"Epic Proportions"

A Full Length Play by Larry Coen and David Crane

A general idea of the potential cast size for this play!. Luis Díaz Devesa

Recruit every member in your theater department or school and sign up all the extras you can find. Epic Proportions is exactly what it sounds like: Epic! And epically funny!

It’s the 1950s and the famous director D. W. DeWitt is filming the most epic movie ever made. Benny has traveled to the middle of the Arizona desert to be an extra in this once-in-a-lifetime movie. He is ready to be discovered and to become one of Hollywood’s elite.

He is not ready to face 10 realistic plagues, slave masters whipping him while he hauls granite for pyramids, plus constant heat and criticism from the directors.

Benny’s brother Phil followed him to the desert to talk some sense into him, but since there are no buses to ferry anyone off site until the movie is completed, he finds himself there for the duration.

Epic Proportions follows the demise of any dynasty that oppresses the masses and is plagued with power hungry and demanding rulers. Eventually the extras demand to be freed. They want to go home so badly by the end of the play that they will wander through the desert until they reach the Promised Land or Tucson - whichever comes first.

The play has heavy technical demands. Think grand scale when it comes to sets, costumes, lighting, and sound. The idea is that we are backstage at a heroic Biblical movie like Ben Hur, The Ten Commandments, or Spartacus.

Please note that this play could be done with a small cast of 8. It would require doubling of roles and creative sound solutions for the mobs of extras. However, large theater departments could use this script as a way to populate a production with many actors and as many nonspeaking extras as possible.

Setting: The Arizona Desert

Time: 1950s

Cast Size: 8 principal characters and a chorus of extras

Male Characters: 3

Female Characters: 1

Characters that could be played by males or females: 4

Roles

Louise Goldman is in charge of the extras in this epic movie. She divides them up, gives them jobs, and manages their expectations. She has always hoped, however, that she would be on the other side of the camera one day as an actor.

Benny Bennet came to the set to be discovered. He wanted the glory and glamour of the movies in his life and if the director will just notice him for even a second, he is sure he will get his big break. He falls in love with Louise.

Phil Bennet came to talk sense into his star-struck brother. But now that he is here on the set, he has a few ideas for the movie. In fact, he’s pretty sure he could direct this whole thing better than anyone. He falls in love with Louise.

D.W. DeWitt initially had a grand vision for this epic movie. It was going to be the best movie of all time, but he is tired now and everyone is so demanding. Maybe he’ll just stay at the top of his pyramid and watch a few “special” films and be by himself for a while.

Jack is Mr. DeWitt’s second in command.

If Mr. DeWitt can’t finish this movie than he’ll do it by himself! He will make the decisions for a change!

Estelle, an old and classy broad, who has lived in this industry her whole life, plays the Queen. She sees everything and feels free to comment on all of it.

Cochette is the lead costume designer for the show. She is a Coco Chanel stranded in a desert with a million whining extras.

Shel is the put-upon technical specialist who can’t live up to Jack’s expectations. He finds hope for his career once Phil is put in charge, but eventually just wants to go home like everyone else.

The Narrator must be overly dramatic and very “Orson Welles” in presentations. His pronouncements may as well be the very voice of God descending upon the theatre.

Other Smaller Roles

Conspirator #1

Conspirator #2

Octavium

Slavemaster

Extras

Roman General

Egyptian Dancing Girl

Egyptian #1

Egyptian #2

Egyptian #3

Queen’s Attendant

Guard #1

Guard #2

Executioner

Brady

Cochette’s Assistant

Gladiator #1

Gladiator #2

Gladiator #3

Content Issues: Love scenes, kissing, sexual innuendoes, fight scenes

To purchase copies and obtain production rights to Epic Proportions, contact Dramatists Play Service, Inc

Here is a video clip of a scene from this play.