It’s like Shakespeare...only in English.

“I feel as unwelcome as a sneeze in the middle of an enema.” ~ B.S.

The Incomplete Worlds Of Billy Shakespeare | It's like Shakespeare...only in English.

Billy Plays With Himself

one-act plays

The Hollow Laugh

Dramatis Personae

SCIENTIST, the “invisible” man

“BOB”, the SCIENTIST’S chief assistant



TITLE CARD: In a secret laboratory, one mile under the city...


There is a table in the middle of a cluttered laboratory. We see several people with lab coats walking busily around as they prepare for their great experiment.

THE NOT-YET-INVISIBLE SCIENTIST (addressing everyone at once): My friends...the moment has finally come. Today is the day we test our invisibility serum on a human being!

There is good-hearted applause from the other scientists but the THE NOT-YET-INVISIBLE SCIENTIST continues speaking.

Yes, yes. It’s a great day for all of us. Though, mostly for me, of course.

Clapping fades a bit, then dies altogether.

It is a great day for me, indeed! First, as the leader of this scientific team, and second, it is my great honor to also be our first live human test subject.

THE NOT-YET-INVISIBLE SCIENTIST begins to unbutton his lab coat, then sits down on the examination table in the center of the room.

Now I know what you must be thinking. “What a magnificent man, this is. We are truly in the presence of greatness.” Well, please...let me put your minds at ease, my... (THE NOT-YET-INVISIBLE SCIENTIST puts his fingers in the air making a “quotation mark” gesture.) “...colleagues.” Let me assure you that I will not forget any of you as my career rockets skyward from this point on. As I take this momentous step towards achieving my well-deserved fame and notoriety, I want you all to know that you will not be forgotten. I’m sure that somewhere in a scientific journal your names will be placed alongside mine...oh, not DIRECTLY alongside, of course...maybe in a footnote somewhere, I should imagine.

THE NOT-YET-INVISIBLE SCIENTIST now lies back on the table, rolling his shirt sleeve high up on his arm.

But let’s not delay this great moment in science any longer. Bob...

“BOB” (through gritted teeth): My name is Bill.

THE NOT-YET-INVISIBLE SCIENTIST: Of course, Bob. Of course. My mistake. Now then. Let’s begin.

“BOB” rolls his eyes and another scientist puts a hand on his shoulder sympathetically. He takes a large syringe with a glowing green substance inside off the tray. He holds it up to the light, preparing it...then pauses. He nudges one of the scientists standing next to him.

THE NOT-YET-INVISIBLE SCIENTIST: What’s the delay, Bob? We’re all overcome by emotion at a time like this, Bob, but I must ask that you put your deep admiration for me aside for a moment so that we might begin at last.

“BOB” pockets the green, glowing syringe and takes another one off the tray with clear fluid inside and large black letters along the outside: “H20.” The OTHER SCIENTISTS stifle a laugh as “BOB” places the syringe against the THE NOT-YET-INVISIBLE SCIENTIST’S arm. We watch as he pushes the plunger down, injecting water into the THE NOT-YET-INVISIBLE SCIENTIST.

“BOB” (nudging the OTHER SCIENTISTS and winking): Hey, it’s working! Look everybody!

THE “INVISIBLE” SCIENTIST” begins to thrash around dramatically on the examination table, grunting and gnashing his teeth.

ANOTHER SCIENTIST (holding back his laughter): Yeah! He’s disappearing right before our eyes! It’s amazing!

THE “INVISIBLE” SCIENTIST stops thrashing about and holds his hands in front of his face.

THE “INVISIBLE” SCIENTIST: Are you sure? I can still see myself.

“BOB:” Well, of course you can see yourself. You’re looking at yourself with invisible eyes!

A few of THE OTHER SCIENTISTS turn around to hide their laughter. The “INVISIBLE” SCIENTIST hops off the table waving his hands through the air.

“BOB:” Wow. This is spooky. If it weren’t for your clothes, we wouldn’t be able to see you at all.

THE “INVISIBLE” SCIENTIST (stopping suddenly): Really?

THE “INVISIBLE” SCIENTIST immediately begins to strip, pulling his shoes off and tearing his pants and shirt off. The last item to go are big, blousy white boxer shorts. When he finally pulls them off, all of the FEMALE SCIENTISTS turn away, blocking the view with their hands. THE “INVISIBLE” SCIENTIST starts jumping around the room, “hiding” behind various desks and chairs.

THE “INVISIBLE” SCIENTIST: Where am I now? Ha ha! (running to another location) Wrong! I’m over here now! Ha ha! This is fantastic!

THE “INVISIBLE” SCIENTIST picks a pen up off a desk and runs over to where the OTHER SCIENTISTS are gathered still. He starts to wave the pen in front of their stunned faces.

Look! A floating pen!

THE “INVISIBLE” SCIENTIST drops the pen and disappears beneath the examination table. The OTHER SCIENTISTS start to look at each other uncomfortably. We can see now that the THE “INVISIBLE” SCIENTIST is lying on his back, looking up the lab coat of a FEMALE SCIENTIST.

THE “INVISIBLE” SCIENTIST (in a low voice): Bet you can’t guess where I am now! Tee-hee!

THE FEMALE SCIENTIST lifts her leg and kicks THE “INVISIBLE” SCIENTIST between his legs.

THE “INVISIBLE” SCIENTIST (in a now higher-pitched voice): Oof! Good guess.

THE “INVISIBLE” SCIENTIST picks himself up and is suddenly transfixed by the BIG-BREASTED FEMALE LAB ASSISTANT. He doesn’t speak, he merely hangs his tongue out and makes grabbing motions with his hands as if fighting the temptation to squeeze her breasts. The BIG-BREASTED FEMALE LAB ASSISTANT in the meantime is looking at the OTHER SCIENTISTS with a pleading look on her face. “BOB” lifts his hand, but before he can touch him, the SCIENTIST runs off and we see him going into a restroom door labeled “WOMEN.” The OTHER SCIENTISTS look at the door, then at each other. Then back at the door. They finally break into laughter and slap each other on the back. Then the laughter fades and they all stand, staring at the door.

BIG-BREASTED FEMALE LAB ASSISTANT: he coming out anytime soon? ‘Cus I gotta pee.

“BOB:” He’s coming out. (pause) I think.

ANOTHER SCIENTIST He can’t stay in there forever...

BIG-BREASTED FEMALE LAB ASSISTANT: Goddammit, I’m serious. I really have to pee.


We see the naked SCIENTIST running in and out of the women’s bathroom stalls, planning the best place to look at women peeing.

THE “INVISIBLE” SCIENTIST: This is going to be so great! Where should I stand? Where should I stand? I could move over here a little bit, then peek, no, no. Because if they pick this one, then I’m screwed. Maybe if I stop this toilet up, then they’ll have to use the other one, then I can peek over the wall.

THE “INVISIBLE” SCIENTIST pauses for a moment, running his hands through his hair and thinking hard. He catches his reflection in the bathroom mirror and absent-mindedly fixes his tousled hair. He smiles at his reflection.


THE “INVISIBLE” SCIENTIST winks at his reflection. Then pauses. The smile slowly starts to fade away.


He frowns at his reflection, then looks down at his own nudity.


We see THE “INVISIBLE” SCIENTIST with a HUGE bundle of wadded up toilet paper covering his private parts. It looks like an enormous white ballerina’s tutu. He stops as he passes the OTHER SCIENTISTS, glares at each one of them in turn.


THE “INVISIBLE” SCIENTIST shuffles away still clutching his toilet paper tutu.