The Legend of Sir Cumference

A two-act family-friendly musical about Cam, a shepherd who has to save his sheep, a beardless dwarven princess, and his village. I started on this around 2012, and worked on it consistently through 2015. In 2017 I got back to it, using my new knowledge and experience to mostly rewrite the dialogue two days, following the Rule of Power and looking for ways to add humor while keeping characters consistent. I also revisited the songs to spice them up considerably.

I am currently looking for composers to team up with, so if you're interested in hearing more and potentially getting involved feel free to email me at joshuapowlison@gmail.com!

Excerpt

MAGGIE: Cam, can't you see I'm practicing my magic?

CAM: Doesn't look very magic-y in here. But anyway- (Excited) You owe me a Birthday present, and I know what I want! Maggie, cast an invincibility spell on me! And that will make this the best Birthday ever!

MAGGIE: Huh?

CAM: Birthday gift. You forgot. An invincibility spell. Please? I know you told Mom you'd give me my Birthday present on the side, but I haven't gotten anything yet.

MAGGIE: (Angrily stomps her foot) Seriously? I told her to keep it a secret.

CAM: So here's the opportunity! I know you have no money, but casting this spell will take care of all that! I'll tell Mom how meaningful your present was, and you can get away with being a little cheapskate.

MAGGIE: One problem: that's an Expert level spell and I don't become an Expert until level 37.

CAM: Well, what level are you now?

MAGGIE: I'm level 4.

CAM looks down, exasperated.

MAGGIE: I guess I could make a potion-

CAM: Great! Perfect! What's your alchemy level?

MAGGIE: Um... good?... But I'd have to substitute everything. I don't have any good ingredients. And the last time I substituted like that, the potion had the awesome side affect of attracting every chicken in the village to me. They followed me for the rest of the day!

CAM: But it was a Potion of Increased Speed, so you outran them! It worked out!

MAGGIE: The next morning I woke up with fifty chickens in my bed.

CAM: Look, I don't care about the side effects. Just make me a potion! And I won't tell Mom you lied. And she won't nag you for-

MAGGIE: Okay, fine, I'll do it! I'll do it. Just- give me a moment.

MAGGIE walks around for a while thinking.

MUSICAL NUMBER: Substitution

MAGGIE: (Maggie grabs a book from under the table and throws book to CAM; CAM drops his staff and catches it) Here you go!

CAM: What's this?

MAGGIE: (sarcastic) What, don't you want to help?

CAM: But it's my Birthday present-

MAGGIE: (cuts him off, goes to another book on the table) Well, it's also my day off. That is the Book of Substitutes. I'm taking the recipe book. I'll read off the ingredient we should have, and you can find me an ingredient we do have that would be a suitable substitute.

CAM: (flipping through book, frustrated) Fine, if it gets it done faster. So what do we need first?

MAGGIE: A flask with a good fire under it!

CAM grabs a flask on a stand and a candle from the shelf.

(VERSE 1)
MAGGIE: (reading from the book) Gerbil eggs
CAM: Wait, gerbil eggs?
MAGGIE: Yep
CAM: Gerbils don't lay eggs

MAGGIE: Yes they do
CAM: No they don't
MAGGIE: Yes
CAM: No

MAGGIE: Gerbils can lay, but it hurts
They don't to save their soft innards

CAM: So how do you get the eggs?

MAGGIE: Gerbil girls are girly girls
They forget to not lay when cute boys give them pearls

Substitution!
CAM: Gerbil eggs can be substituted with chicken eggs, 3 to 1.

MAGGIE: I've got more of those than I care to remember! (reaches under table, grabs an egg, throws it whole into the flask)

Oyster eyes
CAM: Wait, oyster eyes
MAGGIE: That's right
CAM: Oysters don't have eyes

MAGGIE: Yes they do
CAM: No they don't
MAGGIE: Yes
CAM: No

MAGGIE: They're just shut all the time
So you can't see inside

CAM: Why do they keep their eyes shut all the time?

MAGGIE: You can eat them to sleep real nice
They go for quite a hefty price

Substitution! Get to work
CAM: Oyster's eyes can be substituted with toe jam, 4 to a pinch.

MAGGIE: Easy enough!

MAGGIE reaches down. CAM starts laughing.

CAM: (irritated) Maggie!

MAGGIE: (comes back up with toe jam) What?

CAM: Get your own toe jam next time!

MAGGIE: Whatever, not my fault you're ticklish.

(VERSE 3)
Turnip seeds
CAM: Um... turnip seeds?
MAGGIE: Yes, indeed
CAM: Turnips don't have seeds

MAGGIE: Yes they do
CAM: No they don't
MAGGIE: Yes
CAM: No

MAGGIE: Turnips though inedible, are also very magical
Their seeds are invisible

CAM: How do you get them then?

MAGGIE: Oysters are equally mystical
For them the seeds are seeable

Substitution!
CAM: Kiwi seeds, 1 to 1!

MAGGIE: (grabs a kiwi from under the table, throws it to CAM) All right, we need 100 kiwi seeds!

CAM: 100?!

MAGGIE: Any fewer, and it might not work.

CAM starts working on getting seeds out of the kiwi.

CAM: So do you usually use an oyster's help
To get you turnip seeds?

MAGGIE: No, it's cruel to take an oyster's help
Then turn around and take their eyes
And they'll only help you if you feed them gerbil eggs

CAM: Do you feed an oyster gerbil's eggs
So the oyster gets you seeds?

MAGGIE: Gerbils needs pearls to lay the eggs
You'd give them gifts then take their lays?

CAM: Take the pearls from an oyster and give it to a gerbil
Take the eggs from the gerbil and give it to the oyster
Take the oyster's help for a turnip's seeds
And when you've done all that take the oyster's eyes!

MAGGIE: No, that's just cruel
It makes everyone a tool!

CAM: Then how can you even get those ingredients?!

MAGGIE: Magic.

CAM: (irritated) Why don't you just substitute if it's so hard!

MAGGIE: Substitute with chicken eggs, you might bawk instead of laugh
Substitute with toe jam, grow tall as a giraffe
Substitute with kiwi seeds, your hair can turn to grass

CAM: Then why bother with substitution at all!

MAGGIE: (time freezes for CAM) Why indeed?

(BRIDGE)
Why substitute a father with a child
And count on him to shepherd just as well?
Why set the family's pride on the youngest one
And her scholarship for learning magic spells?

Why does Gramma stay with us when she's so able?
Why does Cumference dream of joining knighthood's table?
Because nothing else has filled these voids

MAGGIE: (outburst, time unfreezes for CAM) Because you wanted this stupid potion!

CAM: (surprised) Uh... I guess.

MAGGIE: Do you have the kiwi seeds?

CAM: Uh... I only have 7 out of 100 so far?

MAGGIE: I only really needed 3.

CAM: Wha-

MAGGIE: (takes seeds from CAM and throws three into the potion) All right, the final ingredient... is patience.

CAM flips through the book.

CAM: There is no substitution for patience!

MAGGIE: That's right.

BOTH pause. Potion gives off a poof of smoke.

MAGGIE: It's done!

END MUSICAL NUMBER: Substitution

MAGGIE pours some of the potion into a smaller flask. Hands smaller flask to CAM. Writes on flask's label, “Invincibility Potion”.

CAM: Thank you so much, Maggie, this is the best Birthday present ever! You'll get gold stars from Mom, believe me! Have a great... practice! (grabs staff, exits SL, excited)

MAGGIE: Actually, Cam, I'm thinking of taking a break.

MAGGIE takes out a small vial, begins filling it from the flask. Looks over at SL mischievously. BLACKOUT.