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THE HYSTERICAL HISTORY OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION from Freedrama.net



THE HYSTERICAL HISTORY OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION

SCENE 1 INT. Courtroom. DAY.

NARRATOR

The Great Depression.  A time of economic turmoil.  It all started with the stock market crash of October 29, 1929... Black Tuesday.  But was everyone hurting after the crash?  Indeed two men were quite prosperous... and what if these two men met?  Let's take a journey in to our imaginations in this latest hysterical history... The Hysterical History of the Great Depression.

Al Capone stands at the defendant's table smiling talking and waving to the crowded courtroom (the "fans" of Al Capone can either be on stage or in the audience as if the audience is a part of the courtroom).  A very nervous bailiff is trying to keep control.

BAILIFF

Everyone. Sit down. Quiet! The judge will be here any moment.

CAPONE

I appreciate you all coming here and showing your support today.

WOMAN 1

We love you, Mr. Capone!

CAPONE

I love you back, doll.

MAN 1

You're our hero, Capone!

CAPONE

All of you are heroes to me. You all get out there every day and face the harsh world out there.  No jobs, losing your homes, not sure where your next meal is coming from.

MAN 2

But you feed us.  You give us jobs.

WOMAN 2

Who else does that? 

VERA

Why is he even here?  This ain't right?  They shouldn't have him on trial.  They should have President Hoover on trial! 

People cheer at this.  Bailiff tries to get people to calm down.

MAN 1

Al Capone for President!

People cheer more.

CAPONE

"Vote early and often!"

People laugh.

BAILIFF

Settle down you!  Or I'll run the lot of you in for disturbing the peace.

People boo at Bailiff who nervously backs away.  A child runs up to Capone and stands on a chair near him.

CHILD

Thank you for the bicycle, Mr. Capone!

CAPONE

You bet, kiddo.


VERA

He buys kids bicycles, he feeds us with his soup kitchens, gets food to our kids in school, he gives us work.  Set him free!

Crowd starts chanting.

CROWD

Set him free!  Set him free! 

Bailiff is really happy when he sees Judge Rutherford appear.

BALIFF

Please rise for the honorable Judge Rutherford...

Crowd starts booing.  Judge gets up on bench and gives the crowd a very evil stare.  The booing dies down.  The Judge sits and Capone motions them to sit too.

RUTHERFORD

I will clear this courtroom if there are any more outbursts from the mob gathered here.

CAPONE

Don't worry, Judge.  These good people won't disturb the peace... I assure you, they are no mob.

RUTHERFORD

Well, you'd certainly know a mob if you saw one.

Crowd starts to boo, Rutherford bangs his gavel, Bailiff nervously reaches for his gun but Capone calms them down.

CAPONE

Seems like you've been listening to rumors, Judge.  I thought justice was blind.

RUTHERFORD

Blind but not stupid, Mr. Capone.  Sit down or I'll find you in contempt.

CAPONE

Settle down, tiger.

RUTHERFORD

You will refer to me at your honor!

CAPONE

"Now I know why tigers eat their young."

People laugh.

RUTHERFORD

Bailiff!

CAPONE

Now, now. “Don't you get the idea I'm one of those goddam radicals. Don't get the idea I'm knocking the American system.” I'm all for justice.

RUTHERFORD

Then you'll be pleased to hear I've replaced the jury with an entirely new group of people for your trial.  It appears that the last jury was bribed.

CAPONE

Bribed?  By whom?

RUTHERFORD

Don't play innocent with me.  Your corruption is well known.  You're a well-known leader of illegal enterprise...

CAPONE

“I am like any other man. All I do is supply a demand.”

RUTHERFORD

You live like a King in a time when people are out of work and suffering.

CAPONE

Judge, you live like a king and you ain't even earned it like me.

RUTHERFORD

That's it!  Bailiff!

Bailiff heads for Capone and reaches for a firearm but court transcriptionist pulls a gun from her purse and holds it at Bailiff's head.

CAPONE

“You can get more with a nice word and a gun than you can with a nice word.”

RUTHERFORD

You're in contempt, Capone!

CAPONE

I simply don't think you're the right man for this trial... your honor.  Unless a corrupt man is more fit to judge corruption.

RUTHERFORD

Bailiff!

BAILIFF

Sorry, your honor. I'm a bit busy.

Transcriptionist takes Bailiff's gun and forces him in to her seat.

CAPONE

You say that I'm corrupt because of my success in a time of economic woe.  But what about you... a servant of the people... how did you get so prosperous?

RUTHERFORD

I'm not on trial here, Capone.

CAPONE

Maybe you should be.

People cheer.  Man 1 and 2 grab Rutherford.  Capone takes Judges spot on the bench.

RUTHERFORD

Unhand me!  Get down from there!

CAPONE

Order in the court.

People laugh.

CAPONE (CONT.)

So who should be on trial here... a man who helps the people or a man who uses abuses his honorable position for person gain?

RUTHERFORD

I don't have to listen to this.

CAPONE

But you do.  Sit down.

Man 1 and 2 force Rutherford in to defendant's chair.

CAPONE (CONT.)

Now I may have two homes, but you have five, your honor.  I have a Cadillac... you have two.  I have a yacht... you have two.  While I'm completely sober at work...

Capone pulls out a flask from the bench.

CAPONE (CONT.)

You appear to get quite drunk.

People react strongly to Capone pulling out the flask.

RUTHERFORD

You planted that there.  That's not mine.

CAPONE

Your honor... how did you come by alcoholic beverages during Prohibition?

RUTHERFORD

It's not mine!

CAPONE

What's this engraving on the flask?  Initials?  JFR?

VERA

Joseph Franklin Rutherford!

RUTHERFORD

No, JFR could mean anything.

CAPONE

Justice For Rich?  Just For Rutherford?  Jump For Riches?

People laugh.

CAPONE (CONT.)

All in favor of the honorable Judge Rutherford going to jail instead citizen Capone say ay!

PEOPLE

Ay!

CAPONE

Take him away!

Man 1 and 2 are joined by others and drag off Rutherford and Bailiff.  Vera goes up to Capone and sits by him.  He gives her the flask and she takes a drink.

CAPONE (CONT.)

"This American system of ours, call it Americanism, call it capitalism, call it what you will, gives each and every one of us a great opportunity if we only seize it with both hands..."

Capone grabs Vera by the shoulders.

Capone (CONT.)

"...and make the most of it"

Capone tries to kiss Vera.  She squeals and runs.  Capone chases her.

CAPONE (CONT.)

Life! Liberty! and the Pursuit of Happiness!

END OF SCRIPT




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