950AD. Castle Garda, Italy. In order to secure her throne, Queen Willa of Italy wants her son, Prince Adalbert to marry the lovely Princess Adelaide. The trouble is, Adalbert is actually a full-sized puppet, and t having a puppet for a son can be a major disadvantage in the marriage stakes, particularly when nobody wants to admit it.
Willa: (F, 50s) Would-be queen of Italy. Mutton dressed as lamb.
Berengar: (M, 50s)Willa’s husband. Would-be king of Italy. Short.
Adelaide: (F, 20s)Young queen of Italy.
Ermingarde: (F)The maid.
The receiving room of the palace.
Semi-finalist, Mill Mountain Theatre
Nominated for Cherry Lane Mentor Program
BERENGAR: We might be visiting Pavia sooner than I thought.
WILLA: (Excited)Is he dead? Is he dead?
BERENGAR: Yes. King Hugh passed away two days ago.
Willa jumps for joy. Then she notices Ermingarde and contains herself.
WILLA: How very, very sad. What else does it say?
BERENGAR: (Reading) And it appears that…hum, hum, hum…Yes, it appears I’ve been designated ‘Chief Councillor of the Realm’ (To Ermingarde) Give orders to pack up, immediately.
WILLA: How marvelous!…And sad.
Ermingarde, reluctantly, exits. They wait for her to leave.
WILLA: What on earth is Chief Councillor of the Realm?
BERENGAR: Basically Lothar has to do everything I say.
WILLA: How exciting!