USA.
Everyone: Welcome to small town USA.
    Female Chorus Solo: First new baby of the year was born in the middle of June I hear           
All:  Welcome to small town USA

Basses: Welcome
Tenors: Welcome
Altos: Welcome
Sopranos: Welcome

Everyone: {with music}: Welcome to small town USA

{All the town people except the Mayor and Bob fade off.}

Sally: Mother, you should see what I saw.  Every pickup that went by had a dog in the back and there was this guy driving down the road with a pickup truck and his dog was standing on the spare tire in the back with his paws up on the cab and his ears just a flapping in the wind.  It was so funny.

Bob: Pickups are about all anyone drives and everyone knows dogs love pickup trucks.

Mayor: My dog thinks my only job in life is to be his personal chauffeur.

Bob: Sounds like a good job for you.

Mayor: Come on.  Let’s go give them dogs a ride.

{They begin to wander off.}

Sally: So where do you think we are?

Ben: This is Smithville.  Smithville, Wyoming.

Shauna: Smithville! {She sits down in shock.} Smithville!  It can’t be.

Susan and Sally together: Are you ok mother?

Shauna: We can’t be in Smithville.

Susan: Smithville?  That would be the town where Dad grew up.

Sally: Do we have any relatives here?

Susan: I don’t thinks so.  You’ve heard the story.  Dad was an only child as was his father before him.  Dad’s parents were killed in a tragic fire.  He lived with his grandfather until his grandfather died.

Shauna: That’s when your dad went off to college and met me.

Sally:  But if we have no relatives here why is it called Smithville like our last name?  

Shauna: I think it has something to do with your great-grandfather being the first to settle here in the late 1800's.

Sally: Why haven’t we ever come to visit?

Susan: Yes, Mother.  Why haven’t we ever been here before?

Shauna: {Disgusted.} Look for yourself.  Why, this town doesn’t even have a stop light.

Ben: Why do we need a stoplight?  We hardly see any traffic.

Shauna: The question is, do you even have a hotel?

Ben: Of course we’ve got a hotel.  It was even remodeled last year with more work planned.

Susan: This town has enough business to have it remodeled?

Ben: Well, I don’t know about that, but we felt it ought to have running water and electricity.

Sally: You mean the hotel only got running water and electricity last year?

Ben: Yip.  But it’s always had swimming.

Sally: All right, a pool?

Ben: I didn’t say a pool.  I said swimming.  {They look at him in surprise but he doesn’t explain but grumbles under his breath.} Tourists.  Give them swimming and they want a pool.  Next thing you know they’ll think they need indoor toilets. {Grabbing some suit cases as Shauna, Sally, and Susan look shocked at his last statement.} Come on, Mrs.  Smith, I’ve already got you a hotel room.  Tom can stay with me in my cabin.

Shauna: {Sarcastically.} Well, that’s very nice.

Ben: Come on Tom, I’ll help you carry the bags to the hotel.

{They pick up the bags.  Tom signals which bag is his and they leave it  and go off upstage left. Even as old as Ben acts he seems a bit spry.  The girls help their mother to their feet.  As she starts to follow Ben and Tom, Susan stops her.}

Susan: Mother, wait a minute.

Shauna: Oh, Susan.  Not now.  I can’t wait to put my feet up.

Susan: But, mother.  Don’t you think that was a bit strange?

Shauna: What?

Susan: How did he know that you’re Mrs. Smith?

Shauna: I don’t know?  Maybe he guessed.  You do look a bit like your father.

Susan: Then how did he know Tom’s name?

Shauna: How am I supposed to know?  Maybe he overheard us call him Tom.  Anyway, Susan I am really tired.  Can’t we get to the hotel?

{Ben and Tom come back on from stage left.}

Ben: We put your bags in your hotel room.  Here’s your key.  {Shauna takes the key.}

Shauna: Thank you, uh, I don’t think I caught your name.

Ben: {Pausing and stammering as if trying to make up something.} Uh, my name.  My name is uh,  Ben.  Ben Smith.

Shauna: Your last name is Smith too.  Any relation.

Ben: Just might be.  {The ladies exit stage left.  Susan stops and takes a questioning look at Ben, then follows the other ladies off.} So, Tom, tell me a bit about yourself.

Tom: Well, I... Wait a minute.  How do you know my name?

Ben: Oh, I know a lot of things.  So, how did you get engaged to Susan?  You two seem worlds apart.

Tom: Well I ...  Wait a minute.  How did you know I was engaged to Susan.  And how did you know her name?

Ben: Just call me psychic.  Now, how about my question?

Tom: If you’re so psychic why don’t you already know the answer?

Ben: Let’s just say my crystal ball has never been able to pick up things about women?  I’m not sure I’d understand them anyway.  Let me give you a little free advise for your wedding.  Don’t ever try to understand women.

Song - “I Don’t Understand Women”

Ben: I don’t understand women.  In the least little way.
They drive me crazy with what they do and say.
I don’t understand women. Heaven knows I always try.
I’m sure I’ll never understand them until the day I die.

All Men: I don’t understand women.  They just baffle and confuse me.

Mayor: With their logic they always lose me.

Bob Hansen: {Could be spoken.} Do they have logic at all.

{This next part is spoken as the music continues to play quietly underneath.}

Ben:  As I understand it, the good Lord made them that way to keep men guessing.  I mean, take one day you’ll go out and buy a women a blender or something to make life easier and she’ll say that you just buy things for her to work and nothing for her.  I mean she acts like you bought her a lawn mower or something.

Mayor: Yeah.  Take my wife for instance.  I asked her what she wanted for her birthday and she said “Surprise me!”  So I bought her a new trollin motor for my fishin’ boat.  Boy was she surprised.  But she wouldn’t speak to me for a week.

Bob: She wouldn’t?

Mayor: A whole week.

Bob: Maybe I ought to get a trollin’ motor for my wife.

Jim: But you don’t own a boat?

Bob: {As if ignoring him.} A whole week?

Mayor: A whole week.

All Men:  We don’t understand women.  In the least little way.

They drive us crazy with what they do and say.

We don’t understand women. Heaven knows we always try.

We’re sure we’ll never understand them until the day we die.

We don’t understand women.  They just baffle and confuse us.

Mayor: With their logic they always lose us.

Bob Hansen: {Could be spoken.} Do they have logic at all.

Bob: One night I came in and my wife was cryin’.  Not peelin’ onions or nothin’ just cryin’.  I ask her what was wrong, but she couldn’t tell me.  I thought it must have been something I had done.  I thought and thought.  “Honey”, I said, “is it because I bought you that size 20 dress when you only wear a size 12?”.  “No”, she said.  “Well”, I said, “was it because I spent $250 on a new shotgun?”  “No” she said.  Well there I sat confessing all my sins but to no avail.  Finally I said, “Honey, just why are you crying?”, “I don’t know”, she said, “but this has sure been interesting.”

All Men:
We don’t understand women.  They just baffle and confuse us.

Mayor: With their logic they always lose us.

Bob Hansen: {Could be spoken.} Do they have logic at all.

Tom:  So what do you do?  

Ben:  You just love them.

Tom: Just love them?

Mayor: Yip.   But don’t try to understand them.  It just don’t do no good.

{The next part of the song is slowed down quite a bit.}

All Men:
Though we don’t understand women.  We are so very grateful for them.
Jed Coppinger: Life would be so boring without them
Fred Jensen:   Boy that is no lie.

All Men: Though we don’t understand women.  Thank heaven they’re like they are.

Bob:  {To the mayor as they wander off.} Let’s go check out this new trollin’ motor of yours.

Mayor:  We can’t fish until tomorrow, you know.

Bob:  Who said anything about fishing.  We’re not going fishin’ were just drowning worms. {He laughs slyly as all but Tom and Ben exit.}

{The other men wander off as Ben and Tom continue.}

Ben: So how did you two meet?

Tom: We met in a calculus class.  Susan needed some help so I became her tutor.

Ben: You know her father is very rich.

Tom: I know, and I wish he wasn’t.

Ben: {Surprised.} You wish he wasn’t?

Tom: It seems that everyone expects me to be part of the family business.

Ben: What’s wrong with that?

Tom: I’m an architect.  I’m not a business man.

Ben: Perhaps you could build hotels or restaurants. That is what the family business is.

Tom: I want more than that.  I’m not a carpenter.  I want to make a difference in life.  I want to work to renovate beautiful architecture and design new ones of my own.  It’s as if to marry Susan I have to give up my dream.  

Ben: Wouldn’t you like to be part of the family fortune?

Tom: Not if I have to give up my life for it.  

Ben: Then why are you marrying Susan?

Tom: {Almost getting a bit disgusted.} You know Ben, some people do marry because they love each other.  I love Susan.  I just feel I have to give up my dream to marry her.

Ben: I’m sorry, Tom.  I didn’t mean to offend you.  I understand more than you may know.  I too had a dream once and let life get in the way.

Tom: Oh really.

Ben: Yes, but I am trying to correct it now.  I think we ought to get your stuff over to my house.  Then I want to bring you back and show you something.

{They exit off upstage right.  Susan and Sally come in from down stage left.}

Susan: This is the perfect opportunity.

Sally: What are we doing?

Susan: While mother is resting we are going to find out more about that old man, Ben.  There is something strange about him.

Sally: What do you mean?

Susan: He looks familiar and he knows too much about us.  And you know what else I just thought of?

Sally: What?

Susan: It’s as if he knew we were coming.  I mean, he even had us a hotel room.

Sally: That’s right!

Susan: Something suspicious is going on and it’s up to us to find out what.

Sally: Well, where do we start?

Susan: I don’t know?

Sally: You know what else I would like to do?

Susan: What?

Sally:  I would like to find something about Dad’s life here.  You know books, pictures, or people who knew him.

Susan: That’s it.  We’ll go to the library.  We can see if there is anything about Dad’s family and ask the librarian about Ben.

Sally: Oh, this is so exciting!  It’s like being private investigators.

Susan: {Pointing off stage left.} There’s the library and city hall all in the same building.  Come on.

{They run off upstage left.  Ben and Tom come on from upstage right.}

Tom: So what is so important that you want to show me?

Ben: {Pointing to the old buildings on the back drop.} These.

Tom: These what?

Ben: These buildings.  Ever since I was young I have loved  these old buildings.

Tom: {Examining the buildings suddenly gets excited.} You know I must have been too tired to notice these before.  These have a strictly western architecture that mimicked the Baroque.  It was developed in certain fast growing western towns.  Most of the towns ended up growing so fast that the buildings of this type were torn down and replaced with sky scrapers.  I have only seen these type of buildings in books.  This is wonderful. {Pausing to catch his breath a moment.}  Why do you think they were built here?

Ben: When I was younger this was a booming town.  But the lumber mill closed, the mines ran out, all farms began to be big operations instead of small family owned acreages and the population began to decline.  Most of these buildings are empty and there has even been talk of having them torn down.

Tom: They can’t do that!  These could be a few of the remaining buildings of this type of architecture.  They should be designated historic land marks.

Ben: Would you be willing to go to the city council tonight and talk about it?

Tom: Gladly.  I will need to make some notes and I need to do some sketches.

Ben: You get the material you need and I will visit with the mayor and city council to set up our visit for tonight.

{Tom goes off upstage right and Ben starts to go off upstage left.  He runs into Susan and Sally.  Sally is carrying a large book which she quickly hides behind her.  They smile and wave then Ben goes off stage and the girls come on to down stage center.}

Susan: I find it strange that the librarian didn’t know Ben.

Sally: I don’t know everyone who lives in L.A.

Susan: L.A. doesn’t have a population of 1057.

Sally: The mayor knew him.

Susan: Yes, but he wouldn’t say too much.

Sally: That mayor is a bit of a grouch isn’t he?

Susan: He wouldn’t get my vote if that’s what you mean.

Sally: {Starting to thumb through the book.}   Do you think this book on the history of the town will have Dad in it?

Susan: {As if deep in thought.}  I just want to know how he knows so much about us.   He just...

Sally: Oh, look, here is a picture of Ben.  His real name is Benjamin Alfred Smith.

Susan: With Dad’s name being Richard Benjamin Smith he must be some relation.  Let me see that.

{Sally hands Susan the book.  Susan reads the book a few seconds and then screams and drops the book.  Ben comes in from upstage.  Behind the girls and listens.  He can move back off stage as if hiding and stick his head out now and then.}

Sally: What is it?

Susan: That picture.

Sally: {Picking up the book.} Yeah, it’s Ben.

Susan: Read the full caption.

Sally: “Benjamin Alfred Smith.  Founder and first mayor of the town of Smithville.  This picture was taken about 1947, a few years before his death.”

 {She screams and drops the book.  They look at each other and then pick up the book, carefully looking at it again.}

Susan: You know what that means?

Sally: It means Ben’s a ghost.

Susan: It also means he’s Dad’s grandfather and our great-grandfather.

Sally: Do you think that is why he knows so much about us?

Susan: No doubt about it.

Sally: But he doesn’t look like a ghost.

Susan: Not all ghosts are white and scary.  I’ve heard of ghosts coming back and looking human.  And that would explain why the librarian didn’t know him, but the mayor did.  He probably is only seen by those he wants to be seen by.

Sally: Do you think it wasn’t just a coincidence that our car ended up breaking down by this town?  

Susan: It just seems impossible that in traveling all the way from Chicago to L.A. that we would break down here.  He must have caused it.

Sally: What do you think he wants?

Susan: I don’t know, but I think we better find out.

Sally: How?

Susan: Let’s see that book.

Sally: What are you looking for?

Susan: I want to find out where the old family farm is.  We are going to go out there and see if we can find out some more.

Sally: What about mother?

Susan: We better not tell her.  She is already upset about being here.

Sally: What about Tom?  He’s staying with Ben.

Susan: Tom is too practical to believe in ghosts.  Besides he might learn something?  Oh, here it is.  This shows the original farm.  The family farm isn’t far from here.  We can walk there in minutes.  Let’s take the book back to our hotel room and then we’ll go out there.

Sally: Mother might see it.

Susan: You’re right.  Let’s take it back to the library and have the librarian reserve it for us.  That way we can look at it any time we want.

Sally: Maybe we can get a book about ghosts too.

Susan: Good idea.

{Ben has come up right behind them.}

Ben: Hello, girls.  {The girls jump and scream.  They turn around and see him and scream again and run off stage left to the library.  Ben laughs a sly laugh.  He steps out in front of the curtain and it closes or he is spotlighted and it moves immediately into the next part.}

Act I ,   Scene 2
{This scene is played in front of a closed traveler curtain or somewhere to give a feel that you are in a different scene for the cabin.}

Ben: {As though he speaks thoughtfully if talking to himself.} Susan and Sally are already suspicious.  This might work out better than I planned.

{Tom comes running on from stage right, excited.  His arms are full of books, an easel and sketch pad and papers.}

Tom: Ben, I got the stuff I’ll need.  I want to go down to town square and do some sketches.

Ben: You go ahead. {Slyly.}  I have to prepare for some guests.

{Ben goes off stage right or into the cabin.  Tom drops some papers about center stage.  He turns and bends to pick them up.  Sally and Susan come in carrying a book, carefully backing so their backs are to Tom.}

Susan: This should be it.  If I am reading the map right this is the old farm stead.

Sally: {Referring to Ben.} Do you think “You Know Who”  is here?

Susan: I don’t know, but stick close.

Sally: What does the book say about ghosts?

Susan: {Reading for a second.} Here’s something?

Sally: What?

Susan: Why ghosts come back.  It says here that a ghost comes back for two reasons, one because they died in some violent manner and weren’t ready to leave.

Sally: How did great-grandfather die?

Susan: I think he had a heart attack while working on the farm.

Sally: That just sound natural.  What is the second reason?

Susan: It says here that they have some unfinished business.

Sally: Unfinished business?  Like what?

Susan: I don’t know.  Let’s see if we can find something around here to give us a clue.

{As they turn around they come face to face with Tom.  The girls start to scream.}

Tom: Hey!  Hey!  Stop!  What’s the problem?

Susan: Oh, thank goodness it’s you.

Tom: Who did you think it was?

Susan: Oh, somebody else.

Sally: What are you doing here?

Tom: {Pointing off stage right.}  I’m staying here with Ben.

Susan: This is where you’re staying?

Tom: Yes.

Susan: Do you know what this place is?

Tom: Yeah, it’s Ben’s cabin.  Why?

Susan: Oh, nothing.

Tom: We’ll if you’ll excuse me I need to run down to town center.

Sally: Wouldn’t you like to stay here with us?

Tom: Sorry.  Not now.  I’ve got to hurry or I won’t be ready for tonight.

Susan: Tonight?

Tom: Yes, Ben has asked me to go to the city council meeting with him tonight and make a presentation.  Gotta run.

{Tom starts to head off stage left but Susan stops him.}

Susan: Tom!

Tom: What?

Susan: Is there anything strange about Ben?

Tom: Well he is very interested in this old town.  He wanted me to check out the old buildings.  Oh, and he wanted to know how we met and he seems concerned about whether I wanted to marry you because your dad had a lot of money.  Gotta run.

{Tom runs off stage left.  Susan and Sally look at each other.}

Susan: That settles it.  If this is where Ben lives he’s got to be our great-grandfather.

Sally: Why would Great-Grandpa’s ghost be interested in whether Tom is marrying you because dad has lot’s of money?

Susan: Maybe he is trying to protect us.

Sally: Protect us from what?  You don’t think Tom does want to marry you for the money do you?

Susan: {Hesitantly.}  No.  But, I suppose there’s always the possibility.  Some guys wouldn’t give me a second look until they find out I have money.  I just want someone to love me for what I am.

Song: “I Want Someone to Love Me”

I want someone to want me,
I want someone to need me,
I want someone to love me
The way it ought to be
And we’ll both grow old together,
And share all our hopes and our dreams
Nothing will come between us ever
As we cross life’s mountains and streams
I want a very best friend
In whom I can believe
For his love won’t just end
And he will never leave.
Just to have someone I can confide in,
Someone who loves me for me,
Who is there when I am frightened,
Bringing strength and comfort to me.
I want someone to want me,
I want someone to need me,
I want someone to love me
The way it ought to be
The way it ought to be.

Sally: I just want someone whose tall, handsome, and athletic.

Susan: You would.

{Ben comes out from back stage and stands where the girls can’t see him but the audience can.}

Sally: If Great-Grandpa thinks Tom is trying to marry you for your money, do you think Tom might be in danger?

Susan: I don’t know.

Sally: And why do you think he is trying to get Tom interested in those old buildings?

Susan: I can’t imagine.

Sally: Maybe he is planning an accident for Tom in one of those buildings.

Susan: Oh, Sally you’ve seen too many scary movies.

Sally: Susan, I just had another terrible thought.

Susan: What is it?

Sally: What if Great-Grandfather is angry at Mother for never letting Father come back?  Maybe Mother is in danger. {Now really frightened.} Or maybe ... maybe it’s us.

Susan: Sally, who says anyone is in danger.

Sally: I saw a movie once where a car broke down and the people took refuge in an old haunted house and this ghost kept trying to kill them.

Susan: Sally, you’ve got to curb that active imagination of yours.

Sally: I just don’t want to be surprised.

Susan: Now, let’s see if we can find out something more about that ghost.  {`As they start to head across stage as if looking around, Ben slips back off stage.  The girls start walking on tiptoes across the stage.  As they get to the edge and turn and start back across Ben comes out and starts tip toeing right behind them.} Stay close.  He could be anywhere.

Sally: I’m right behind you.

Ben: Me too.

{The girls turn around and scream and run off stage.  Ben laughs and goes off as well.}

Act I ,   Scene 3

  {The curtains open as soon as the girls are ready to run on. Tom is busy sketching a diagram of the town’s buildings.  The girls come running on still screaming and running hard.}

Susan: Tom, help us.  He’s after us.

Tom: Who’s after you?

Susan: Ben.  He’s ... {They turn and look behind them but no one is there.}

Tom: Are you alright.  You look like you’ve seen a ghost.

Sally: We have.

Susan: Look Tom.  I know this is going to be hard to believe, but Ben is the ghost of our Great-Grandfather, Benjamin Alfred Smith.

{Tom looks at them seriously, makes a few faces, then busts out laughing.}

Tom: Sure, like when you borrowed the key to my apartment to make me dinner and instead filled by bed full of honey.

Sally: This is different.

{Ben comes in behind the girls and starts coming up behind them.}

Tom: So you are telling me you know what a ghost looks like.

Sally: No.

Tom: Do you know what a ghost acts like?

Susan: No.

Tom: Then why would you think he’s a ghost?

Susan: From some things we’ve read.

Sally: And he just seems to come out of no where.
Ben: Who?  {The girls scream and run behind Tom.  Tom laughs and Ben smiles.} You know, I think all of this commotion has gotten you two worked up.  I think you need some fun.  I talked to Jess Brown and he’s agreed to have you all go horse back riding tomorrow after the community fisherman’s breakfast.

Tom: Who’s Jess Brown?

Ben: Do you remember the young man who gave you a ride in his tractor?

Sally: {Brightening considerably.} Oh sure.  He’s cute.

Ben: Well, that’s Jace Brown and his Dad is Jess.  Besides running a big farm his family owns an Arabian horse ranch.  Jace said he would get six of their best horses ready.

Tom: Six?

Ben: You, Susan, Sally, Jace, Shauna, and me.

Tom: Oh, you and Shauna are going too?

Ben: I love to ride and Shauna shouldn’t miss this chance.

Susan: {Laughing and forgetting her fear for a minute.} Mother on a horse.  This I gotta see.

Sally: What is the community fisherman’s breakfast?

Ben: Fishing season opens the Saturday before Memorial Day so the town celebrates with a big breakfast and patriotic community events.

Sally: How fun!

Tom: Now if you ladies will excuse us we need to finish up some last minute arrangements.

Susan: I think Sally and I will run over to the library.  Come on Sally.

{The girls run off stage to take the ghost book back.}

Ben: How’s it coming?

Tom: I’ve got enough of a sketch down to help them understand the building structure.  Is there any way I can borrow your phone to make a call.  I would like to see what it would take to get them on the National Historic Register.  

Ben: Be my guest.  I’ll help you carry your stuff and I’ll gladly pay for the call.

{As they are gathering up the papers and books Shauna comes in carrying an umbrella.  She can hook it on the back of the bench.}

Ben: Shauna, did you have a nice rest?

Shauna: {Grouchy.} I’ve slept on rocks more comfortable than that bed.

Ben: Did you try out the swimming?

{The girls come back on.}

Shauna: Swimming?  You call a rope swing over the river swimming.  

Sally: Oh, Mom.  I can’t wait to try it tonight.

Shauna: Well, you’re not going to get me on it.  I’m not going to act like any Tarzan fool out in public and neither is any daughter of mine.

Sally: Oh, Mom.  We’ve got to.   It’ll be fun.   And we all get to go horse riding tomorrow too.

Shauna: Horse riding.  Do I look like the kind of idiot that would climb on the back of a one ton monster that doesn’t have a brake and a gas pedal?

Ben: Oh sure it does.  They’re called a bridle and spurs.

Shauna: Sure that’s easy for you to say.  You who doesn’t know any better than to live in this out in the middle of nowhere no account cow patch worthless place you call a town.

Ben: Woman, you have insulted my town.

Shauna: Oh, and what do you plan to do about it?

Ben: {Thinking a minute then calmly turning to Tom.} Tom, may I borrow one of you scrolls. {Tom unsure hands him a long scroll of paper.  Ben casually takes it.} Thank you. {Quickly without warning wacks Shauna across the face with it.} I challenge you to a dual.

Shauna: Why you old prune.

{She grabs her umbrella and brings it up to wack him.  He perries it with his cane.  They perry back and forth.  Ben is driving her back and with a strong blow wacks the umbrella away.  Like in the old movies he flips it back to her.}

Ben: City living’s made you a bit soft has it?

Shauna: Soft! Soft!  We’ll see who’s soft.

{Shauna is now mad and she comes back with full force.  She begins to drive Ben back.  It looks as if Shauna is going to get the best of him.  Then they both swing hard together.  The force twirls them both around and they fall on the ground sitting up facing the audience.  There is a second of silence then Tom busts out laughing.  Soon he is joined by the girls then Ben.  Shauna looks at them all another second then she too starts to laugh realizing how silly that must have been.}

Ben: {Getting to his feet and helping Shauna to hers.}  Madam, if you will call it a draw, so I don’t lose my dignity, I will treat everyone to ice-cream at the Cow Palace.

Shauna: The Cow Palace?

Ben: They serve the best home-made ice-cream you ever tasted.  You’ve got to try their double banana split with 16 scoops of ice-cream called the Big Heifer.  Why if you can eat the Big Heifer by yourself in under 30 minutes it’s free. Jimmy Carlson did it once and walked around town with a stiff neck for a week.

Sally: That sounds good.

Shauna: Yes, that does sound good.  You’ve got  a deal.

{Shauna and Ben shake hands.}

Ben: {As he leads them off stage right.}  I’m going to buy each of you a Big Heifer.  When you order it they give you a bib with a pig on it and if you can eat it all you get a t-shirt.

{The others all look at each other and move off stage right as the back curtains are closed to cover the back drop.  Black out.  

Act I ,   Scene 4

{ This scene is played out in front.   A table is put on with few chairs around it for the city council with a row of others for the guests.   They could even be putting them on during this scene as though setting up.  When lights come up Shauna, Sally, and Susan come out from stage right.  All of them, but Shauna are wearing bibs with a pig on them that say: “I made a pig of myself at The Cow Palace, and that’s no bull.”  Shauna is carrying hers.}

Shauna: Well, this must be the city council room. {Noticing the girls behind her.} You girls take those bibs off.

Sally: But Mother.  They’re so cute. {She holds it up so the audience can see it and reads.} “I made a pig of myself at The Cow Palace and that’s no bull.”

Susan: {Taking her’s off.} That sure was a lot of fun.

Shauna: Yes, it was fun, but you don’t want to be seen in public wearing them.

Sally: {Leaving it on.} Ben said, around here wearing it is a matter of pride.

Shauna: Where are Ben and Tom?  I thought they were right behind us.

Susan: They’re getting their t-shirts.

Shauna: Their t-shirts?

Sally: Yes.  Remember, if you can eat the whole Big Heifer you get a t-shirt even if you don’t finish it in thirty minutes.

Shauna: I will never understand men.  They were only half through and  were full yet they had to finish the whole thing just to say they did.  Susan, take my advice and don’t ever try to understand men.

Song - “I Don’t Understand Men”

{The women start coming on as the song starts and join in and the men come in at the end for the reprise, both on opposite sides of the stage.}

Men! Men! I don’t understand Men, Men!
I don’t think anyone can
They’re so confusing

Female Chorus Solo: And Men, Men, they’re so funny

    Female Chorus Solo: Men, Men, they think that they must be macho and heaven knows why.
Jenny: Neither do I
Female Chorus Solo: And yet with a good baked pie they melt like they will die and
Female Chorus Solo: Yes, that’s why we don’t understand men.
Mrs. James:
When God wanted life to make sense of course we all know then
He made his best creation and he called it women

Shauna: Some night you’ll have a candlelight dinner and wear your most ravishing evening gown and he’ll say, “What a beauty!” but he’s not looking at you but at some sports car that is driving by.

Men! Men! I don’t understand Men, Men!
I don’t think anyone can
They’re so confusing

Female Chorus Solo: And Men, Men, they’re so funny

    Female Chorus Solo: Men, Men, they think that they must be macho and heaven knows why.
Jenny: Neither do I
Female Chorus Solo: And yet with a good baked pie they melt like they will die and
Female Chorus Solo: Yes, that’s why we don’t understand men.

Mrs. James: They’ll take you out into the backwoods with no power, no kitchen, and no bathroom and when you wake up in the morning with a backache from sleeping on the ground they’ll say, “This is the life, isn’t it?”

Jenny: And he can sit quietly and watch a crash up derby where a bunch of idiots are destroying each others cars, but ten minutes into an opera he is asking when it will be over.

Shauna: And they think burping is cool.

Sally: The boys at school do that.

Shauna: Where do you think they learned it?

Susan: So what do you do?

Shauna: Just love them.

Mrs. James: Yeah.  Just love them.  Cause you’ll never understand them.

{Men and women together, see music.}

Women:                Men:
Men!  Men!  I don’t understand men    We don’t understand women
I don’t think anyone can        In the least little way
They’re so confusing                                    We don’t think we’ll ever                 And Men, Men, they’re so funny                understand them
Men, Men, they think that they must    In what they do or say.
Be macho and heaven knows why    I don’t understand women
Jenny: Neither do I            Heaven knows I always try
Women: Yet with a good baked pie    I’m sure I’ll never understand
They melt like they will die        them
Yes that’s why I don’t understand men     Until the day I die.
                    I don’t understand women they
                    just baffle and confuse me.
                    With their thinkin’ they can lose
                    They just keep me wondering why.

Though we don’t understand them.  We are so very grateful for them.
Jed Coppinger: Life would be so boring if we were the same
Jenny:   I’m so glad we’re like we are.

All: Though we don’t understand them.  Thank heaven they’re like they are.

{Sally now notices Tom and Ben  wearing a t-shirt that has the pig phrase on the back and on the front it has a picture of a sick cow and says: “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.”  They are carrying their bibs.}

Sally: Tom, what does the sick cow on your t-shirt say. {Tom stand up proudly so Sally can read.} “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.”  Oh, Tom I love it.  Can I wear it some time?

Tom: Sure.

Ben: {Taking his off.} Here, Sally, you can have mine.

Shauna: Just don’t wear it in public.

Ben: Why not?  Around here it is a badge of honor. {He burps real loud.  Then embarrassed. } Excuse me.  Now I could eat another gallon of ice-cream.

{The men and Sally laugh,  Shauna looks disgusted.}

Shauna: I do want to thank you for the ice-cream, Ben.  It really was the best I’ve eaten.  And I do want to apologize for what I said about this town.

Ben: I know this isn’t convenient for you being stuck here, but maybe you can enjoy learning some of the things your husband loved about this town.

Shauna: I think I just might do that.  By the way, how do you know so much about Richard?

Ben: Oh, he and I go way back.  

Shauna: But how do you know so much about him now.

Ben: Oh, uh, ... I keep in touch with him. {Trying to change the subject.}  I appreciate you coming with us to the city council meeting.

Shauna: It beats lying on that lumpy bed in that dull hotel.

Sally: Especially since it doesn’t have a T.V.

Ben: There aren’t any stations you can pick up really well anyway.

{They fill in the very back row of visitors chairs.  Soon the room begins to fill with people.  The council members take their chairs around the table.  The others fill in the visitors section.}

Mayor: {Striking a claw hammer or fence hammer on the table.} The meeting will now come to order.  I am Mayor Ray Perky.  I welcome you all to Smithville, Wyoming City Council meeting.  We have a lot to cover tonight.  Ben Smith has brought some guests to cover an important issue and we will take it last.  We will start off by letting everyone know that we have a new reporter from the regional newspaper, based over in Cow Pie, Wyoming,  The Cow Pie Examiner.  Miss Olsen will you stand and introduce yourself.

Virginia: Hi I’m Virginia Olsen, just new on the Examiner staff from New York City and I just wanted to say ...

Mayor: Ok, thank you.  Your ten seconds are up.   We want to keep these meetings less than a half hour.  It’s not like I get paid executive wages for this job.  Before we have all of our guests introduce themselves and any concerns they have I would like to introduce the council members and staff.  First we have our secretary, Mrs. Mary James.  Mrs. James please stand.  Next is council member Bob Hansen.  Mr. Smith will you please stand and be recognized. {He’s asleep, snoring.}  Mrs. James will you please wake Mr. Smith.

{She nudges him.}

Bob: {Instantly alert.}I vote no.  Absolutely not.  We like things just the way they are.

Mrs. James: Councilman Hansen, Mayor Perky just wanted you to stand and be recognized.

Bob: Everyone here recognizes me.  I’ve lived here all of my life.  Wait a minute, I see some new people with Ben and {pointing at Virginia} who’s this new filly.

Virginia: I am Virginia Olsen a new reporter for the Cow Pie Examiner and I would just like to say ...

Mayor: Hold it.  Your ten seconds were up.

Bob: What happened to Jim?

Virginia: He retired.

Bob: Retired!  Why that lazy old ink blot.  He couldn’t be more than 81 or 82.

Mayor: Are you two quite finished?  I would like to wrap up this meeting before the snow flies.  Now we would like to go around the room and have everyone introduce themselves and what issue they are bringing to the council meeting tonight.  Let’s start with you Mr. Jensen.

To read more, please purchase the script.

Shauna, Susan, and Sally Smith, and Susan's fiance, Tom, find themselves in a small town for Memorial Day weekend when their car breaks down. It isn't just any town and fun things begin to happen.

Scripts Needed (minimum): 20

Performance Royalty:  None needed

Cast: 8+Male, 7+ Female, Many others

Time: 2.5 hours

Sets:  Lots of small sets, uses backdrops if available

Author/Composer/Lyricist    Daris Howard  (Bio)

Arranger:    Donna Howard (Bio)


       Shauna Smith and her two daughters, Susan and Sally, along with Susan's fiance, Tom, find themselves in a small town for Memorial Day weekend when their car breaks down. It turns out to not be just any town but the town where Shauna's husband, Richard, grew up, though none of them have been there before. 
        It seems too much of a coincidence to have just happened. The old man, Ben, seems to know them as well. Susan and Sally also find a picture of him in a history book about the town and believe he is the ghost of their great-grandfather, Ben, who had died many years earlier. Why does he want them there? 
        The people of the town add humor by just being their ordinary selves. Soon everyone begins to love the town. They soon realize that the town needs them and they begin to love the simpler life. 
        The ending has some interesting twists as Richard shows up. He thought he had planned the whole thing, but soon finds out perhaps he was just part of a plan by Ben. 
        For a real fun, community musical, this is one you will want to do.  For the play version see Coming Home (The Play).

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Coming Home (The Musical)

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