Crime Scene: The Case of the Ringing Doorbell
Reader's Theater by Rose Treviño
This script has four characters and a narrator. These may be assigned in various ways to two or more individual readers. Elementary school children or teens may read the entire program. Library staff may also participate.
At the beginning of the program, introduce the characters and the readers for each part. Explain with a short overview what they will be learning about. For example, “Hello, welcome to the library. Today, you are in for a different storytelling experience called Reader’s Theater. Ms. Gina and I will alternately read the characters’ dialogue. She will play the parts of Mookie and Ms. Brudi. I will play the parts of Boo and Mrs. Martinez. Our library volunteer, Ms. Athena will read the narrator’s parts. This story is called ‘Crime Scene: the Case of the Ringing Doorbell.’ At the end of the story, I’d like to know how many of you can solve this case.”
And now, the script!
Crime Scene: the Case of the Ringing Doorbell
Narrator: Mookie and Boo are the code names used by two young detectives who help solve crimes in their neighborhood. When John’s cat, Charlie, vanished, Mookie and Boo solved the case and found Charlie. And then there was the time that Matthew’s basketball disappeared. Again it was Mookie and Boo who got to the bottom of things and found it. Their newest investigation involves the entire neighborhood. It started on a Monday when Mrs. Martinez went to answer her door and found no one was there. So far, everyone on their block is claiming that the same thing happened to them. The doorbell rang and when they went to answer the door, no one was there. The only sign was a cutout letter of the alphabet - just one single letter. They are determined to solve this case. Their eighth stop is Mrs. Martinez’s house.
Mookie: Okay Mrs. Martinez. Tell me what happened after you heard the doorbell ring.
Mrs. Martinez: I was baking some cookies when I heard the doorbell ring. When I got to the door, no one was there. I went outside and looked around, but I didn’t see anyone. When I headed back inside, I found this just outside my door.
Boo: An “L”. Somebody left you the letter “L”. Mrs. Martinez, does your first name begin with an “L”?
Mrs. Martinez: My name is Mary. Mary Louise.
Boo: “L” for Louise. Mookie, let’s make a note of this in our clue log.
Mookie: Got it. Thank you Mrs. Martinez. We’ll get back with you.
Boo: So far, we have an “L”, an “A”, a “B”, an “E”, a “P”, two “S’s” and a “K”. What’s your guess?
Mookie: It could be anything, but I think that somebody’s sending a message. I can feel it. So far, we can spell the words Abe, bake, bakes, yes, tab, and tabs. It just doesn’t make sense. Let’s go speak to the Miller’s.
Narrator: All day, Mookie and Boo rang doorbells and spoke to almost everyone on the block. The Leyton’s were at church. The young couple; Yvonne and Allen, were out of town as was Tony, the neighborhood handyman. More letters were found and they added an “N”, a “P”, an “M”, an “O”, an “S” and two “I’s” to their list. Now they had more word combinations including nap, yap, sap, map and lap. The puzzle was getting bigger.
Boo: I don’t get it. Who would ring a doorbell just to leave a letter of the alphabet? And not just any letter - Pete received a “P”, Natasha an “N” and Sonia an “S”.
Mookie: Another “S? ” That makes three “S’s”. When Yvonne and Allen return, I wonder if they’ll receive a “Y” or an “A”. Hmmmm, this is getting really interesting.
Boo: What do you mean by that? I think it’s weird.
Mookie: Let’s make a list of what happened on Monday, all the usual stuff and anything unusual. I had to clean my room....
Boo: You clean your room. Yeah, that is pretty unusual.
Mookie: Very funny and quit interrupting! I didn’t get out of the house until after lunch when Mom reminded me that my library books were due. So that’s where I spent my afternoon.
Boo: I was out walking Mrs. Smith’s three dogs at 7 o’clock in the morning. Her new puppy, Libby, wanted to sniff everything so it took a while. I saw some early joggers plus a few people leaving for work.
Mookie: Meet me at the library in an hour. I’m going to check on something real fast and then I’ll see you there.
Narrator: Mookie suddenly remembered something she had seen at the library on Monday. Ms. Brudi, the librarian, had been wheeling something on her cart. She also had quite a bit of construction paper and some square wooden things. On her way to the back office, she had thrown away a small stack of papers. When Mookie walked by the trash can, she saw what looked like a stencil of a flower, so she reached in and pulled it out. Up in her room, Mookie grabbed that stencil and headed out to the library to meet Boo.
Boo: Why all the secrecy? Did something else happen?
Mookie: Look at this.
Boo: What is it?
Mookie: It’s a cutout of a flower.
Boo: So what?
Mookie: I think we will have this case solved soon. Just follow me. Hello Ms. Brudi. What are you working on?
Ms. Brudi: I was going to finish working on my bulletin board, but my display items have disappeared.
Mookie: What kind of items were they?
Ms. Brudi: Oh, just some patterns I was working on. I’m doing a display for our Summer Reading Program.
Boo: Ms. Brudi, can you tell us what your patterns looked like?
Ms. Brudi: I had some spy stuff – a spyglass, a camera, a Sherlock Holmes silhouette, and some book patterns. Why?
Mookie: Is there anything else you can think of that you’re missing?
Ms. Brudi: Well actually, the only thing missing were the letters. Look at the bulletin board, the rest of my patterns are up.
Boo: Letters? Like in the alphabet letters?
Ms. Brudi: Yeah – how’d you guess? I cut out letters to spell out this year’s theme for the reading program.
Narrator: Mookie and Boo looked at each other and then looked back at the bulletin board. There were clues all over the bulletin board. There was that Sherlock Holmes silhouette, the spyglasses, the sleuth hat and the magnifying glass. The only thing missing were the letters.
Ms. Brudi: Can you guess what the theme is just by looking at the display?
Mookie: Are you going to tell us?
Ms. Brudi: No, I’m going to let our summer readers guess what it is.
Narrator: Things were coming together fast. With another “B”, two “S’s”, two more “O’s”, and another “I”, Mookie and Boo were on their way to discovering the theme for the summer reading program. And they eventually did. What they couldn’t figure out was who actually rang the doorbells and left the letters at the doors.
Boo: Hey Mookie. I’ve just remembered something unusual about Monday morning. You know Ms. Brudi, the librarian? I saw her walking down the sidewalk in our neighborhood carrying a small bag. She was wearing a T-shirt that said, ‘Mission Impossible” or that’s what I thought it said. I couldn’t read what was on the back. When she saw me she waved and I could have sworn she was holding something in her hand. And she was walking to Yvonne and Allen’s house. Do you know what I think? I bet she was holding a “Y”.
Narrator: Can you guess what the back of Ms. Brudi’s T-shirt said?