An Old Bottle

By Fred Lane


Woman with daughter finds an old bottle in the gutter. A second woman retrieves the strange bottle from the gutter, which turns out to be a genie's bottle. She gets to make one wish, and receives a surprise answer.



Fancy jewelry, peacock chair (things that can make Barbara look rich), fancy bottle,


Act one

(Woman walks slowly across stage with daughter in hand.)

Daughter: Momma, look! A pretty bottle! (Mother stops walking, daughter runs to bottle and picks it up and brings it to her mother)

(Barbara enters and pauses to watch what happens)

Woman: (looks at the bottle disgustedly) You put that thing down right now! You don't have any idea where that thing has been!

(Daughter puts bottle down, mother and daughter depart up the aisle)

(Barbara, still standing still, watches mother and daughter leave and looks at the bottle at the same time. Haltingly, she walks to the bottle and picks it up. She looks around to see if anyone is watching, then quickly puts it down and begins to walk off. After a couple of steps she stops, turns slowly, puts her finger to her mouth and looks down at the bottle. After a pause, she throws her hands up and turns to leave again, but stops facing away from the bottle)

Barbara: (speaking to herself) I must be crazy, but I'm seriously considering picking up this bottle. (She turn again and looks down at the bottle) I hope nobody's watching! (Picks up the bottle and walks to center stage while looking at it, carefully turning it over in her hands as if to read any markings) I've never seen a bottle with this kind of decoration before. It looks very old. I'll bet it's worth something...people collect these old bottles. (Holds the bottle toward her mouth as if she were speaking into it) Maybe you'll bring me some good luck...

Voice: You said it, sweetheart.

Barbara: (Looks around, startled) Who said that?

Voice: the bottle (Barbara looks at the bottle in shock)...I'm the...(big sigh) Genie in the Bottle. I'll give you a moment to get over the shock...

Barbara: (Looks around, this time serious) Wait a minute...This is some kind of joke. (Speaks to bottle) Whoever you are, I'm not falling for your sick sense of humor.

Voice: Barbara, it's no joke and this is your lucky day.  I'll grant you anything you want, but you only get one wish.

Barbara: (Unconvinced) Okay, I'll play along. (Walks back to screen) But I thought genies popped out of the bottle and gave 3 wishes...

Voice: You've been watching too many reruns; and just for your information, I am THE genie in the bottle, the one and only.

Barbara: Well, excuse me! I guess I need to brush up on my genie-etiquite!

Voice: Okay, so what's your wish.

Barbara: Let me think (puts bottle on ledge at screen, and steps away, thinking for a moment). One wish, and it has to count. Okay, so I can have anything I want, right?

Voice: Yeah.

Barbara: Alright, I want everything I always wanted, all the things that can make me happy.  I want all the power and possessions I've ever seen that I wanted.  How's that!

Voice: I can do that, but are you sure that's what you want?

Barbara: Yes, and I want it now!

Voice: Okay,...close your eyes and count to four...

Barbara: I thought it was three...

Voice: Just do it, please!

Barbara:  I hope no one is looking (faces audience and lifts head and closes eyes) One, two, three

Lights switched off on three.

Act 2

(Peacock chair on center stage, Barbara in chair dressed in finery, looks like a genie)

Barbara: (seated with eyes closed, head tilted up) One, two, three (She opens her eyes, lifts up arms to look at her self; she is very amazed) I don't believe it! He really did it! He was a genie. (Gets up and looks in mirror) Look at this jewelry; it must be worth a mint!

(Hugs herself and kind of dances around celebrating)

Barbara: (In a sing-song voice, like Ring around the Rosie) I'm wealthy, I'm powerful, I'm happy, happy, happy!

(A rubbing or rustling sound is heard over the PA, Barbara stops celebrating to listen by tilting her ear up to hear)

Barbara: What's that sound?

Voice: Hey! look what I old bottle! I wonder if it's worth anything? You think I ought to rub it, or something? Maybe there's a genie inside (louder and closer) Maybe you'll bring me some good luck...

Barbara: (hands on either side of her head) OH, NOOOOO!

Lights out


© Fred Lane, Crosswind Community Church, All rights reserved
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged. In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what purpose the play is performed. He may be contacted at: