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                                 ACT ONE

     An empty stage, except for a bench far D.L., which remains in place
   throughout all three acts. Some scenes are played on a stage bare of
   anything else, others are set with furnishing and props as noted. There
  are no breaks between scenes.        At the end of each scene, black-attired
        stage crew will swiftly and silently replace any stage props with
       anything needed for the next scene, as music, narration, or dialog
                          continues without interruption.

                            Scene 1:        Bus Stop

 A man walks onstage carrying an old-fashioned suitcase. There is nothing
else on stage except a bench, D.L. The man is OLD GUMP, one of three
    Forrest Gumps we shall meet. He is dressed neatly, but just a bit
dishevelled. Everything about him, in fact, seems just slightly . . . different.

                               OLD GUMP
Hello. My name is Forrest Gump. [pauses, eyeing the audience somewhat
fearfully ] OK. [pauses ]    I’m going to sit over there and wait for the

      He moves to bench and sits, arranging himself carefully. Then he
      notices a small leaf on the ground. He rises, picks it up, returns to
      the bench, and carefully places the leaf in a book. Before closing the
      suitcase again, he takes out a box of chocolates. A YOUNG
      WOMAN , dressed for an office job, enters D.R. and joins him at the

                                 OLD GUMP
Those must be comfortable shoes. I’ll bet you could walk all day in shoes
like that and not feel a thing. I wish I had shoes like that.

                                YOUNG WOMAN
Excuse me?
                                  OLD GUMP

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Would you like a chocolate?
                                YOUNG WOMAN
Ah . . . thanks, but no.
                                  OLD GUMP
I could eat about a million and half of these. [pauses, looking again at her
shoes] I’d like to try them on.
                                YOUNG WOMAN
                                  OLD GUMP
Could I try on your shoes?
                                YOUNG WOMAN
What’s wrong with you? Are you some kind ‘a pervert? Get a life.
[exits ]
                                  OLD GUMP
[after watching her leave ] I guess I said the wrong thing. I do that a
lot. [pauses again, puzzled ]   I have a life. I’m not very smart, but I like
my life. I always have.

                              Scene 2: Playground

                   ****   music up: ‚Nature Boy‛   ****
                  sung as solo by member of the CHORUS

        LITTLE GUMP, a boy of 10, is trying to fly a kite. He is badly
              pigeon-toed, and walks with embarassing awkwardness.

                                  OLD GUMP
Look!    There I am.   That’s me, when I was little.         I didn’t walk very well.


‚There was a boy, A very strange enchanted boy
They say he wandered very far, very far, Over land and sea
A little shy and sad of eye, But very wise was he.
And then one day, A magic day he passed my way
And while we spoke of many things, Fools and kings.
This he said to me, "The greatest thing you'll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return"

         During song, LITTLE GUMP tries repeatedly to get the kite flying, but
        can’t run fast enough to get it flying. At the conclusion of song, two

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        boys, RALPH and WEASEL, enter R, tossing a basketball.                   Spotting
                     GUMP, they decide to have some fun.

Hey, Twinkle-toes.   You wanna play? [‚offers‛ ball, but pulls it away when
GUMP reaches for it, nearly falling ]
C’mon, Crip, let’s see summa your moves!
I didn’t think he could move.

       As they speak, they are circling GUMP, bounce-passing the ball
       threateningly all around the wide-eyed GUMP, who keeps trying,
                          pathetically to catch the ball.

                              OLD GUMP
There were boys that wanted me to play with them, but I never was very
Hey, Gump! Catch!

        WEASEL bounces the ball off the back of GUMP’s head, who
       pitches forward and falls, RALPH breaks the kite over his knee,
                      and the TWO BOYS exit, laughing.

                           Scene 3: Doctor’s Office
                 (examination table, wheelchair, hospital scales)

                 MRS. GUMP enters L and picks up her son,
               as DOCTOR enters R with table and leg braces.

                                  MRS. GUMP
Oh, Forrest! What did they do to you? There. Straighten yourself up.
Always stand straight up, tall as you can, Forrest, you hear? We’re gonna
get your legs fixed, and you’ll be just as fast and strong as you want to be.

       They move to the DOCTOR’s ‚office‛, where the DOCTOR pats
       FORREST on the head and starts putting leg braces on Forrest.

                            OLD GUMP
My Momma always seemed to know the right thing to do, like when she
bought me my ‚magic shoes.‛
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Yep, we’ll have you fixed up in no time. Now, you ain’t going to be no
track star, Forrest. But with a little hard work, there’s no reason you can’t
learn to get around just fine. [She has been speaking slowly, as if
addressing a foreigner, and he now looks up, winking, at Mrs. Gump]
‘Fact, likely as not, your legs is gonna be the quickest thing about you.
You know what I’m talkin’ about, Forrest?
                                   LITTLE GUMP
Yes, Ma’am. My legs is crooked but my magic shoes gonna make ‘em
That’s right, Forrest. It’s important to recognize our limitations. You don’t
want to go expecting things that just ain’t in the cards.
                                    MRS. GUMP
Doctor Wilmot, my son Forrest don’t need your cards, and we don’t care
about no limitations. Because right now, the only one here I see has any
limitations is you!

    Takes Forrest by the hand, and picks up the brace that the DOCTOR
      hasn’t yet attached, and they walk ‚out‛ to D.R., Forrest stumbling,
                 dragged along behind. The DOCTOR exits.]

                               Scene 4:      Street

         While MRS. GUMP puts on the other leg brace, a NURSE sits on
             the bench next to Forrest, and begins reading a magazine.

                                  OLD GUMP
                                  OLD GUMP
My name’s Forrest Gump. When I was a baby, my daddy, that I never
met, named me after the great Civil War hero, General Nathan Bedford
Forrest. Said we was related to him in some way. And, what he did was,
he started up this club called the Ku Klux Klan. They’d all dress up in
their bedsheets and act like they was a bunch of ghosts.
My. Isn’t that something?
                                  OLD GUMP
Momma said it was a good name because I would never forget the
foolishness of grown men. That’s how I got my name, Forrest Gump.
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       As MRS. GUMP finishes with the brace, a middle-aged couple,
     MR and MRS CARTER, enter and study FORREST with disapproval.

                               MYRTLE CARTER
Would you look at that . . .
                                  MABEL CARTER
[yelling, as he is hard-of-hearing ] Damn! What the heck are they?
                                   LITTLE GUMP
Hello, Mr. Carter. Hello, Mrs. Carter.
                                    MRS. GUMP
Well? What are you two staring at? Haven’t you ever seen a little boy
with braces on his legs before?

                          The CARTERs walk off .

                                 MRS. GUMP
Don’t ever let anybody tell you they’re better than you, Forrest. If God
intended everybody to be same, he’d have given us all braces on our legs.

               ****   music up: ‚Careless Love‛ ****
    sung by MRS GUMP, LITTLE GUMP, and members of the CHORUS

                          Scene 5: Dining Room
                             (table, eight chairs)

  Halfway through song, as stage crew brings out stage props, MRS. GUMP
takes chess set from her bag, and gives it to Forrest, placing it on the table
                for him. LITTLE GUMP starts right in playing.

                                   OLD GUMP
Momma was always thinkin’ of things for me to do. She seemed to know
that I’d take right to playing chess. I started playing all the time. Course,
there was never anyone who wanted to play with me, so I had to play
against myself. I got pretty good at playing against myself, and most of the
time, I won.
Well, I expect that you probably did.
                                   OLD GUMP

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After my daddy went away, Momma decided that it wasn’t fair for us to have
such a nice old house and not share it, so there was always people comin’
and going . . . salesmen, and vacationers, and such.

    While Forrest has been furiously playing chess with himself on table,
   chairs have been set up, and three BOARDERS arrive for supper while
                     MRS GUMP sets table for supper.

                                 MRS. GUMP
Forrest, time to eat. Can you put the game aside for a few minutes?
Gumbo again? We just had gumbo, day ‘fore yestuhday!
                                 MRS. GUMP
Oh, hush! It’s good for you.
                               MABEL CARTER
What’s that she said?
                              MYRTLE CARTER
She said, ‚Old fools like you should mind your own business.‛

   a nervous boy, BOBBY FISCHER, just slightly older than Forrest enters
   with his mother, MRS. FISCHER, and takes an immediate interest in the
  game, sitting down opposite Forrest at the D.S. end of the table.  MRS
                 serves Gumbo to the boarders from a tureen.

                                  MRS. GUMP
‘Evenin’, Mrs. Fisher. Ya’ll get yourselves settled in alright?
                                 MRS. FISCHER
It’ll do, Mrs. Gump. Bobby, let that boy alone, you’ll have plenty of time to
play at the tournament tomorrow.
                                  [to Forrest ]
That’s the Queen’s Indian defense.
                                 LITTLE GUMP
It is?
Look--- [he pushes a piece ] you can play the Zirkowski gambit right away
                                 LITTLE GUMP
You can?
[abruptly clearing the board and starting to set up the pieces] Let’s start a
game. I’ll beat you easy.
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                                LITTLE GUMP
Ah think I pay plenty enough, I shouldn’t have t’eat gumbo every night.
‚And the Lord spread gumbo on the earth, that His creatures might eat.‛
Genesis, chapter 2 verse 18.
                                   MRS GUMP
That’s in the Bible?
‚The hungry soul doth seek its own truth.‛ Leviticus 8, 15.
                                  MABEL CARTER
[after noisily slurping a spoonful ] Playin’ checkers are ye, boys?
Checkers? Are you stupid, or what?

                               MRS FISCHER
Bobby!   That’s not nice!
                            MABEL CARTER
Yes. I used to be quite good.
                           MYRTLE CARTER
Henry, hush. And you, young man, should mind your manners.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
                              MRS FISCHER
Now, Bobby---
                           MYRTLE CARTER
Well, I never! Come on, Mabel, I don’t think we need to hear any more of
this! [they exit ]

                               OLD GUMP
I played a game of chess with that boy, Bobby Fischer.            He was real smart.
He knew the name for everything.

The Blindside Foodad Variation!? Are you stupid, or what?
                                LITTLE GUMP
Stupid is as stupid does.
[staring at him, dumfounded ] What? What is that supposed to mean?
                                LITTLE GUMP
Check. [BOBBY moves again ]         If you do that, I can get your king in
three moves.
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What do you mean?       [frantically studies his position, reacts with silent horror,
then sweeps the piece from the board ]           This game’s dumb. We’re
starting again.
                                     MRS GUMP
How’s your gumbo, Mr. Peterson?
[finishing his second bowl ]       I always love a good gumbo. Say, if I may
ask, is there a mister Gump at home?
                                    LITTLE GUMP
My daddy went away on vacation about 8 years ago.
                                     MRS GUMP
Forrest, that’ll do.
Been having quite a vacation, sounds like. Well, (winking) good night, Mrs.
                                    MRS. FISCHER
[as she and the other boarders leave the table ] Bobby, dear, you’ve got to
get some rest . . .
Leave me alone!
                                    MRS. FISCHER
Now, Bobby---
[screams ] Go away!         [focusing again on board ]        What are you doing!?
The Lasker Double Turnbuckle!? You idiot!

                              OLD GUMP
I was so happy to have someone to play with, all smart like, knowing all
the names, and stuff.

Aargghh!! [pounds table, knocking over most of the pieces] You cheat!
MOM!! I hate this place!!        [exits, with MRS FISCHER following behind]
                                LITTLE GUMP
[following Bobby offstage ] If you wanna play later on, I’ll leave the board
set up, OK?

                             Scene 6: Dining Room

                                 OLD GUMP
I saw that boy, Bobby Fischer, later on when he was older and was in all
the newspapers. He still didn’t seem very happy, but I guess he got better
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at chess because he got to go play chess in Russia and Iceland and
Too bad his manners didn’t get any better.
                                OLD GUMP
There was always new people coming and going. One fellow stayed with us
for a week, and every night he’d play his guitar and sing.

    MRS GUMP and ELVIS PRESLEY enter, Elvis carrying a suitcase and
                           guitar case.

                                  MRS GUMP
Well, you just make yourself comfortable, Mr. Prester---
Presley, Ma’am---
                                  MRS GUMP
---and if there’s anything you need, you just holler.
Thank you, Ma’am.
                                 LITTLE GUMP
[running onstage ] Is that a guitar? Can you play it?

ELVIS has sat down on a chair and begun strumming his guitar, playing the
 chords of ‛Heartbreak Hotel.‛ LITTLE GUMP is at first transfixed, but soon
  begins moving awkwardly, his leg braces giving his dance a curious, jerky

[sings     ] ‚Well, since my baby left, I found a new place to dwell,
Well,    it’s down at the end of Lonely Street, at Heartbreak Hotel.
Well,    I’ll be so---, Heartbreak is so lonely, baby,
Well,    I’m so lonely, I’ll be so lonely I could die.‛

[to LITTLE GUMP ]        Say, I like that.
                             MRS. GUMP [offstage ]
Forrest! Are you in there botherin’ Mr. Presley?
Oh, it’s alright, Mrs. Gump. We’re just foolin’ around on the guitar here.
                             MRS GUMP [offstage ]
Well, Forrest you behave yourself.
Say, man, show me that crazy little walk you just did there. Slow it down
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Let’s try it with somethin’ different.

                    ****   music up: ‚All Shook Up‛      ****
     performed by ELVIS and, after the first verse, with the GUMP BAND
            Forrest begins to dance again as Elvis plays and sings

‚A well’a bless my soul, what’sa wrong with me?
I’m itchin’ like a man on a fuzzy tree
My friends say I’m actin’ wild as a bug
I’m in love, I’m all shook up.
Mm mm mm, mm, yay, yay, yay.‛

     The BOARDERS come in, drawn by the music, making disapproving
    noises and rolling their eyes. They speak over an instrumental verse.

Well, what in the world . . .?
Boys… boys! That’s the devil’s own music, there!
                                MABEL CARTER
[yelling ] Myrtle! What’s going on? What’s that noise?
                               MYRTLE CARTER
[yelling ] It’s a kind of music, Mabel . . . I think.
                                MABEL CARTER
What? Are they injured or sick?
No good can come of this!
                               MYRTLE CARTER
You know, Henry, I kinda like it.
                                  MRS. GUMP
Forrest! Now, what did I tell you?
                                MRS. FISCHER
Come on, Bobby, they’re playin’ that Rocky Roller music!

     The stage crew sets a microphone in front of ELVIS, now standing,
             as drums, bass, and electric guitar kick in behind.

 Before long, taking their cues from the gyrating hips of LITTLE GUMP, the
whole gang of BOARDERS begins swaying to the music, and soon are doing
passable imitations of the moves initiated by Forrest and Elvis. Only BOBBY
                 FISCHER stands by, sullenly refusing to move.

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‚Well, my hands are shaky and my knees are weak
I can't seem to stand on my own two feet
Who do you think of when you have such luck?
I'm in love, I'm all shook up.
Mm mm mm, mm, yay, yay, yay.

My tongue gets tied when I try to speak
My insides shake like a leaf on a tree
There's only one cure for this body of mine
That's to have that girl that I love so fine!

She touched my hand what a chill I got
Her lips are like a volcano that's hot
I'm proud to say that she's my buttercup
I'm in love, I'm all shook up
Mm mm mm, mm, yay, yay, yay
Mm mm mm, mm, yay, yay
I'm all shook up.‛

        At conclusion of song, the BOARDERS, suddenly embarrassed
          at their display, quickly re-arrange their disheveled clothing,
         and with slightly guilty glances, head offstage. ELVIS takes
                          LITTLE GUMP under his arm.

Hey, you ole Hound Dog, you’re all right.
[ they exit ]

                             Scene 7: Classroom
                    (8 old-fashioned desk-chairs, chalkboard)

                                 OLD GUMP
I liked that young man. He sounded good. Later on, we saw that young
man on T.V., and do you know what? That little dance that I showed him--
- he was doin’ it right there on the T.V.
On the T.V.? Is that a fact?
                                 OLD GUMP
Yes, Ma’am. But later on they made him a king, or some kind of king, or
somethin’, and he forgot how to do the dance, and then he died.
Tsk, tsk. What a shame.
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                                   OLD GUMP
[Studies NURSE’s shoes.]     I’ll bet those are very comfortable shoes.
Why, yes, they are.
                                 OLD GUMP
[Struggling with himself, wanting to ask, but knowing he must not.            With
he remembers his manners and offers her a chocolate.]             Would you like a
Well, thank you very much.
                                    OLD GUMP
It was right around that time I met Jenny. It was at the start of fourth
grade---well, for me it should have been sixth grade, but they kept me back
because I       couldn’t, you know, read, or write, so well. I never really
learned how. She was wearing a yellow dress, and she sat down next to
me in math class. I thought she was prettiest girl I ever saw.

        Meanwhile, a group of eight STUDENTS, including JENNY and
    LITTLE GUMP, who keep looking at each other, have arranged chairs
    in two rows, and a TEACHER has set up a portable chalkboard, and
                   distributed test paper to all the students.

All right, class. You have fifteen minutes to do the 20 problems on the
board.     Do your own work and put your pencil down when your finished.

  The students busy themselves with the exercise. One girl, JENNY, is in
   obvious discomfort, and it’s clear that she doesn’t know how to do the
   problems. FORREST, seated next to her, leans over and whispers an
   answer. Delighted, she writes it down. Forrest starts to help her with
                another, when he is spotted by the teacher.

Forrest Gump! Do your own work and don’t you dare go asking anyone
else for answers, you hear!
[in an insulting sing-song] Faw-wurrrst Guh-uhmp.
What a loser!
Hey Gump!

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 As Forrest looks his way, the boy tosses a paper wad at his face, and at
       just about the same time, DARLENE shoots a spitball at him.
[rising to Forrest’s defense ]   Cut it out! You’ve got no right to do that!
Jenny Curran, that’s enough!

 The class goes grimly back to work, all but Forrest, who sits quietly looking
 ahead (and stealing glances at JENNY). After a while the TEACHER sees
                         that he isn’t doing his test.
Mr. Gump? I’d like to see you at least making some kind of effort here.
Please do the problems like everyone else.
                                  LITTLE GUMP
[as Forrest simply sits quietly, making no effort to write ]  Forrest? Hello,
earth to Forrest? Did you hear me?
                                  LITTLE GUMP
Yes, ma’am.
And? [FORREST rolls his eyes anxiously, with no idea what to say ]         All
right, Forrest. We’ll do it your way. [she writes on his quiz paper and
whisks it off his desk ] Zee-ro. Now just sit quietly and don’t bother the
                                  LITTLE GUMP
Yes, Ma’am. [pause]         I know the answers, Mrs. Trimble.
Forrest, please!

                                 LITTLE GUMP
[pause ]      15 times 20 equals 300.
Forrest, this is a quiz!
                                 LITTLE GUMP
850 divided by 5 is 170.
Forrest, you can’t just---
                                 LITTLE GUMP
240 times 83 is---

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Forrest!!   Stop it![she pauses, trying to make sense of the boy, and
becomes curious ]     You’re not fooling with me, are you Forrest? You
really can do these?
                                LITTLE GUMP
Yes, ma’am

             She writes a problem on the board. No sooner has the
               chalk finished moving than Forrest has the answer.

                                 LITTLE GUMP
Eighteen. [She writes another, harder this time; FORREST scowls, thinking for
just moment ]   Five hundred and eighty-nine. [She is astonished, but after
a moment writes out a final, difficult problem; this one takes Forrest a little
longer.] Fifteen point three seven seven.
[taking Forrest by the arm]     You come with me.          We’re going to see the
school psychologist.

   FORREST and TEACHER exit R.          The STUDENTS furtively sneak off L.

                       Scene 8: Psychologist’s Office
                         (small desk and two chairs)

                                    OLD GUMP
They was all excited about me for a little while, because when you are slow-
and you see, that’s what I am, slow---hyou’re not supposed to be slow at
some things and not slow with other things.
Thank goodness you’re a human being and not a clock. And who’s to say
what ‚slow‛ is? Did you know that Einstein never spoke a word till he was
                                    OLD GUMP
Albert Einstein the Nobel-prize-winning physicist?
                                    OLD GUMP
He was like me?
He had a big bushy moustache, but otherwise, sure.
                                    OLD GUMP
Well, back at my school, they didn’t think so.
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PSYCHOLOGIST:      Good morning. I’m Mrs. Freud, the school pyschologist.
LITTLE GUMP:       Good morning, I’m Forrest Gump.
PSYCHOLOGIST:            How are you feeling today?
PSYCHOLOGIST:            Are you having any problems you’d like to share
                   with me?
LITTLE GUMP:       No.
PSYCHOLOGIST:            [holding up an ink blot test ]  Now, Forrest, I’d
like you to tell me what you see.
LITTLE GUMP:       I see you, and some inky paper, and a desk…
PSYCHOLOGIST:            [ laughing ]   Ah, no, Forrest. I mean, what do
you see here, in my hands?
LITTLE GUMP:       A blotch.

Well, yes, of course, Forrest.   But what does it suggest to you?
                                  LITTLE GUMP
What does the blotch suggest?
Yes, Forrest. What-does-this-shape-make-you-think-of!? [after a moment, in
which Forrest merely sits politely ]     Forrest? Can you answer my
                                  LITTLE GUMP
About the blotch?
About the blotch.
                                  LITTLE GUMP
What it looks like?
Yes---what it looks like! [long pause ] Now, just relax, Forrest. Breathe.
That’s it.   Forrest, when you look at this shape, what do you see? Take
your time. [pause] That’s it. Now, just say the first thing that comes into
your mind.
                                  LITTLE GUMP

The PSYCHOLOGIST drops her head to the table and moans. From offstage
  comes a school bell announcing recess, and cheering kids can be heard.
        The TEACHER comes back to help her out, and they exit.

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                             Scene 9: Playground

LITTLE GUMP shrugs and moves downstage, chasing imaginary grasshoppers.
            hootin’ and hollerin’. JENNY straggles on last of all.

[indicating LITTLE GUMP ]     Hey, guys…

                            ARNIE, BUSTER, WEASEL
[advancing together on LITTLE GUMP, making a turkey gobble of his name ]
Hey, Gump, ya want a Hershey bar?
                                LITTLE GUMP
Me too!
Oh, Forrest, what’s this on your shirt? [she points, and then thwacks his
nose when he looks down ]
[to LITTLE GUMP ] Hey, Einstein? Wanna play a game?
                                LITTLE GUMP
What kind of game?
[making ‚horns‛ on his head with his fingers, and moving toward ]
[big yell ] Wooly Bully!

                    ****    music up: ‚Wooly Bully‛ ****
                 by the kids, CHORUS and the GUMP BAND

  During the song, the kids have a lot of fun, but increasingly make LITTLE
   GUMP the focus of their teasing and some rough horseplay. He is the
   wooly beast, and they, the brave hunters. The MEAN BOYS and MEAN
                                    GIRLS do
all of the actual teasing, while the NICE BOYS and NICE GIRLS dance and
have a good time, and pretend not to see the bullying of the others. Jenny
   starts dancing with the others, but after a while, stops and stands to the
side, watching Forrest. At first, Forrest tries gamely, bewildered, to participate
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in the fun, until even he realizes its real purpose, and stands quietly defiant.

‚Uno, dos, one, two, tres, quatro

Matty told Hatty about a thing she saw.
Had two big horns and a wooly jaw.
Wooly bully, wooly bully. Wooly bully, wooly bully, wooly bully.

Hatty told Matty, ‘Let's don't take no chance.
Let's not be L-seven, come and learn to dance.’
Wooly bully, wooly bully. Wooly bully, wooly bully, wooly bully.‛

[moving to Forrest’s side ]                        [she now inserts herself
                                Wooly bully, yourself!
between Forrest and each teasing ‚hunter‛, pushing them angrily away ]

Ah, forget it.   Let’s go.    [music and voices fade as the kids, except JENNY
and LITTLE GUMP, exit ]
‚Matty told Hatty, That's the thing to do.
Get you someone really to pull the wool with you.
Wooly bully, wooly bully. Wooly bully, wooly bully, wooly bully.‛

[arranging Forrest’s mussed shirt and hair ]  I’m sorry they treat you like
                                  LITTLE GUMP
It’s OK.
Come on. You want to walk with me? [she starts off ]          I’m Jenny.
                                  LITTLE GUMP
I know. I’m Forrest Gump.
[they exit ]

                       Scene 10: Curran’s Living Room
                        (a La-Z-boy chair, scattered trash)

Tsk.     Why, they were awful to you, those children.
                                 OLD GUMP
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Oh, mostly they were just playing.        Jenny and I walked around together
that day, and we started walking around together every day, just talkin’ and
climbing trees and such. Jenny never seemed to want to go home. She
lived in an old house with junk all around. Her momma had gone up to
heaven when she was five, and her daddy was some kind of farmer, but I
don’t think he really did much work.
                                 CLYDE CURRAN
[sitting in la-Z-boy chair, in a dirty tee, old food wrappers and beer bottle
piled around him ]       Jenny! Get in here! Jenny!!

                              OLD GUMP
Jenny asked me not to come around her house.             She said that her Daddy
needed his peace and quiet.

                                CLYDE CURRAN
Damn it, girl! Don’t you keep your daddy waitin’. [he thrusts a fistful of
empties at her ]     Git me some more.
[having run on, fearfully, and now backing away toward the ‚kitchen‛] Yes,

                                   OLD GUMP
One day, I went to Jenny’s house, anyway, because she hadn’t been to
school in three days.
                                CLYDE CURRAN
[as Jenny returns with beer] That’s a good girl. Tomorrow, you get started
fixin up that shed like I told you.
Daddy, wait---you said---
And you’d best git it right this time, girl.
But you said I could go back to school, tomorrow---

                     FORREST has appeared behind them,
                   and he stops there, watching in confusion.

You don’t need no school!    You need to take better care ‘a your Daddy.
But Mrs. Trimble said---
[ grabbing her ]    You getting’ sassy with me, girl?
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No, Daddy, it’s just---I gotta go back---
You want schoolin’? That what you want? How ‘bout we start with a little
lesson right now [makes a fist and prepares to strike ]
[ screaming ] No, Daddy… please…
                                  LITTLE GUMP
[advancing with all the ferocity he can muster, moving, as ever, awkwardly in
his braces ]    Stop! Stop! Let her go!
                                 CLYDE CURRAN
[knocking FORREST to the ground ]           You get outta here. I told you,
Jenny, I don’t want that little half-wit around here. [he throws her to the
ground, on the other side of the stage, and removes his belt ] You gonna
learn to mind what your daddy tells you, girl.

         LITTLE GUMP has removed his leg braces, and now begins
     to use them as clubs, managing to knock CLYDE down. He helps
       JENNY to her feet, and they back away from the startled drunk.

                                LITTLE GUMP
Y-you stay away from her!    I won’t let you hurt Jenny no more!

    The children exit, as CLYDE gets up, thinks about chasing them, and
  decides, with a muttered ‚Damn!‛, to open a beer instead, and walks off.

                            Scene 11:       Playground

                                    OLD GUMP
Jenny prayed that God would make her into a bird so she could fly far
away.     Momma said never mind about that, and then the police came and
said that Jenny didn’t have to stay with her Daddy no more.
Tsk, tsk. Well at least she was out of that awful house!
                                    OLD GUMP
She went to live Stoneman Avenue with her Gramma, which made me happy
because it is so close by. [pause ] My legs were better then, and it
turned out I could run pretty fast. The boys who used to chase me started
in to just throwin thing instead, since they couldn’t catch me no more.

  LITTLE GUMP runs on L while SCHOOLBOYS yell O.S.L.;                    a barrage of

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                                     - 20 -

objects are thrown at him. LITTLE GUMP defends himself best he can, then
runs off R. Three SCHOOLBOYS run on L, but give up chasing when they
 see Forrest is gone, and they walk off. Then FORREST appears again, R,
                                    and is
                          again pelted with objects.

                                   OLD GUMP
Momma gave me an ole fry-pan, cause it seemed that someone was always
throwing something at me---dirt clods, old apples, cow patties, eggs, stuff like

            MRS GUMP walks on with a towel and a frying pan.
     She wipes off his face, leaves him with the pan, and exits. Once
      again, yelling from offstage, and objects rain on Forrest, but now
            he begins successfully fending them off with the pan.

                                  OLD GUMP
I got pretty good with that ole fry-pan.   Coach Mavis seen me one day,
and said she liked my style. She gave me my own tennis racquet, and put
me on the tennis team.
You don’t say!

                              COACH MAVIS
 Here you go, champ! Just think of the ball as one of them old apples or
                  eggs you’re so good at knockin’ down!

      Just as Forrest had been bombarded with objects from offstage,
 he now returns tennis balls that fly at him as quickly as he can hit them.

                                     OLD GUMP
I liked hittin’ those fuzzy balls, but they is some things about tennis that you
would not believe. They have special numbers, like ‚zero‛ which is really
called ‚love‛ and ‚one‛ is really ‚fifteen,‛ except when it’s five, and two is
thirty, and so on. You wouldn’t believe it, but it’s true. [pause ]        Jenny
used to watch me play tennis, and then we’d walk home together. Jenny
and me was like peas and carrots.

                            Scene 12:        Playground

The barrage of tennis balls stops, and JENNY enters with bicycle, smiling at
    Forrest. They talk asJenny tries to balance in place on her bike.

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                                 - 21 -

Forrest?   You know what I’m going to be?
                              LITTLE GUMP
I’m going to be a folk singer, Forrest. I’m going to be famous, like Joan
                                LITTLE GUMP
I think you’ll be a very good folk singer, Jenny.
What are you going to be Forrest?
                                LITTLE GUMP
I’ll be Forrest Gump.
I know that, silly! I mean what are you going to do?
                                LITTLE GUMP
The counselor said there was lots of jobs for slow people, and I could do
one of them.
Forrest, don’t say that.
                                LITTLE GUMP
No. OK.
You’re really special. And you’re really good at lots of things.
                                LITTLE GUMP
Really, Forrest, I mean it.
                                LITTLE GUMP
I can’t read, Jenny.
I don’t care.
                              LITTLE FORREST
I never know what to say.
Oh, Forrest!
                                  OLD GUMP
You won’t believe it, what Jenny did then. She leaned over and kissed me.

Oh, my!
                                 OLD GUMP
I thought I was going to fall over.
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                                    - 22 -

                ED and MARTHA appear S.L. and S.R., shyly
                       watching Forrest and Jenny.

Wh-wh-what’re you g-g-g-guys doing?
Would you like to play with us?
Sh-sh-Sure. Alright.
[she has a nervous tick, causing her head to jerk every few moments ]                   Me,
Come on, Martha. You want to ride my bike?

      RALPH and WEASEL, the bullies from earlier scene, appear, with
                   basketball, and a mean attitude.

Whaddya know?    The Losers Club.
Faw-wust Guh-ump.
Hey, Duh-duh-duh-Donald. W-w-wanta p-p-play with us?             [he fakes a hard
throw at Donald, laughs, and toss ball to WEASEL ]
Got all your dummy friends together, huh, Gump?

 WEASEL fakes a throw at FORREST, who doesn’t flinch, then throws ball,
at Forrest’s head. Forrest catches the ball, and throws it back so hard that
                  WEASEL, catching it, falls over backwards.

Jeez, Gump, what are you, psycho?

      RALPH has been tormenting MARTHA, getting close and imitating
   her tick. He makes a violent gesture in her face, and she falls down,
             hurting her hand. FORREST moves between them.

                                OLD GUMP
That’s when somethin’ just came over me.
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                                     - 23 -

What did you do?
                                 OLD GUMP
I told that boy I was going to hit him.

                                 LITTLE GUMP
You shouldn’t do that.

[imitating Forrest’s speech ]   But---I like to, dummy, OK?
                                  LITTLE GUMP
If you don’t leave her alone, I’ll hit you. [he makes a fist and pulls back
arm ]     OK?
Ralph, the kid’s psycho.   Let’s just go.
Psycho.    Freak.
C’mon, Ralph.
[as he backs away from the unwavering FORREST, and the other kids, who
have formed a line beside him. ]     We’ll be back for you, freak. [leaves,
with WEASEL ]
                               LITTLE GUMP
[to MARTHA ] Are you OK?

        JEFF and TOM, from S.L., and SANDY and CADDIE, from S.R.,
                   move toward Forrest and his friends.

Hey, Forrest.
We was watching.      Were you really gonna hit ‘im, Forrest?
                                LITTLE GUMP
I don’t know.
He coulda hurt you.
You were really brave.
                                 LITTLE GUMP
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                                       - 24 -

[taking his arm ]     Yeah, Forrest, you really were.

                                 OLD GUMP
Later on, Jenny left to go be a folk-singer and to find herself. Whatever
that means---I never did know.    But for a while there, she was happy, and
it was the best time of my life.

              *****          music up: ‚Stand by Me‛                  ******
             FORREST, JENNY, the 6 others, and the CHORUS

                                END OF ACT ONE

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