FICTION BLAST-OFF THEATER
by Richard Nathan
(Please note: I wrote this after I wrote "Warning From The Future." If you are performing "Warning From The Future," you should probably not also perform "Abe Lincoln" as part of the same show, as some of the elements are too similar.)
Before the lights come up, a voice announces the title of the story:
It is April 15, 1865. A TRAVELER approaches the TICKET-SELLER at Ford's Theater.
Excuse me. This may seem like an odd
question, but is today April 15, 1865?
It's not odd at all. Yes, this is April 15,
1865, and, assuming you were going to ask,
this is Ford's Theater. Would you like
to purchase a ticket?
It's vitally important I purchase a
Sorry, we're all sold out. You'll have to
come back a week ago.
Let me check again. No, sorry, the records
now show you'll have to go back at least a
month ago to get a ticket.
I don't understand....
You're a time traveler, aren't you?
How did you know?
Everyone with a ticket tonight is a time
traveler, other than the Lincoln party,
and I'm not sure about some of them.
I thought I was the only one who knew how....
To time travel? The only one from all of time?
You thought only you could figure it out, out of
every human who ever lived or will live???
That's a little egotistical, isn't it? You wouldn't
believe how many time travelers I've met. And
they all insist on coming here.
You seem to be taking this awfully calmly.
I was shocked when I first realized what was
going on. But after meeting my first hundred or
so time travelers, I began to get used to it.
Did they tell you why they've come?
Oh yes. Most of them want to save Lincoln.
And some want to kill him.
Kill him? Doesn't Booth do that?
How would I know? It hasn't happened yet.
But the way some of the time travelers tell it,
a time traveler saves Lincoln, but the
assassination attempt drives him insane with
fear, and he starts a ruthless monarchy. I'm
told it won't be pleasant.
So everyone with a ticket is either going to
try to save Lincoln or kill him.
Except for the scalpers. They came back to buy
tickets, and then sell them to other time travelers.
Most of them have already sold their tickets, but
there might still be some available, for several
Why should I pay a scalper if I can just go back
in time and buy a ticket when they were available?
If you go back one month, someone else could
go back two months. There's still a lot of time
traveling going on. The past is now in a constant
state of flux, thanks to people like you. I expect by
now, ... wait, let me check....
The Ticket-Seller checks his records again.
Yes, my records have changed again. They now
show we sold out the day the tickets went
on sale. Hmmm. It says the buyers were lined up,
camping out, weeks in advance. Do you want to
camp out on the street for weeks? The only
other way you'll get a ticket now is to pay a
I don't think I can afford that. Besides, if there
are so many others who'll try to save Lincoln....
Or kill him!
.... or kill him, they don't need me, do they?
No, not really. You might as well go back home.
When I get back, I wonder if it will turn out that
Lincoln was killed or survived.
Well, it doesn't really matter any more, does it?
How can you say that?
If you don't like it, just wait. Someone is
bound to change it.
here to go to more
SCIENCE FICTION BLAST-OFF THEATER
science fiction scripts
© 2003 by Richard Nathan. All rights reserved
The author grants all internet uses to print these scripts for their own, personal, non-commercial use. No other use may be made without the author's permission. Without limiting the foregoing, the plays may not be staged without the author's express permission.
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