Scene One: Is That an Umbrella I See Before Me?

DIRECTOR: Cassio, what on earth are you doing back there?

CASSIO (offstage, and a little muffled): Hang on, the bench is in the way...

DIRECTOR (exasperated): Again?

CASSIO staggers onstage, shaking hair out of his eyes. Onstage, MONTANO and RODERIGO chuckle.

DIRECTOR: Okay, go from your last line.

CASSIO (peering intently at his script): Errr ... doo doo doo, let me find it. Where were we?

RODERIGO: Just after your second drunken hiccup.

CASSIO: Oh okay, got it now. (turns to DIRECTOR quizzically) Should we try it with weapons this time?

DIRECTOR: Yes, probably. Desdemona, can you get them out for us, we left them by the bowler hats, on top of the old grandfather clock.

DESDEMONA (backstage): Sure!

RODERIGO and CASSIO go backstage to help search. Sounds of rustling and a few soft clunks and crashes can be heard backstage. Sitting on the steps at the bottom of the stage, IAGO yawns.

RODERIGO (reappearing from behind the curtain, red in the face): Where are they?

DIRECTOR: What? I told you, they were with the hats.

RODERIGO: They’re not there now.

IAGO (puzzled): But I swear we were the last ones in here....

DIRECTOR: Agh, never mind, just grab any old thing, we’ll improvise for now. Make sure you get something for Iago too!

RODERIGO nods and vanishes backstage again. More rummaging and muttering can be heard. RODERIGO and CASSIO then re-enter; RODERIGO carrying a walking stick, and CASSIO with a plastic cutlass. In CASSIO’s other hand is a moth-eaten green umbrella, with bits of lace dangling from the corners.

CASSIO (handing the sword to IAGO with a smirk): Here you are, honest Iago. Consider it a gift.

IAGO gives the umbrella a funny look, but says no more on the matter. All return to their positions.

DIRECTOR: Okay guys, go for it!

RODERIGO and CASSIO begin to duel, shouting their lines across the stage. IAGO lunges forward, but suddenly the umbrella flies open between CASSIO’s legs. IAGO yelps and drops it, while CASSIO nearly falls backwards over the top of him. RODERIGO grabs the umbrella and brandishes it at CASSIO.

RODERIGO (over-dramatically): Prepare to meet thy lacy doom, knave!

The cast dissolve into giggles. The DIRECTOR re-starts the scene, but this time the umbrella flies open during IAGO’s getaway.

IAGO (doing a small pirouette to avoid crushing the umbrella under his foot): Gyah! That wasn’t supposed to happen!

OTHELLO (quietly, offstage):  Could have fooled me.

DESDEMONA giggles.

The cast reform for a third time, but before the scene has even started the umbrella has flown open again, nearly taking IAGO’s eye out. The DIRECTOR sighs and gives up.

DIRECTOR: Iago, swap with Roderigo. I think that umbrella is more trouble than it’s worth as a stealth weapon.

IAGO obediently exchanges props with RODERIGO. RODERIGO holds the umbrella at arm’s length, as if it might fly at his face at any moment. IAGO inspects the walking stick and pouts.

IAGO: I miss my umbrella already.

(Curtain Falls)

The End

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