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Theatre / The Thousand Year Rose

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KIMMI: Have you heard of Hanenbough? It's in Ireland.

When the gales thrash the ocean
And the rolling thunder leers–
E’en so, a garden grows in the cave
While the rose waits a thousand years.

The Thousand-Year Rose is an adventure comedy play by Peter Fenton that had its world premiere in 2016 at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, where Fenton was a senior. The premiere production, directed by Fenton, starred Piper Curda as Kimmi Larkin and just a few years later was picked up and distributed by Heuer Publishing in 2019. This play is a woman-centric comedy exploring the nature of good and evil in an adventure inspired by Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door.

Once upon a time, the city of Hanenbough, Ireland was beautiful and wealthy but it was overrun by thieves and vandals. One mysterious person was said to have gathered all the riches they could find and buried it in a cave, sealed by a rose that will only bloom in a thousand years for somebody with a pure heart. A thousand years later, three witches (Abigail, Ciera, and Vivian) are trying to get this treasure and they decide the only way to get the treasure is to kidnap somebody with a pure heart.


The sassy and kind-hearted Kimmi Larkin arrives in Hanenbough from America as a summer research intern for her archaeology professor. After the Professor abruptly falls in love with a local widow, Kimmi teams up with the widow's fourteen-year-old grandson, Scott Foley, to search for the treasure. The witches notice Kimmi and watch her befriending nearly everyone she meets (namely, a headline actress, a kooky sailor, and a social pariah) and believe her to have a pure heart. Thus begins a play with the witches chasing Kimmi and Kimmi and her friends following the legend of the Thousand Year Rose.

Heuer Publishing Page

Preview Script


The Thousand-Year Rose contains examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    Tropes A-M 
  • A God Am I: Abigail’s goal with the treasure. Her plan to get the treasure is to kidnap a pure heart, make them stand in front of the rose. She’ll then take the treasure, leave Vivian in the dust, and ‘’take over the world’’.
  • The Ace: Kimmi is called out as this twice, once by her classmate Elizabeth Peaches and the second time by Scott. Downplayed a bit since Kimmi takes a moment to open up to Scott and share that she is also terrified of what’s happening around them.
  • Achilles' Heel: Kimmi is a terrible liar. This puts herself into danger in the final scene.
  • Action Girl: Kimmi, Abigail, Vivian, Maryann, and even Diana show their might as women of action throughout the play.
  • Adventurous Irish Violins: Often played in the sound effects to heighten the mood. After all, this is an adventure set in Ireland.
  • Badass Bookworm: Kimmi is extremely intelligent on a book-smart level and she’s a fast-thinking badass going up against the witches.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Diana pulls a spectacular one off against the witches in the fifth scene, bluffing that she called the police and they will be there any minute. It gets Abigail, Ciera, and Vivian to run away.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Vivian says this almost word-for-word when she gives Kimmi the map and joins her side.
  • Better Than a Bare Bulb: Many of the jokes in the show are Kimmi and Abigail each lampshading tropes that are occurring around them.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Vivian is the nicest of the three witches, but she’s just as dangerous as Abigail. Too bad for Abigail.
  • Big Bad: Abigail is this, though there are a few Red Herring clues scattered throughout that Professor Davis is the Big Bad. These turn out to be simply that: red herrings
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: Abigail takes a moment to criticize the upcoming play in Hanenbough’s theatre. The play is ''Knights of the Square Table'' - another play by Peter Fenton.
  • Blatant Lies: Kimmi tries a few of these to fool the witches, to varying degrees of success. The one that actually convinces the witches (Kimmi claims to be reunited with her “grandmother” who is a “Krav Maga instructor”) turns out to be true.
  • Body Snatcher: Discussed, then averted. Vivian suspects Professor Davis may be under some sort of spell. Really, Abigail transfigures Parezco into looking exactly like Professor Davis while the real Professor Davis is knocked out at Boggs’ house
  • Bookends: The play begins and ends in the cave of the Thousand-Year Rose, with the Gardener reciting his poem.
  • Brainless Beauty: Ciera is normally this in most productions.
  • Brick Joke: Kimmi’s split-second lie in Act One about Maryann being a Krav Maga instructor turns out to be true after all in the final scene.
  • Butt-Monkey: Professor Davis is a downplayed example. He is repeatedly the butt of Kimmi’s snark about his age and love-at-first-sight romance with Maryann Foley, but Kimmi deeply respects his intelligence.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Abigail is this and proudly owns it, to the point of conflating “being a witch” and “being evil” as the same thing.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The locket, which Professor Davis tells Kimmi is only able to be opened by the pure of heart. Vivian is seen to be able to open the locket.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Parezco, who only appears briefly in Act One and then at the beginning of Act Two, turns out to be integral to Abigail’s plan and the reason she almost wins.
  • The Chosen One: Averted. Lampshaded word-for-word by Kimmi in the final scene when Vivian is the one who makes the rose bloom, when she lists out all the people who are pure of heart and could have made the rose bloom.
  • Clone by Conversion: Abigail ends up disguising Parezco as Professor Davis identically via magic in order to abduct Kimmi and take her to the cave of the Rose
  • Closet Geek: Scott is this (it even says so in the character description in the script). He plays cool like a teenager might, but he quickly drops the act when he realizes Kimmi is investigating the Thousand-Year Rose, his favorite story.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Captain Boggs, in a lovable capacity - speaking in the same thickly-accented cheery tone about whisky-flavored pretzels, his connection to Susan the ticket lady, his wife’s tragic death while he was at sea without ever reading the room.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The first Jeweler in Hanenbough just happens to have Desrosier’s locket when Kimmi and Professor Davis arrive? Of course, we see how the Jeweler receives it moments earlier from Abigail.
  • Deus ex Machina: Maryann turning out to be a Krav Maga instructor and arriving in time to beat up the witches and save the day when Kimmi runs offstage in the final scene.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Vivian lampshades this when Abigail launches into a monologue about her evil plan in full public at the theatre and Diana Marie Bailey appears to call the police.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Kimmi is one for Desrosier. They are both foreigners to Hanenbough (Desrosier from France, Kimmi from the US) who saw the beauty in the people around them and went on a quest, Desrosier to bury the treasure and plant the rose and Kimmi to find it, discovering the treasure along the way.
  • The Dragon: Vivian is this to Abigail until her betrayal.
  • Dramatic Irony: Abigail could have gotten the treasure as early as the first scene if Vivian had accidentally stood before the Thousand-Year Rose instead of Ciera..
CIERA: But… I have a pure heart, don’t I?
ABIGAIL: We’re witches, Ciera. Do I really need to answer that question?
  • Dude, Not Funny!: The fourteen-year-old Scott snaps at Kimmi when she jokingly asks how long it’s been since he was in diapers.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Diana Marie Bailey, Parezco, and Captain Boggs appear in the third scene before they are properly introduced to the main plot (Diana and Parezco later in Act One, Boggs in Act Two).
  • 11th-Hour Ranger: Boggs joins Kimmi, Scott, Diana, and Vivian in Act Two as they are just a little ways away from finding the treasure.
  • Evil Counterpart: Abigail is this for Kimmi. When reduced to their basic character traits (adventurous, resourceful, snarky), they are extremely similar but their key difference is Abigail’s crippling selfishness.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Kimmi invokes this trope in attempt to deceive Abigail with her lie in the final scene. She says Abigail still needs to find “Desrosier’s artifacts”.
  • Fantastic Comedy: A script following sassy witches hunting for a legendary treasure makes this play one of these.
  • Forced to Watch: Abigail holds Scott, Boggs, Diana, and Vivian in a magical chokehold while she plans to have Kimmi to make the rose bloom and then murder Kimmi in front of her friends.
  • Foreshadowing: It’s only mentioned once that Desrosier’s locket can only be opened by the pure of heart. Kimmi, Scott, Diana, and Vivian are each shown to be able to open the locket.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Vivian is the Melancholic, Ciera is the Phlegmatic, Abigail is the Choleric, Kimmi is the Sanguine.
  • Genki Girl: Kimmi’s energy seems to know no bounds.
  • Genre Savvy: After Professor Davis tells Kimmi the legend of Hanenbough with the treasure map leading to the rose, Kimmi tells him “You have the map! You’re going to pull out the map”, understanding she is in an adventure story.
  • Good All Along: Vivian. She realizes she’s better off away from the other witches and joins Kimmi’s side, allowing her goodness to be on full display. She ends up being the pure heart the legend waited for, accidentally making the rose bloom in the final scene as she crosses in front of the Rose to get Kimmi.
  • Good Witch Versus Bad Witch: Vivian versus Abigail in Act Two.
  • Gone Behind the Bend: Diana inspects the tree Vivian is hiding behind when she suspects someone may be hiding nearby. Vivian evades her by moving parallel to Diana around the tree.
  • The Hero: One would think it’s Kimmi. It’s actually Vivian.
  • Heroic BSoD: Kimmi melts down after being kidnapped by the witches and who she thinks is her professor. Her B So D comes in the form of a "The Reason You Suck" Speech directed to Professor Davis, bringing up issues that came up long ago that have since passed.
  • Hidden Depths: Lampshaded by Kimmi when she finds out Scott Foley is fluent in French.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Vivian hides from Kimmi twice in back-to-back scenes, once in the marketplace, and a second time behind a tree.
  • Incoming Ham: Parezco in every scene he appears.
PAREZCO: I am the master of impressions!! I am… Parezco!
  • Mama Bear: Diana Marie Bailey becomes something of this for Kimmi and Scott and stands up to Abigail. She joins the group because she insists they need a mother’s protection.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Vivian’s Heel–Face Turn is born out of repeated mistreatment from Abigail and seeing Kimmi, Scott, and Diana being nice to each other.
  • Multinational Team: Kimmi is American, Boggs is Irish, and the nationalities of the others (Scott, Diana) are always left up to interpretation.
  • Mythopoeia: The legend of the Thousand-Year Rose is an in-universe folk legend for the people of Hanenbough (a fictional city). The entire play revolves around this legend, and Kimmi’s journey unwittingly mirrors that of the legend of Desrosier.

    Tropes N-Z 
  • Never Mess with Granny: Kimmi invokes this when bluffing to the witches, saying that Maryann is her grandmother and she is a Krav Maga instructor. She turns out to accidentally be right.
  • Now What?: At the very end, once the witches have been defeated and the rose has bloomed and the treasure has appeared, Kimmi asks, “So what are we doing for the rest of the summer, Doc?” There is no response to her question as the play ends.
  • The Pollyanna: For going through as much as Kimmi does in this play, she really doesn’t change her positive expression much. She’s a variant on the usual Pollyanna in that she’s also a Deadpan Snarker.
  • Red Herring: While “Professor Davis” seeming to defect to the witches when Kimmi is kidnapped at the train station is supposed to come out of left field (it’s really Parezco in disguise), there are pieces of evidence throughout the play that could lead a person to think this was planned all along. Davis is never seen to open the locket, meaning he may not be pure of heart, Abigail specifically says she “got” (not stole) the map “from that old man”. In reality, Davis was always on Kimmi’s side
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: During Kimmi’s "The Reason You Suck" Speech to the man she thinks is Professor Davis but is actually Parezco in disguise, Abigail interrupts and demands that Kimmi shut up.
  • Smart Jerk and Nice Moron: Abigail and Ciera make this duo and carry it through the play.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Abigail and Kimmi go toe to toe four separate times in the play, and always are in a battle of snark.
ABIGAIL: He’ll wake up to know that both the treasure - and his intern - are gone forever.
KIMMI: Right, I forgot. You’re going to kill me.
  • Supporting Protagonist: This is a more accurate term for Kimmi than the Hero. She helps the true hero emerge.
  • Tempting Apple: Vivian begins to create one of these before stopping herself. Lampshaded by Kimmi when she asks, “A witch with a poisoned apple?”
  • Too Dumb to Live: Ciera. Kimmi simply asking Ciera to let her go is enough to let Ciera allow Kimmi to run away.
  • Treasure Map: Kimmi and Professor Davis’ quest centers on recovering the Treasure Map to the Thousand-Year Rose. The witches have it.
  • Walking Spoiler: It’s difficult to discuss Vivian without giving away major plot points.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Kimmi lays into Professor Davis when he ignores the quest to divert all of his attention to Maryann. She lays another one on him, even going into a "The Reason You Suck" Speech when she believes to have been kidnapped by the Professor. In reality, it was Parezco in disguise as Professor Davis
  • World of Snark: Kimmi, Abigail, Vivian, Scott, Diana, Professor Davis, and even Ciera have delicious moments of snark.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Abigail has no problem torturing Scott and planning how she’s going to kill him.
  • Wretched Hive: Hanenbough is this, crawling with thieves and witches even a thousand years after its fall.

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