Captain Superlative Sample

Scene 1

(LIGHTS RISE on a girl. She will eventually become Captain Superlative, but for now, she’s just an ordinary girl. She stands, facing the audience.)

CAPTAIN SUPERLATIVE: I’m going to be a superhero.

(LIGHTS RISE on Janey, a girl wearing blue, plastic shoes, who is watching Captain Superlative.)

JANEY: That’s how I like to imagine it began.

CAPTAIN SUPERLATIVE: I’m going to be a superhero.

(The girl exits.)

JANEY: Of course, no one knows for sure how it really happened. At Deerwood Park Middle School, all you really know is the gossip that spreads through the hallways like wildfire. At least, that’s how it was before she arrived. That very special person. You know, not everyone can just decide who it is they’re going to be. A lot of us need to figure it out over time. And we usually screw it up big time along the way. She was always a little bit different. Superlative, you might say. (beat) I remember that first day.

(LIGHTS RISE on the entire stage. It’s a school hallway. Students go about their business, passing each other, greeting one another. Among them is Paige. Every person Paige meets either jostles her, ignores her, or knocks her things to the ground. Everyone is wearing the same blue, plastic shoes except for Paige and, eventually, Captain Superlative.)

JANEY: I don’t think anyone will ever forget it. It all started with Tyler Jeffries stumbling in, looking shocked. Tyler Jeffries was the most popular kid in school. And you knew you were really something if he noticed you. I would sometimes dream that he’d suddenly notice me. But back then, I was just air. Just floating through. And that day? Well, he noticed something particularly special.

(Tyler, a football player, enters and stops dead in his tracks.)

TYLER: You will not believe what I just saw!

(Dagmar, a pretty cheerleader, enters from the opposite direction, stopping dead.)

DAGMAR: You’ve got to be kidding me.

JANEY: What? What is it? (to the audience) As though they would answer me.

TYLER: You will not believe what I just saw!

DAGMAR: You’ve got to be kidding me.

(Paige moves forward.)

PAIGE: Is it really true?

JANEY: What’s going on?

TYLER: You will not believe what I just saw!

DAGMAR: You’ve got to be kidding me.

PAIGE: Is it really true?

(April, another cheerleader enters.)

APRIL: She’s coming this way.

JANEY: Who?

TYLER: You will not believe what I just saw!

DAGMAR: You’ve got to be kidding me.

PAIGE: Is it really true?

APRIL: She’s coming this way.

TYLER: You will not believe what I just saw!

DAGMAR: You’ve got to be kidding me.

PAIGE: Is it really true?

APRIL: She’s coming this way.

(April, Dagmar, Paige, and Tyler all start circling Janey, continuing to chant their lines.)

TYLER: You will not believe what I just saw!

DAGMAR: You’ve got to be kidding me.

PAIGE: Is it really true?

APRIL: She’s coming this way.

(They start to overlap each other.)

JANEY: Tell me what’s going on! Who is she? What are you talking about?

(As the students continue to circle Janey, Captain Superlative enters, joining in the circle. She is dressed in an outrageous superhero costume, clearly homemade. It includes a mask and a cape with a big “C” glued on the back. Eventually, the students peel off, one at a time, forming a line behind Janey as they say their line, leaving Captain Superlative standing alone.)

TYLER: You will not believe what I just saw!

DAGMAR: You’ve got to be kidding me.

PAIGE: Is it really true?

APRIL: She’s coming this way.

(Everyone turns to stare at Captain Superlative. She strikes a heroic pose.)

JANEY: Who are you?

CAPTAIN SUPERLATIVE: I am Captain Superlative!

JANEY: Captain Superlative?

CAPTAIN SUPERLATIVE: Champion of Deerwood Park Middle School, here to defend honor, justice, and the forces of good! (to the other students) Have no fear, citizens! I’m here to protect you all!

(Pause.)

TYLER: It’s probably just for the school play.

(Tyler exits.)

DAGMAR: I think she’s demented.

(Dagmar shoves Paige as she exits.)

PAIGE: Maybe it’s a dare?

(Paige exits.)

APRIL: Definitely the beginning of an alien invasion.

(April exits. Janey and Captain Superlative stare at each other for a second. A bell rings.)

CAPTAIN SUPERLATIVE: To the cafeteria! I’m sure someone there needs saving!

(Captain Superlative raises her arms like she’s flying.)

CAPTAIN SUPERLATIVE: Captain Superlative is here to make all troubles disappear!

(Captain Superlative rushes off.)

JANEY: However it happened, it happened. Like a tidal wave that came out of nowhere. And suddenly the students of Deerwood Park Middle School had their very own superhero.

(The LIGHTS SHIFT, the stage becoming Janey’s house. Janey’s father enters with a table. Janey starts setting the table as they talk.)

FATHER: A superhero, huh?

JANEY: I don’t know, Dad. She just showed up today. Wearing a cape.

FATHER: A cape?

JANEY: With an enormous letter “C” on it. For Captain Superlative, I guess.

FATHER: Clearly.

JANEY: Certainly.

FATHER: Completely.

JANEY: Conclusively.

FATHER: Oh! Good one! (beat) Maybe you should start wearing a big letter “J,” Janey.

JANEY: (laughing) Dad!

FATHER: Joking.

JANEY: Jesting.

FATHER: Joshing.

JANEY: Old word.

FATHER: Old man.

(They sit at the table together.)

JANEY: I would never do something like that.

FATHER: And why not?

JANEY: I’d be labeled as a freak in two seconds.

FATHER: Ah, the perils of labeling. Some things never change. And what social circle are you in these days, Janey?

JANEY: I don’t know.

FATHER: You know, that’s why your my favorite daughter. You’re a work in progress.

JANEY: And I’m your only daughter.

FATHER: Well, that too. (beat) What do you think her origin story could be?

JANEY: What?

FATHER: Your Captain Superlative. All good superheroes need a good origin story.

JANEY: You think?

FATHER: I don’t think, young lady. I know. Don’t you know what my social circle was when I was your age? You’re talking to the king of the nerds, the greatest of all comic book geeks.

JANEY: They had comic books when you were a kid?

FATHER: Naturally. But they were painted onto cave walls. And every single one of them had a fantastic origin story which shaped the identities of the world’s greatest heroes.

JANEY: Oh yeah?

FATHER: A tragic one, too. Say, the lone survivor of an alien race who ends up on earth and decides to become a hero.

JANEY: Some people thought she was an alien.

FATHER: But we would have probably heard about any meteors crashing down in the middle of Deerwood Park, wouldn’t we?

JANEY: Probably.

FATHER: Well, maybe she’s a mutant.

JANEY: A mutant?

FATHER: An ordinary girl who suddenly developed superpowers after being bitten by a radioactive…something. Do you know what she can do? What are her super powers?

JANEY: Well, she can’t sew. I think the big “C” was glued onto her cape.

FATHER: Hrmm…this is a tricky one. Clearly, she wasn’t bitten by a radioactive sewing machine.

JANEY: (laughing) Dad!

FATHER: Come on, come on, come on. I love a good challenge. Tell me what she can do, Janey.

JANEY: I don’t know, Dad. She’s really good at shouting.

FATHER: Shouting?

JANEY: “Captain Superlative is here to make all troubles disappear!”

FATHER: Catchy. I think I like it. (beat) Bitten by a radioactive megaphone?

JANEY: I don’t think so.

FATHER: Hmmm…Captain Superlative…

JANEY: I don’t even know what that means.

FATHER: A captain is the highest ranking person on the Starship Enterprise.

JANEY: Dad!

FATHER: That wasn’t what you were looking for?

JANEY: “Superlative.”

FATHER: I see you’re paying attention in English class! A “superlative” is something excellent, magnificent, above all others, the best of the best. (beat) Does that sound like her?

JANEY: Well she’s fearless. I’ll give her that.

FATHER: Aren’t all superheroes fearless? I think that’s part of the job description.

JANEY: You’d have to be to show up wearing ridiculous clothing like that.

FATHER: Ridiculous clothing? What do you mean?

JANEY: She wasn’t wearing jeans! Or Blue Shoes!

FATHER: Those squeaky plastic things everyone is wearing?

JANEY: She didn’t have them!

FATHER: Good for her. Does that means he was able to walk without that noise?

JANEY: Dad!

FATHER: Hrmm…well, this is a challenge. We’ll have to collect more information. Like Batman!

JANEY: It was probably just some kind of joke.

FATHER: You think so?

JANEY: Yeah. Everything will go back to normal tomorrow.

FATHER: If you say so, Janey.

(Janey’s father gets up and takes the table off. Janey turns back to the audience.)

JANEY: But but you can’t really go back to normal after being hit by a tsunami. The next day, Captain Superlative was back.

(A bell rings.)

Scene 2

(The LIGHTS SHIFT. The stage becomes the hallways of the school once again. Students go about their business. Tyler enters, crossing the stage. Janey moves off to one side, staring after him, but he doesn’t see her and he exits. Dagmar and Paige enter from opposite sides. Paige shuffles by, head down. Dagmar moves out of her way to trip her. Paige falls over, her books and papers flying everywhere. Everyone laughs.)

DAGMAR: Watch where you’re going, loser.

(Paige grabs Dagmar’s arm, trying to pull herself up. She pulls down Dagmar’s shirt from her shoulder, revealing a bruise. For a moment, time freezes. Finally, with an indignant noise, Dagmar exits quickly covering the bruise as she goes. Paige kneels down, trying to pick up her books and papers, but passing students keep kicking them out of the way. Suddenly, Captain Superlative zooms on, arms held out like she’s flying.)

CAPTAIN SUPERLATIVE: Hello, citizen! It looks like you could use some help!

PAIGE: Well, I…

CAPTAIN SUPERLATIVE: Captain Superlative is here to make all troubles disappear!

(Captain Superlative starts picking up Paige’s books. Tyler enters again. Everyone, including Tyler, stops to stare at Captain Superlative. Once she finishes, she hands the books over to Paige.)

CAPTAIN SUPERLATIVE: There you go, citizen!

PAIGE: Thanks.

CAPTAIN SUPERLATIVE: No need! That’s what Captain Superlative is here to do!

PAIGE: I’m-

CAPTAIN SUPERLATIVE: Paige! Yes! I know!

(Captain Superlative raises her arms and zooms off. After a pause, Paige quickly gets up and rushes off. The rest of the students resume their business, whispering to one another.)

TYLER: Huh. Cool.

(Tyler exits.)

JANEY: It didn’t stop there. Throughout the rest of the day, Captain Superlative could be seen all around the school, roiling up and down the stairs, splashing through the classrooms. She was everywhere.

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