Maple Lawn Summer Theatre

1972 “Frankenstein”


1973 “The Real Green Giant”



1974 “A Mistake in Time”

Plop001 Plop002
1975 “The Plop”

from John R Moore III 15 Jan 2005
To All:
I was banging my head on rafters, digging through my attic yesterday, and came across the handwritten original plays of the Maple Lawn Summer Theater. I thought some of you might be interested in reliving the pain (Ha!), so I typed them out in Word so you could enjoy. I also found some of the original programs, so I’ve scanned those to include also. I had one photo of the theatrical action, of me playing Detective Brown (I always had a way of writing myself into the man-of-action parts. Ha!)

John R Moore III as Detective Brown; Susan Lawrence as the Old Woman; and James E Moore as the Green Giant.
1973 photo by Catherine Lawrence now Spruill

I realized, at re-reading the plays, that the Koestlers were not around during the subsequent plays after the first year’s production of, Frankenstein. Because of this, they missed out on participating in the follow-on plays. Despite this, I have great memories of participating in “The Vault of Horror” radio shows we made to tape cassettes, and later on in the horror movies that we all produced together.
Trivia for those die-hard Maple Lawn Summer Theater buffs: I do not know who came up with the idea to have a play there at Maple Lawn those many years ago, but I suspect it was Cathy because I do remember her starting to write the play Frankenstein and then dropping it (for reasons I can’t remember). I picked up where Cathy left off, with Scene III of Frankenstein, and the change is noticeable with lots of explosions and death and very little dialog. Ha! Love, John (J.R.)

————–the scripts of the plays performed at the Maple Lawn Summer Theatre


By: Cathy Lawrence & J.R. Moore 1972

Scene I

Narrator: Here in the laboratory of the evil scientist, Dr. Victor Frankenstein, for the first time a man-made human has been created.

Dr. Frankenstein: Igor, connect the electrodes. It’s time to bring the corpse to life.

Igor: Yes, yes, master!

Narrator: In just a second a miracle will be performed by the evil Dr. Frankenstein.

Dr. Frankenstein: Turn on the power!

Igor: Yes, master!

Dr. Frankenstein: Now‚ Full power!

Frankenstein waves his arms in the air.

Dr. Frankenstein: Life! I have succeeded! Success‚ success!

Igor: Very good, master.

Frankenstein gets up from the table and knocks Dr. Frankenstein and Igor down and runs out of the castle.

Scene II

Young Woman: It’s so beautiful out here tonight, but I feel a chill of fear in the air.

Steven: That is because we stand in the shadows of Frankenstein’s castle. I‚’ve heard rumors about that place; about bodies, which disappear from graves.

Young Woman: Oh Steven, you frighten me! Please be quiet.

Steven: Oh yes, my Dear! Forgive me, I didn’t mean to be cruel.

Narrator: At this same time, the eyes of Dr. Frankenstein’s evil creature watch the happy couple.

Frankenstein jumps out and seizes the young woman by the arm.

Steven: Stop! Let her go!

Steven takes out a pistol and fires at the Frankenstein but he still walks on.

Scene III

Narrator: Back in the laboratory, Dr. Frankenstein and Igor have regained consciousness.

Frankenstein comes in with the young woman. The young woman gets away but Igor catches her.

Dr. Frankenstein: Very good Frankenstein, I can use her in my next experiment.

Igor: Good‚ good!

Dr. Frankenstein puts the young woman on the laboratory table.

Steven comes into the room.

Steven: Stop, you fiend creator of demons!

Steven unties the young woman and walks to the door. Frankenstein holds on to a lever.

Dr. Frankenstein: Don’t pull that switch or you will blow us all up!

Steven and the young woman run out of the room and Frankenstein pulls the switch and blows up himself, Igor and Dr. Frankenstein.

The End


The Real Green Giant

By: J.R. Moore © 1973

The scene is an old lady sweeping, a troll sleeping, a frog sitting, and the Little Green Sprout lying down, eating Niblets Corn.

Narrator: Tonight we have a real treat in store for you; a musical comedy entitled “The Real Green Giant.”

There is a big booming sound. The troll wakes up, the old lady stops sweeping and points in the direction of the sound.

Old Lady: Here comes the Jolly Green Giant.

Everyone: In the valley of the Giant

Giant (off stage): Ho, ho, ho!

Everyone: Green Giant!

The Giant comes in and as he does he steps on the Little Green Sprout. When the Giant steps on the Sprout, the Sprout waves his arms in the air.

Giant: Who stole my Niblets Corn?!

Everyone starts talking at once.

Troll: The old woman probably did it.

The Troll grabs the Old Lady.

Old Lady: Is that any way to treat an old lady, you lout?

She hits the troll with her broom and the troll lets go.

Old Lady: The Frog did it!

Narrator pulls a thread that is connected to a bug, to make it look like it crawls across the floor. The Frog grabs the bug and looks like he eats it.

Frog: I prefer insects than corn.

Giant: I’m going now, but I will be back.

Giant walks out and as he does he steps on the Sprout, and the Sprout waves his arms in the air.

Frog: Well there’s only one person left, the Troll.

All eyes are on the Troll.

Troll: Who me?

Everyone grabs the Troll.

Troll: No, I didn’t do it!

Suddenly there is a big crashing noise. The Giant comes in holding a stalk in his hand and wearing a sad face.

Giant: The beanstalk broke!

Everyone: Hickory, Dickory, Dock. The Giant climbed up the stalk. The Giant fell down and hit the ground, Hickory, Dickory, Ho, ho, ho!

Giant: I still want to know who stole my Niblets Corn.

Frog & Old Lady: We think the Troll did it!

Troll: or the Frog!

Frog: or the Old Lady!

Old Lady: or the Narrator!

Narrator: What!

Frog: Luckily, I called for Detective Brown.

The detective walks in.

Detective: My name is Detective Brown and I am here to find the guilty party.

Giant: Then who is it?

Detective: I have studied this strange phenomenon very closely, and I have drawn a conclusion that if my calculations are correct, I have solved this baffling mystery.

And the guilty party is the Little Green Sprout!

Everyone looks at the Green Sprout eating the corn.

Giant: Now why did you go and do that to your poor old Giant?

Sprout: Because you’re always stepping on me.

Everyone starts laughing. The Giant walks out with the Sprout.

Troll: There goes the Jolly Green Giant.

Everyone: In the Valley of the Giant

Giant (offstage): Ho, ho, ho

Everyone: Green Giant!

The End


A Mistake in Time

By: J.R. Moore © 1974

Scene I

Narrator: Our science-fiction play opens at the computerized laboratory of Prof. Hoffman. Her lab technician, John Moore, awaits further instructions on the trial run of the professor’s new invention, the time machine.
John is under the machine making some final adjustments with a wrench.

John: All finished.

Prof. Hoffman: Good, then everything is in readiness.

John: Then let’s go over our equipment one more time. Watch?

Prof. Hoffman: Check.

John: Pistol?

Prof. Hoffman: Check.

John: Nap Sack?

Prof. Hoffman: Check.

John: First Aid Kit?

Prof. Hoffman: Check.

John: Canteen?

Prof. Hoffman: Check.

John: Mess Kit?

Prof. Hoffman: Check.

John: Then we’re all ready to go.

The two get into the machine and the engine is started. The time machine moves back and forth and the lights are turned off as the scenery is changed.

Scene II

Narrator: Unknown to the two explorers, they have stopped in medieval times when knights in armor battled to the death with swords of iron. The door swings open on the machine and the two get out. They are grabbed roughly by two knights. A maiden, standing nearby screams as John breaks free.

Knight #1: They are evil demons; kill them.

Knight #1 draws his sword.

Prof. Hoffman: Don’t kill any of them; it could have an effect on something in the future!

Knight #1: I will strike your head from your very shoulders!

Knight #1 swings down his sword, but John blocks it with a piece of wood. The two have a terrific battle until Knight #1 grabs Prof. Hoffman.

Knight #1: Put down the wooden shaft, or I’ll split her throat before you can wink your eye!

John: I’ll put down this stick all right, but I’ve still got a gun!

The knight is shot and the maiden screams. John picks up the stick and rams it into the gut of the other knight. As the two scientists get into the time machine the maiden is on her knees crying over the body.

The maiden: You’ve killed him, you barbarians!

The lights go off as the time machine takes off.

Scene III

Narrator: When their time machine comes to a halt, they find themselves in the Age of Stone, when the Neanderthal Man populated the earth. The two then get out of the machine and look to see a cave-girl lying down with cavemen standing around.

Narrator: The two scientists now find themselves in the middle of a sacrifice where the victim’s skull is cracked and the brain is extracted and eaten.

John: Stop, you brainless brutes!

John shoots down the caveman holding a rock, and then fights the others, and kicks and shoots them over the side of a pit. Then John and Prof. Hoffman get into the time machine leaving the cavegirl behind. Before John gets into the time machine he says

John: Let’enters get out of here before any more of those brain busters show up.

The lights are turned off and the time machine is started.

Scene IV

Narrator: Although the machine had only one purpose, going into the past, it has landed in the distant future, for they have made a mistake in time.

The two get out of the machine; and enter three Eliminators beings, all dressed the same.

Eliminator #1: We are the Eliminators. We know who you are and we have come here to kill you, time riders!

Prof. Hoffman: No don’t!

Prof. Hoffman walks forward toward the beings.

John: Get back!

Eliminator #1: Fire!

Prof. Hoffman is shot down by the Eliminators. There is a big gunfight between the beings and John, but in the end, the Eliminators charge across the stage and beat John to death with their rifles. The lights go off.

Narrator: The end.

The End

Plop By J.R. Moore © 1975

Scene I

Narrator: This story has a ploppy plot. If you can’t follow it, well we don’t blame you and if you can follow it, we pity you. The name of it is Plop, as you’ve probably guessed by now. This group of ugly characters is

The narrator points to Plopper and Assistant Plopper.

Narrator: the Ploppers. At the moment, they are waiting to plop any unwary wayfarer that happens by. Ahh here comes one now.

Salesman enters wearing a long coat and looks at Plopper.

Salesman: Sir, you’re just the person I’m looking for.

Plopper: And you’re just the person I’m looking for.

Plopper turns to Assistant Plopper.

Plopper: Get ready for the first plop of the day.

Salesman: Sir, could I interest you in purchasing a slightly used toaster?

Salesman pulls out a toaster from under his coat.

Plopper: Oh, no, no, no.

Salesman: How about a watch?

Salesman pulls up the sleeve of his coat, showing a row of watches.

Salesman: I’ve got a Mickey Mouse one here, and a

Plopper: Oh forget that just step over here.

Plopper pushes Salesman over to Assistant Plopper, who ties her up with some rope.

Salesman: Hey, what is this?

Plopper puts the Salesman on some railroad tracks.

Plopper: The five o’clock train should be by any minute now.

Train engineer comes through on a train locomotive and the Salesman is hit. Assistant Plopper holds up a sign saying, Plop and everyone yells Plop

Train Engineer: What is this?

Plopper: It seems some poor victim has fallen prey to those notorious Ploppers.

Train Engineer: Would you look at this mess; gummed up my whole engine.

Super Blooper enters.

Assistant Plopper: Look, here comes Super Blooper.

Super Blooper: I just heard that the Ploppers had struck again, but it seems I’ve got here a little too late. Can anyone tell me which direction they took?

Plopper: The villains went that way.

Super Blooper runs off stage in the direction the Plopper pointed.

Scene II

The Ploppers and Beast-Man are standing on the stage.

Plopper: Remember Beast-Man, when I give the signal, you plop.

Beast-Man grunts a reply, and in walks the Intellectual reading a book.

The Intellectual: Hmmmm,  this is interesting.

The intellectual notices the Plopper and speaks.

The Intellectual: Sir, did you know that there are several classes of animals, there’s the feline, the canine, the bovine, and the grapevine‚ wait a minute, I don’t think that’s quite right.

The intellectual flips through the book some more.

The Intellectual: Oh yes, I didn’t catch your name Sir.

Plopper: Plopper

The Intellectual: Interesting name, let me look it up.

The Intellectual flips through the book.

The Intellectual: Here it is. Plopper; one that plops.

The Intellectual turns the page in the book.

The Intellectual: Plop; to be splatted, splotched or totally mauled.

Plopper: Now, Beast-Man plop!

The Beast-Man grabs the Intellectual and pushes him to the railing on the stage.

The Intellectual: Let go of me you brute, you missing-link, you primeval anthropoid!

The Beast-Man shoves the Intellectual over the railing and the Assistant Plopper holds up the Plop sign, and everyone yells Plop. Afterward, enter Super Blooper.

Assistant Plopper: Look, here comes Super Blooper.

Super Blooper: It seems I’m too late again. Are you all sure that you’re not any of those Ploppers?

Plopper: Us? Why, we’re just your average, every day, peace-abiding citizens.

Super Blooper: Oh well, which way did they go?

Plopper: They went that away.

Super Blooper runs off in the direction.

Scene III

The Ploppers are waiting to plop. In walk two women.

Woman #1: Did you hear about Arnold Glut and his gall bladder?

Woman #2: I know, how awful!

Plopper: Get her!

The Ploppers tie Woman #1 up and place here under a safe that is suspended from the above by a rope.
Woman #2 walks off stage babbling about something, unaware that Woman #1 is not with her.

Woman #1: Untie me, you fiend, you scoundrel, you beast, you madman, you psychopath, you maniac!

Super Blooper enters.

Assistant Plopper: Look, here comes Super Blooper.

Woman #1: Notice, that’s the only line she’s said through the whole play.

Super Blooper stands beside Woman #1.

Super Blooper: You have plopped your last plop, Plopper!

Plopper: Oh yeah?

The Plopper cuts the line holding the safe and it crashes on Super Blooper. Assistant Plopper holds up the Plop sign and everyone yells Plop. Super Blooper, with the safe on his head, falls dead.

Plopper: Ha, ha, ha, evil wins again!

The Ploppers run off stage.
There is a lot of screaming and crashing noises and then a large Plop sign is held up by the narrator.

The End

Follow up:
reply from Mary Margaret –

She dropped it because you were driving her crazy because she wanted it to be silly and you wanted it to be serious
horror. You were standing right over her as she wrote each line
and finally she couldn’t take your comments anymore. Cathy came up with the idea of making me the monster
and you hated that, but then you kept it in any way.

I remember Susie having to learn to scream over and over again.
That you didn’t think it was loud enough.

Cathy did jump in again for the performance.
She helped with make-up and costumes
and put green food dye in Noxema face cream
and then rubbed it on my face
and I remember that after the show
when I wiped off the cream
a hint of the green remained on my face
and Grandmama was not too pleased the next day at church.

John again:
The Noxema and the green food coloring I do remember. I think it must have been Cathy’s attempt to insert humor back into the play. Ha! She was years ahead of Mel Brooks, I shouldn’t have crushed her creative genius. Ha!
I too remember the next day and the continued hue of green on your face.

Cathy comments:
I enjoyed JR’s email. I have a few shots of the Jolly Green Giant Play. The playbill for the Jolly Green Giant is still hanging in the cupboard in the Long Room. With talent like that, it’s a wonder none of us ended up in Hollywood!


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