How To Not Save People From Drowning by Patrick Bohan


This Play is the copyright of the Author and must NOT be Performed without the Author's PRIOR consent

LIGHTS UP : an inflatable pool with multiple students and 2 Lifeguards on an auditorium stage

LIFEGUARD JOHNSON: Good afternoon New Life Guards.

LIFEGUARD WILLIAMS: We interrupt your scheduled training to bring you
the following presentation on pool safety. We understand that since
you have just finished an extensive course of life saving, you are
eager to put your skills to use.Pools are places of fun, relaxation
and bonding. People go to pools to escape the stressful, monotonous
world of responsibilities. Sounds good right?

Both instructors pull of sun glasses dramatically

LIFEGUARD JOHNSON:(violently and melodramatically, getting in
audience's faces:) WRONG! The pool is a horrible, dangerous pit of
horror, with every peril imaginable lurking just below the surface,
waiting to drag you down into the murky depths and tear you limb from

LIFEGUARD WILLIAMS: Over the next several minutes, you will be given a
series of tips, tricks and techniques to work at the pool. So please
pay close attention, while we teach you how to

LIFEGUARD WILLIAMS: NOT save people from drowning.

Both instructors put on sunglasses


All: Pool rules

Whistle blows

LIFEGUARD WILLIAMS: It is essential that you make everyone follow the
pool rules. Often, simply reminding someone to follow the rules can
prevent catastrophe.

Both instructors take out a copy of the pool rules. Both take off
their sun glasses, only to put them on once more.

LIFEGUARD JOHNSON:(Reading from pool rules:) Rule number 1: If you
look like you're enjoying yourself, a lifeguard will promptly blow a
whistle in your stupid, overly cheerful face.

LIFEGUARD WILLIAMS: Some patrons think they can just play around while
you're hard at work. You're not having fun lifeguarding why should

Lights up on a little girl splashing happily by the pool. LIFEGUARD

LIFEGUARD WILLIAMS: (politely:) What are you up to missy?

CHILD:(Happily:) I'm playing dolphin.

LIFEGUARD JOHNSON: Oh, so you want to be a dolphin do you?

LIFEGUARD JOHNSON blows his whistle loudly repeatedly in the child's
face until she begins to cry.

LIFEGUARD JOHNSON:(Mockingly:) I wanna be a dolphin, oh look at me,
there's so much to live for ohh.

LIFEGUARD WILLIAMS: That's the most pathetic thing i've ever heard,
and I sleep in the locker room every night.

The little girl cries and runs offstage.

LIFEGUARD WILLIAMS:(Reading from pool rules:) Next, you are permitted
to jump and dive in the shallow end, just please keep the screams of
agony to a minimum. Also, don't whine to us about some “Life
threatening allergy” or “Medical conditions”

A swimmer clutches his throat and falls into the pool

LIFEGUARD JOHNSON: Also, If you look too poor, we reserve the right to
boot you out.

LIFEGUARD JOHNSON points at a dirty, ragged swimmer, indicates for him
to leave. The swimmer leaves despondent.

LIFEGUARD WILLIAMS: Please don't leave your children unattended. Any
child on the premises after hours will be sold to the local sex
offender, Donald the defiler.

LIFEGUARD JOHNSON: Absolutely no eye contact or noises while in the
locker room. Also, any noises you hear in the third stall to the right
are coming from Donald. He lives there now.


The lifeguard students stare blankly, horrified

LIFEGUARD WILLIAMS: No questions? Then on to

All: Scanning the pool

whistle blows

LIFEGUARD JOHNSON: Perhaps the greatest skill a life guard can have is

LIFEGUARD WILLIAMS: But what to do when an emergency presents itself?
How can you tell when a swimmer is playing or dieng? Should you get
involved, even though there could be legal action taken against you?

LIFEGUARD JOHNSON: The simple answer: No

LIFEGUARD WILLIAMS: Generally, when someone is beginning to drown you
should just pretend not to notice them, but if some inconsiderate
bastard flails so loudly that someone complains, you can:

LIFEGUARD JOHNSON: Explain that the new pool management is

Lights on a man swimming in the inflatable pool, with a lifeguard on
duty. The swimmer begins to flail.

SWIMMER: Help! Help! GRGL GRGL Help!

LIFEGUARD JOHNSON:(looking up from a book) I'm sorry sir, I can't
do that. The pool recently changed management. No more life

SWIMMER: GRGL GRGL help me! Throw me a rope, I'm drowning.

LIFEGUARD JOHNSON: I'm sorry sir, but I can't. You'll become
dependent on it.

LIFEGUARD JOHNSON goes back to reading

SWIMMER:( Drowning) help me!

LIFEGUARD JOHNSON: I'm sorry sir, but I can't help you. Studies
show that swimmers can easily become dependent on life preservers.
You've got to help yourself. I've got a few pamphlets on the
subject. You see, Ron Paul says that we've got to starve the beast
Would you like a campaign button? Sir? Sir? I'm not detecting a

SWIMMER: Help me! Please Help me!

LIFEGUARD JOHNSON: It's a slippery slope. I throw you this life
preserver now, and next you'll expect help again. Eventually,
you'll be living off food stamps and expect the government to solve
all your problems.

SWIMMER:(Drowning) HELP!

LIFEGUARD JOHNSON(Perturbed): Well I'm sorry this isn't a nanny
state. I hope you're happy. you're reason this country is going to
hell. geez, some people

LIFEGUARD JOHNSON goes back to reading.

The swimmer slowly slips beneath the water

[end of extract]


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