copyright © 2002 Clinton A. Johnston

A Monster Christmas


Clinton A. Johnston

No Shame Theater — C’Ville



The Mad Dr. Otto Offenbachensturm — a broad, stereotypic teutonic/Slavic mad scientist

Igor — his broad, stereotypic hunchback henchperson

The Monster — their latest creation

(Note: Feel free to give both the Doctor and Igor the most ridiculous accents you can do.)

(Also: Line readings are suggestions for people doing this piece with little or no preparation. Feel free to make different choices as you see fit.)


[Text Note: A pause is longer than a beat. An ellipses (…) is a brief beat. An m-dash at the end of the line (like this–) means the next line interrupts.]



December 25, in the doctor’s castle, somewhere in lower Midwestern Eastern Europe


[In the darkness, Bach’s "Toccata & Fugue in D minor" starts to play. Lights up. The music starts to fade as soon as the doctor speaks and fades completely out when Igor enters.]

[The scene opens with The Monster asleep and standing straight up against the backstage wall. The Doctor is fiddling with his screwdriver on the back of the Monster’s neck, making last minute changes. The monster stands motionless with eyes closed until the end of the entire scene.]


Dr. Offenbachensturm

[Talking to himself.]

Let’s see … integrate the differentiating integral … differentiate the integrating differential … give it my signature twist [does weird twist pattern] one, two, three — one, two, three — twist! There!

[Steps back. A beat to admire his work proudly.]

[Yells from out of nowhere.]


[Back to admiring his work.]

Hmm … maybe I should have made you look more like Rock Hudson.


[Still admiring]

[To The Monster]

What if I graft dermal plating to your skin? Would you like that, hmm?


[To himself]

Where is that poor excuse for a biped? [To the Monster] You know, maybe your first act should be strangling that little pest by the neck. What do you think, hmm? Time to clean the dead wood and get a new assistant?



[Enter Igor with concealed present, best if it’s in his hump.]


Yes, master. Sorry, master.

Dr. Offenbachensturm

Ah, there you are, you pestilent worm! Again with your endless dawdling! Didn’t you hear me? Where were you? Down in that cellar again, I bet! Always with the cellar recently! You know the dampness wreaks havoc with your sinuses! Pretty soon, you’ll have one of your attacks and then what use will you be to me!?!


A thousand apologies master. I was … taking a shower.

Dr. Offenbachensturm

Taking a shower!?! Ridiculous! Odiferous lackey, you haven’t taken a shower in thirty years! Bah! We have no time for your pathetic attempts at mendacity! Do you have the brain for my latest creation?


Yes, master. It’s already inside of it.

Dr. Offenbachensturm

Oaf! Did I not say that I tire of your lying! Bring me the brain at once!


But I’m not lying, master. Look for yourself!

[The Doctor looks in the monster’s ear.]

Dr. Offenbachensturm

Why, so it is. When did you do this?


This morning, while you were still asleep, between exercising the bats and cleaning the werewolf droppings from the lawn. It’s all there, master, correctly done.

Dr. Offenbachensturm

Correctly done? But the chemical balances, the attaching of the nerve fibers —


All done, all completed, master.

Dr. Offenbachensturm

But how did you learn to do such a complicated procedure?


I’ve watched you, master … and I found a correspondence course on the Web, through Yahoo.


Dr. Offenbachensturm

[Unbelieving, then sarcastic]

A correspondence course? Well, that should do the trick.

[Ding! Puts 2 + 2 together. He’s a sharp one!]

But, if this was all done this morning, what took you so long just now?


I was working on this! [Pulls out present.] Merry Christmas, master!

Dr. Offenbachensturm

[Takes present, a little shocked, a little puzzled]

I don’t understand.


It’s Christmas, master, so I got you a Christmas present. Open it, master. Open it.

[The Doctor opens it and looks at the magazine, Popular Mechanics.]

Dr. Offenbachensturm

What is this?


It’s an issue of Popular Mechanics. I got you a subscription.


Dr. Offenbachensturm


A subscription!?! To Popular Mechanics, a subscription!?! This is your present … a subscription to this useless rag-magazine!?! Igor, I am a genius! I have devoted my life and my family fortune to cracking open the very secrets of God and His creation like an overripe walnut! What makes you think the childish ramblings of these half-wit dilettantes mean anything to me?



But master, Count Rudiga gets ideas from Popular Mechanics all the time.

Dr. Offenbachensturm

[Disgusted at the name. Spits.]

Count Rudiga! Ptooi! Ptooi!


But that’s how he developed his Mask of Death and his Gibbering Plague and his Terrible Sub-zero Death Beam.

Dr. Offenbachensturm

The Death Beam? No!



Yes! From an article in the Home Improvement section on "Understanding Your Refrigerator". My mother’s cousin’s brother’s second nephew does henchwork for Count Rudiga, and she told me all about it. But look, master! Look on the cover!

Dr. Offenbachensturm

[Reads the cover]

"Reanimation of Dead Tissure: Not Just Mad Science But Insane Art". That’s my work! The swine have stolen my paper! Quick! Wake up the Monster. We shall lay waste to their puny offices!


No, master! Look closer.

Dr. Offenbachensturm

[Reading cover again]

"A new article by Dr. Otto Offenbachensturm."


I sent it in for you, and they published it … After I kidnapped the editor’s 14 year old daughter and held her for ransom.

Dr. Offenbachensturm

Is that what you’ve been keeping in the cellar?



Yes, for three weeks.

Dr. Offenbachensturm

Is she still there?


No, I sent her back, but not before I switched her brain with the brain of the mad Queen Beatrice. That’s the girl’s brain in the new monster. [Suddenly conspiratorial] Although, quite frankly, I don’t think her father will notice the switch. She was a most unpleasant little girl. I did not like her. I did like her music though. [Begins to sing a dance his Igor dance.] "I’m a — ooo, ooo — slave for you!"–

Dr. Offenbachensturm


[Pause. Igor stops dancing.]

Dr. Offenbachensturm


I still don’t understand. Why … why have you done all this?


Master, you … you give me a place to sleep, food, a job that I enjoy, where I feel needed. And you always yell at me whenever I do something stupid. I’ve never had anyone care that much about what I did before. You order me around all day, master. I just wanted to do something nice for you that you didn’t ask for.



Dr. Offenbachensturm

Igor … I … I don’t know what to say … [switching to happy] except can you imagine Rudiga’s face when he sees me on the cover of Popular Mechanics? Ha ha ha! [Pats Igor on his hump] Igor, this is the best Christmas present I’ve ever had! It’s also the only Christmas present I’ve ever had, but one fact does not contradict the other.

[The monster wakes up, moves and starts making monster sounds and moving about.]

Dr. Offenbachensturm

Look! It’s alive! It’s alive! Ha ha ha ha!

[The monster goes for Igor and starts to strangle him. The Doctor rushes to hold him back.]

Dr. Offenbachensturm

No! No! No! Stop!

[On "Stop!" the trio freezes with the Monster still strangling Igor and the Doctor trying to pull the Monster off.]

Dr. Offenbachensturm


Never Igor. You never hurt Igor. We would be lost without him.

[The Monster in dim understanding lets go of Igor. Both Igor and the Doctor look in pride at the new monster. Igor rushes over to a console and hits a button. "I’m a Slave 4 U" begins to play. The trio start to dance to it.]



Prop List


Issue of Popular Mechanics wrapped up as a present

Wrapping paper

White lab coat

Pillow for hump

Portable CD player


Bach’s "Toccata & Fugue in D minor"

Britney Spears’s "I’m a Slave 4 U" off of Britney


"A Monster Christmas" debuted December 27, 2002, performed by Leo Arico, Todd Ristau, and Clinton Johnston.

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