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KHS Pretenders: Roomers by Jerome McDonough, 1989


Roomers is a farce in one act. You can read it on Google Books. You can license it for performances here.

In May, 1989, Kokomo H.S. Downtown performed this play under the directorship of Pat Brandon.

Gotta love dot matrix.
The original program. 1989.

The original cast, KHS (Downtown-wise) wrote their own character dossiers for this production. Here they are, for your enjoyment:

Garney (by Meredith Hamilton): My real name is Groda Garney Feldman. But nobody knows my real name except for my parents and me. I am 45 and a little flaky. I was in a school for the mentally insane. There I learned to be a lady. But, as I was growing up, I saw Mother Courage in a play and fell in love. She was a vision of loveliness and I centered my life around her. The rest of my life I waited hand and foot on my younger sister, who I hated, and planned to kill if she didn’t die first. I am color-blind and have very bad taste. I suffer from paranoia and hydrophobia. After my sister died, I moved to the apartments and met the owner. We were enemies but we had one thing in common— we loved money. I would do anything to lower my rent and if a person could live in a toilet, I would try to lease it. Well, that’s me and what a witch!   (But pronounced a little different.)

Kristin (by Yolanda McKelvin): Kristin Whiting is 23 years old. She was born in Hartford, Connecticut. She graduated from Hartford High School with a full scholarship from Columbia College in New York. She had a little trouble getting to New York because her parents were sick. She stayed on for about a year until her father passed away. Her mother was devastated and she went into shock. Kristen helped her mom get settled into a nursing home, then she left. At Columbia College, Kristen majored in child care. After she graduated from college, she got a job at a daycare center and found a room at an old, run-down building run by a dirty old lunatic. But it was all she could find. Kristen hopes to move to Manhattan and settle down, have three kids and live a happy life. 

Dana Jo (by Kerri Adams): Dana is a 23-year-old college drop-out who wanted to pursue a singing career. Her parents are very religious and wanted her to go to a college and pursue a career from Frankfort, Kentucky. Her parents pushed her too hard and she couldn’t handle the pressure so she dropped out of college her sophomore year and hasn’t seen her parents since. She was engaged when she dropped out [of college], until he [her fiancée] broke her heart and ran off with a rich bimbo from California. So she decided to move to New York and start her life over and fresh. She has no brothers or sisters so she always is used to having things her own way and she has no idea how to make it in the real world…until she finds a new family of her own at the brownstone and her new family helps her along. 

Kanbo (by Mark Genovese): Kanbo Nepomiceno Kutungal. I was born in India. I was the son of a great line of kings. However, my mother was not the favorite wife of my papa, so he left, the slimy cowpoke. My life was normal, slaving for pennies and eating pig slop to support my family. At the age of 25, I traced my heritage back and found my twin sister. She led a similar life to mine but, of course, her being a female was much inferior. I continued to trace my roots back further. That’s when I found out I was the son of King Billy Bo Jo Bob Jim Bob Dwayne the Third. Since he was disgraced with me, he gives me money just to leave him alone. So I moved to New York, the apple of my eye. That’s when I met Jen, who is my best friend in the whole, wide world. She even got me my apartment!

Lasher (by Chris Huffman): My name is Lasher Fudd and I crave food! My motto is “food for thought” and I am the type of person who loves to think a lot. I was brought up in a rather wealthy family because of my cousin, Elmer. I was born in Charlotte, North Carolina and was disgraced in the eyes of my family by being a food addict. I attended Hamburger University at age 17 after being kicked out of my home. I was born May 30, 1954. I am 35 years old and when I was 27, I moved to New York. I went bankrupt in the first week and so I moved to the streets. On my first night alone in the dark, drab streets of New York, I saw a sign in the window of a run-down brownstone building: “Cook wanted, low pay, room and board furnished, food free.” I didn’t wait ten seconds before I rushed to the building, which was now to me a temple. And I got the job. I made many friends like Dana Jo and Kanbo (well, personally, I don’t think Kanbo has any enemies). And I made some enemies, like Garney: what a tight-wad dope! In conclusion, I have had many great experiences and I really enjoy the food. People say that if you look at me, I don’t look like I love food the way I do. But I love it and always will.

Sheila (by Michelle Railey): I knew from the day I was born (September 32, 1966) that I was destined to be…Sheila Renee Connors. And the first time my mom took my picture, I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to become a camera! Not just any camera. A Polaroid! But soon I found out that everything I saw, I wanted to become. And I soon had become everything in my home. Needless to say, my mom became scared. And then I became scared because I became my mother. Well, I was fifteen by then and I had become my whole city so I left to come to New York and live with my aunt. Then, while living in New York. I discovered that if I became an actress, I could become it all (even though I was working on that already). So, after my release from Aunt Jane’s Home for the Special Children of New York, I headed out to become everything and I settled in an apartment close to off-the-wall, off, off, off Broadway.

Holly (by Arhea Zinschlag): I was born in Laramie, Wyoming while my parents were on a camping trip but I grew up in Boston. My maiden name was Holly Kendall. I’m 23 years old and have been married to Tim Anders for two years. We met at one of his father’s parties. The party was to celebrate Tim’s birthday. I was invited by mistake. I didn’t even know him until that day! Soon after that, he proposed to me and we got married, although his father and I don’t get along at all. Everything was great for awhile. We even have a daughter, Elizabeth Ann, affectionately known as Beth. I’m fed up though; all I am now is “Tim’s wife” and “Beth’s mother.” Tim seems to have forgotten about my dreams. I’ve always dreamed of being an Olympic downhill skier. Unless Tim apologizes, I am going to try for a divorce. 

Manrashi (by Aimee Roberts): I, Manrashi, was born in a chicken coop in Liverpool. My mother instantly threw me into the sea, for what reason, I do not know. A great dolphin miraculously saved me and took me to the fountain of youth after many adventures in India. I was twenty-two then. I lost count of how old I am now; it was all so long ago. I was kidnapped from my islands and taken to New York and that’s where I am now. 

Gildred “Gilley” Garfunkel (by Kari Trobaugh): You don’t need to tell me Gildred is a weird name but I didn’t pick it out. It was my grandmother’s name. Anyway, when I was little, I wanted to be a marine biologist. I would catch tadpoles in a jar at the pond out back and see how long it took them to die. But when I was about eight, I decided to be a stuntman. But then, when I was ten, I decided I didn’t want to run through fire and jump off buildings. After nine more changes of my mind, I decided to be a private detective. So I opened a small business of my own and the Anders case is my biggest case yet. But let’s go back to my childhood. I was born May 13, 1965 in Colby, Kansas to very religious parents. Don’t get me wrong: religion is fine but at the time I left and went to L.A. I wanted to be a dancer. So, after four more career changes in L.A., I settled on being a PI. After my first six cases, I bought a 32-room mansion in Beverly Hills (across the street from Joan Collins) complete with pool, hot tub, and sauna. I love my life now; I just hope I don’t mess up this case. 

Candy Stewart (by Ashley Kitchell): I’m the sweetest of the sweet and, no matter what happens, I’m always happy. I had a large fight with my sister Jen the last time I was with her– about two years ago. At this time, Jen was 22 and I was 23. She was fed up with my sweetness and couldn’t understand what kept me from being like her: mean and cruel. We were born in Brunswick, Maine, where our father died in a boating accident. Then our mother moved us to New York. When I was 16, Jen was 15, and my mother fell sick. Two years later, she died. Jen and I lived in an apartment together until she got fed up with my sweetness and threw me out.  From there I got my own apartment on Manhattan Island and became a psychologist. Jen and I never spoke until this visit. I came to her because I was ready to lose my sweetness.

Tim Anders (by Greg Roberts): I was born in Boston; went to the finest pre-schools. Went to the finest grade schools and high schools. I went to Harvard to major in law. I went to Yale then to further my education. I met Holly Kendall and instantly fell head-over-heels for her. I met her at one of my father’s parties for family and friends (my birthday). Though she didn’t like my father, we got married. We then had a baby named Elizabeth Ann Anders. After a few months of having Beth, we had an argument and my wife left me. I then went after her to get her back because I loved her so much. 


The cast.


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