by John Wayne Samples
A young father sends his new son his thoughts in a card, while an older father, perhaps the same one (?) does the same. Purpose: To make the audience -- especially the fathers and the father-wannabees -- reconsider their priorities and their relationship with their children.
The son: 25 - 30 years old. He wears a T-shirt that says "It's a Boy!"
The father: 55 - 60 years old.
Staging: Two stools with writing stands or two desks and chairs on opposite
ends of platform.
Props: Pens and a couple of cards.
Notes: Lights should alternate between the characters as they talk, if possible.
(The Father is already on stage with a stool or desk so he can write. The Son enters through a "door" which he closes quietly behind him. When he turns and sees the audience, he puffs out his chest and points proudly to his shirt (It's A Boy) and then points back to the "room" he just came through. Goes to the stool or desk and takes a card out of his pocket and begins to speak aloud as he writes.
Dear Son, Happy Father's Day! I know that doesn't mean much to you right now since you're not a father yet, and especially since you're only a week old. But today is special. Someday, when you've rocked your first-born to sleep, when you've been struck by the magic of seeing YOUR son's hand wrapped around YOUR thumb, then you'll understand how I feel today. And when that happens to you, I hope you'll remember this card, and maybe let me know how I did as a Dad.
Dear Son, Happy Father's Day! It's been 25 years since I first told you that. Twenty-five years of watching you grow-up. Of trying to prepare you for life, for love, and for this, your very first Father's Day. Congratulations on a fine new little boy! (pause) So, my son, what kind of score do I get for being a Dad?
Boy, have I got big plans for you! Nothing ridiculous, mind
you, so don't feel any pressure, but you're gonna have the best father any kid's
ever had, so how can you not be the best kid ever?!
I'm gonna help you every night with your homework, teach you how to throw a fastball like Nolan Ryan, and when you get interested in girls, well... just look at the one I married and you'll know to come to me for advice!
You're gonna do anything you want to do, and I'll help.
And when you run for President, I'll be your campaign manager, unless you'd rather be the first man on Mars, then I'll... Well, you may be on your own for that trip.
Yessir! Anything you want to do will be OK with me!
We had some real plans, didn't we son.
You were the best kid a Dad ever had... did I ever tell you that?
Well, there were those-three-years that just about drove us both nuts, but you grew out of that. And so did I.
You were a pretty good student, too. Although, I can't take much credit for helping. I mean, I never did understand that new math! And, you were quite a ball player. I just wish I'd been able to see more of your games. I don't know where you learned it, but your fastball always reminded me of Nolan Ryan's.
And when it came to women, well I can see you learned something from the master; you sure picked a good one!
...And I'm going to be right there with you, son, every step
of the way. I'm going to be for you, all the things my father was to me. And
Dad always told me that I could be anything I wanted to be. Well, today, all I want to be is your father. It's hard to imagine ever wanting anything more.
I hope, someday, when you're busy being what you want to be, you'll remember me kindly, and take time to pass on to your son what I'll try to pass on to you.
You know, as I think back now, life didn't really turn out quite
the way I had it planned.
I mean, you don't live in the White House, and you've never been to another planet (except maybe during those-three-years), and I wasn't the perfect Dad I thought I would be. Even when I was around.
I thought I could protect you from the big bullies, and the broken bones, and the broken hearts. But I failed miserably at those things.
But, you've always been close to your other Father in those situations, and I pray you can pass that along to your son.
And for those times when I'm not around, if that ever happens, remember that you've got another Father who really will be there all the time. And don't wait till I'm not around to get to know him. The 3 of us could have some really good times together.
Well, son, as I look over my scorecard, looks like I didn't
score a lot, at least not according to the original plan.
Maybe this Fatherhood Game is what that Grantland Rice guy was talking about. You know, the guy who said, "It's not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game."
(He pauses as he considers whether to write the next part.)
I won't really ask you how I've done -- that wouldn't be fair. But, if you ever want to tell me, maybe Father's Day might be a good time to do it...
Well, I hope this means something to you when your older, but
I have to go for now. You see, I have another very important letter to write.
Sleep tight little boy.
(Son sets that card aside, takes out another card and begins to write.)
(He struggles just a little as he carefully considers his words.)
Happy Father's Day. Thanks for everything.
(Starts to put the card in the envelope, then adds a postscript.)
P.S. You were right about this being a special day.
(Lights go to black.)
If the actors are actually father-and-son, you might consider having them cross to each other, exchange cards, hug, or any combination thereof. Or, maybe not.)
Copyright John Wayne Samples, all rights reserved.
This script may be used free of charge. In return, the author would like to be told of any performances. He may be contacted at JohnW@JSam.com. Further scripts by the same author can be found at www.jsam.com