An Adaptation of the Short Story:
The Ransom of Red Chief
Cast of Characters
STEVEN: College Senior
CHRIS: Steven’s Room-mate
DELLA ’DEE DEE’ SMITH: The Lost Girl
Mr. and Mrs. Smith: Dee Dee’s Parents
Serena: Chris’ Girlfriend
Steven and Chris’ Apartment Living Room
A Little After Sunset
A messy living room that looks halfway between
an artist’s garret and a study. The room is
essentially male, with T-shirts strewn about and
posters on the back wall. A table, left, is
covered with a black cloth. Art supplies and
books are scattered on top. Three chairs can be
seen, two on stage right and one near the table.
It started out as all boy meet girl stories do.
Sunset, and a casual bump-in on a lonely road while
walking back home. But this isn’t your standard boy
meets girl story. Love, after all doesn’t happen
between a 25 year old boy and a 10 year old girl.Then
what does? An act of human kindness? Or an evil
As the curtain goes up, Chris is seen looking
intently on a painting he has been working on.
The door, L, opens and Steven enters with a
little girl holding his hand.
Look what the cat dragged in
Oh, so now I’m a cat.
(noticing the girl, incredulous)
Where did she come from?
I found her.
(He sits down on one of the chairs.
The girl remains standing)
(His eyes fixed on the girl)
I was lost.
So she isn’t just some doll you bought on a shopping
I have a doll. Her name is Susie. See
(holds up a doll upside down)
She used to be pretty but I made Rover eat her hair.
Rover’s my dog. He got really, really, really sick
Kid, shut up.
Off with your head!
Guess who’s been watching way too much Alice in the
(takes out his phone and dials)
Who’re you calling?
911. I need to report that I found this chipmunk on
You’ve got to be…
(runs up to him and snatches the
Steve, my man, how can you be so daft? What we’ve got
here is the mother of all opportunities!
No, no, no, no. Don’t even go there…
Look at her! Just look at her! I can bet you my
entire collection her parents are loaded!
(shakes his head)
You need help, honestly. We’re college students,
Chris. Not kidnappers.
College students who are broke! Almost.
College students in jail if we go through with this.
Rich college students!
(A loud crash has them turning to
where Dee Dee stands in the middle of
Someone’s head is going to roll for this!
Yeah, yours, you little…
(lunges towards her)
You know, you shouldn’t hurt her if you plan on
getting a ransom off her.
Aha! You agree!
(rubs palms together menacingly)
STEVEN THROWS UP HIS HANDS AND EXITS
Where did Tweedledum go?
Tweedledum. You’re Tweedledee. I’m the Red Queen and
I demand that you sing to me!
Ohkaay… Hey kid, mind giving me your daddy’s phone
number? I bet you miss him and want him to come get
Curtsy while you’re thinking. It saves time.
Whoa. You’re a real Red Queen fan.
Fan? I am no fan! I’m the Red Queen! Off with your
Okay, Red Queen, your daddy’s number please?
I’ll ask all the questions!
(rolls eyes and answers sarcastically)
Yes, your Majesty.
Your nail polish is messy.
(looks at his fingers)
Here. Let me do it for you.
(picks up a paintbrush and bottle)
Pink would look pretty on you. Pretty in pink. Yay.
(snatches his fingers away)
You dare! I… I… Off with your head!
(turns and sits on one of the chairs)
You’re a riot, kid.
Daddy’s number. So you can tell him I don’t ever
wanna come home. I’m happy happy happy with
Tweedledum and Tweedledee.
You know, we aren’t really fat. I mean, us, the
Tweedles? You’re way off mark, kid.
(sits next to Chris)
But, but… You’re cute.
Didn’t you have a phone call to make?
Yeah? Oh yeah! I did!
(takes out his phone)
So what was the number again? 0-0-1-1…
8-7-6-5-3-4… Tsk, what weak memory you have.
(shakes her head solemnly)
(gets up, excited)
It’s ringing! What do I say, what do I say?
Your headache, man.
Stage right shows Mr and Mrs Smith standing. Mr
Smith is listening to his phone while Mrs Smith
stands watching him with hands clasped.
(clears throat, changes voice)
Your daughter’s with us. If you want her back safe
and sound, bring fifty thousand dollars in a black
duffel bag to Central Park, tomorrow at…
Mr Smith tries to speak at different points but
closes his mouth before he can. He then shares a
mysterious smile with his wife.
Tomorrow! Are you…
(into the phone)
Yeah, tomorrow at nine. AND don’t even think of
notifying the police.
You crazy, dimwit! Where in the world will she sleep
And what gives you the idea that Red Queen here
really does sleep.
She’s a child, for God’s sake! Children sleep, Chris!
It’s the way of the world!
The world revolves around me
That’s what Daddy says.
No wonder it never stops spinning.
Tweedledee, Dinner. Now.
Please, God. Have mercy.
Doorbell rings, Steven opens the door. Serena
storms in and marches right up to Chris
(looking up at the sky)
I asked for mercy!
You do remember you were supposed to meet me tonight,
(taps her foot)
I. Am. Hungry.
(looks at Dee Dee)
And you are?
(turns to Chris)
And she is?
The reason he forgot all about meeting you.
(glares at Steven)
No, Serena, she’s…
(trying hard to keep a straight face)
Dollars in a duffel bag.
Aargh! May God annihilate all room-mates!
That still doesn’t cover all grounds. I’m alive
Will you guys cut it out?
(to Dee Dee)
How did you get here?
Tweedledum brought me
(points at Steven)
And she called you Tweedledee, right? Fat boys.
Are you the White Queen?
Err… No… Hey wait a minute.
(turns to Chris and Steven)
What is this little girl doing in your apartment?
(grins sheepishly and whispers)
Umm… We kidnapped her.
Ahem… You kidnapped her.
You didn’t kidnap me, silly. I was lost.
Phone rings, Chris fumbles in his pockets and
takes it out. A slow smile appears on his face
as he answers it.
Stage right shows Mr Smith sitting on a chair,
with his phone to his ear. Mrs Smith stands
behind him with a hand on his shoulder.
You say you have my daughter, how’s she treating you?
How’s she treating me? You should be asking about how
we’re treating her.
(laughs like a old-school villian)
Oh no. I wouldn’t be worried about that. Just drop
her back home when you’re ready, alright? We’re in no
(looks at his wife and smiles)
Hey! Wait!… He hung up on me
(looks at his phone and then at
everyone around him)
He hung up on me.
Was it Daddy? What did he say? Did he say you could
keep me? Forever and ever and ever? Yay! I’ll live
with Tweedledum and Tweedledee. And the White Queen
(looks at Serena)
Do you live here too? The Red Queen doesn’t like the
White Queen but I like you.
(comes forward to hug Serena)
Ugh. Stay away kid.
Off with her head! Do as I command you my subjects!
Steven sits down with his head in his hands.
Chris lets out an exasperated sigh and moves
forward to stand in between Dee Dee and Serena.
C’mon kid. I’ll take you back home.
(takes Dee Dee’s arm)
Unhand me, you fool! I don’t want to go! Aaaaaa! Let
(jerks out of Chris’ grasp and starts
running around the room)
(Kneels down in front of Dee Dee)
Please Red Queen, your Majesty. Where is your royal
abode so I may drop you where your loyal subjects
(Waves her arms to show the room)
Right here. Now, I’ll live right here.