(EMPEROR enters. He is sleepwalking with
his eyes closed and arms extended. PETER quickly runs to hide
behind an audience member.)
EMPEROR: (Having a bad dream.)
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! No! No! Noooooo! It's not
true! I am the Imperial Emperor! How dare you imply that
I am not fit! No! No! It's not true!
(While EMPEROR babbles on, arms flailing, PETER
gets a little braver as he realizes the EMPEROR is sleeping.
EMPEROR can ad-lib here as much as needed. "How dare you
say I'm not fit!" PETER goes up to him, circles
around and finally waves his hand in front of
face. PETER enjoys himself and gets an idea.)
I am a good Emperor. I am a good
Emperor. My father and his father before him and his father
before him have ruled the Empire! It's not true! It's not true!
EMPRESS: Oh, dear. (Runs to him.)
Your Majesty! Your Majesty. (Pats his cheek.)
(Pats a little harder, still nothing.
Pats very hard, arm extended. Delivers a fake blow punctuated
with cymbal from ORCHESTRA. This blow should look obviously
fake with her arm and hand coming no where near his head.)
EMPEROR: (Dazed.) Huh?
EMPRESS: Dear, you're having another
one of your nightmares.
(Wakes, still half dreaming. He is
excited, trembling, out of breath, clings to EMPRESS.)
EMPRESS: There, there now, that's a
good little Emperor. Did we have a nasty old dream?
EMPEROR: (Whimpers.) Uh-huh.
EMPRESS: Did the little itty bitty
Emperor have a bad old dream?
(She comforts, then calls.)
Mirror! Mirror! Someone bring the
Emperor his mirror! Quick!
(No one comes, she sees PETER.)
Well, don't just stand there, young man, bring the
Emperor his mirror. Now!
PETER: Uh. Yes, sure.
Your Majesty. Right away, your majesty.
(PETER looks around, cannot find a mirror.)
EMPRESS: (Snapping fingers.)
(Finally PETER mimes carrying a mirror before
the EMPEROR and becomes the mirror himself, standing before him,
"mirroring" his actions.)
There now, here's your nice mirror.
(EMPEROR has hands over eyes and peeks between
his fingers to see himself in the mirror, PETER also peeks between
his fingers and continues to do exactly what EMPEROR does.)
See how nice we look in the mirror?
(The sight of his image helps EMPEROR to
recover and he begins to stand taller and with more confidence.)
EMPEROR: Uh-huh. (Turns to
EMPRESS: See now, there's nothing to
be afraid of.
(EMPEROR performs before the mirror now,
getting cocky, struts and poses.)
EMPEROR: Yes, you're right, of
course. Such a silly dream. Hah! Who could I ever dream
that I am unfit to rule?
EMPRESS: You? Unfit!
Don't make me laugh.
EMPEROR: Just look! Why, I am
the perfect specimen of a ruler.
(He gestures, poses, as PETER mirrors him.)
And just look how splendid my costuming is.
Ah! This mirror tells me so much!
EMPRESS: (Humoring.) It
tells you things, dear?
EMPEROR: For instance, if I wear a
blue jacket and it happens to match the color of my eyes that day,
then I know that it is the day I should raise taxes.
EMPRESS: You are a truly... inspired
ruler, my dear.
EMPEROR: I think I shall like to try
the purple jacket now.
EMPRESS: Oh, yes, the purple
one. Dear, do you want the purple jacket with the emerald
collar or the one with the diamond buttons?
EMPEROR: I believe I am in the mood
for diamonds. (Flashes smile in the mirror.)
EMPRESS: Yes, of course.
(She brings it to him. She helps him put
Lovely, just lovely!
EMPEROR: Yes, it is, isn't it?
EMPRESS: You know, my dear, it is so
splendid that I think that this is the one you should wear in the
royal procession next Saturday.
EMPEROR: Yes, I think you might be right.
(PETER breaks away from being the
mirror. EMPEROR and EMPRESS continue as if he has
not moved, looking into mirror, both with hands on chins, frowning as
they consider. PETER stands behind them, puts his hand on chin,
frowns, looks into the "mirror" considers, mimicking
them. They stand in this manner for a moment.)
PETER: (Shaking head.)
Oh, no. Huh-uh. That will never do.
EMPEROR: What? Who was that?
(They turn to see PETER, who drops into a bow.)
PETER: I am Peter, sir. Peter
the Tailor, your majesty.
How did you get in here?
EMPRESS: Dear, it's all right.
I let him in.
EMPEROR: But I don't need another tailor.
PETER: Oh, I think you do, sir.
EMPEROR: (Taking offense.)
You do, do you? And why is that, young man?
PETER: I couldn't help overhearing
that you were planning to wear... (Shows distaste.)...
that... to your royal procession next Saturday.
EMPEROR: Well, I was thinking about it...
PETER: (Looking, examining.)
EMPEROR: (Losing confidence.)
What? What? Don't you think it suits me?
PETER: (Walking around, examining
with distaste.) Hmmmm.
EMPEROR: What? Doesn't it fit properly?
PETER: Well, its just that...
EMPEROR: You know, I was thinking
that perhaps it was a little too... a little too...
PETER: Ordinary, sir?
EMPEROR: Yes. Ordinary!
Of course! My dear, bring me the one with the emeralds!
PETER: Oh, I don't think that will do either.
EMPEROR: No. No, of course
not. Emeralds are a little too... too...
EMPRESS: (Helping.) Flashy?
EMPEROR: A little too...
EMPEROR: Yes! Ordinary!
Of course! (Thinks.) Now, see here, young man. Just what
do you consider extra-ordinary?
EMPRESS: Your Highness, he says that
he makes clothes that are...
(Together, PETER making a grand gesture.
Magical chimes from the ORCHESTRA.)
EMPRESS & PETER: MAGIC!
Note: This is a
sample from the actual script. To review the entire play, order
the PERUSAL SCRIPT (online instant download). Or to save 20%
on the full production kit and royalty for one performance, order the SCHOOL
PLAY PACKAGE (below) and start rehearsals today!