Mystery of Custodia: The Play


The Mystery of Custodia: The Play
Apply for:
  • Share This Show


Something’s up at Hi-Mount School! Teachers have gone missing, strange clues are popping up in the most unexpected places, and there’s something peculiar going on in Custodia...the janitor’s murky lair. And it’s up to precocious amateur sleuth Foster and the rest of the Drama Club to figure it out.


Skip Sinwell, Chief Reporter for the Campus Chronicles at Hi-Mount School, delivers the morning announcements. The top story: two staff members have not shown up for four days—the beloved Lunch Lady Linda and the mysterious school janitor, Mr. Humphrey. In another stunning turn of events, the drama teacher, Ms. McGery, has made a move to the custodial department. Ms. McGery assures Skip this is a lateral move to janitor and reminds everyone to make the best of each situation.

Meanwhile Foster, a precocious Drama Club member who fancies herself an amateur sleuth, is tasked with taking the recently expired classroom goldfish down to Custodia for disposal. She sends a video message to her Drama Club friends relaying her excitement at finally getting to visit Custodia. She’s heard so many stories, but is also anxious to see Ms. McGery again and “get the dirt” on the new job. Carrie sends a response video message warning Foster to be careful. In fact, the last time she saw Lunch Lady Linda, she was heading straight for Custodia!

Later that night, Foster sends another video message to the Drama Club. Breathlessly, she relays that Custodia is nothing like she expected. There was no Ms. McGery to be found, and the entire place was dark and musty. But that’s not the scariest part, she says, for in a dark corner of Custodia, she found a wallet that belonged to Mr. Humphrey, the janitor. In it was a piece of paper that reads “I promise I will always keep you safe. I will watch over you until you die. You will never be far from my sight. We will always share the ties that bind.” Foster’s overactive imagination kicks in, and she makes a bold prediction: Mr. Humphrey kidnapped Lunch Lady Linda and is holding her captive in the tunnels below Custodia. She charges the Drama Club with the task of finding Lunch Lady Linda.

The resident techie of the Drama Club chimes in that he has developed a new app that holds all videos confidentially and can only be accessed by answering Drama Club trivia. He suggests moving to that platform.

Over the next few days, videos pour in from various students with a barrage of clues and strange stories: Terry, on her own investigation of Custodia, found a hairnet, apron, plastic gloves, and a key. Carter was at the jewelry store at the mall, and noticed a ring box with Mr. Humprhey’s name on it. Maddox heard the lunch ladies whispering. Gloria found a closet full of balloons—though, to be fair, it is her birthday.

Skip Sinwell has caught wind of the Drama Club’s investigation. He is getting anxious that the Drama Club is overstepping by taking on this story without the use of a “real reporter” like him. He vows to begin his own investigation to discover what happened to Lunch Lady Linda and Mr. Humphrey. Techie comes back on and notifies the Drama Club that they’ve increased security on the app.

Meanwhile, Clara thinks the librarian is in on it because she heard her talking about Mr. Humprhey in hushed tones. Danny found a mysterious piece of music in his band folder. Sophie thinks Mr. Humphrey wasn’t all that bad. Carol heard her dance instructor talking about how good of a dancer Mr. Humprhey is. Lucy thinks that her church is holding a funeral for Mr. Humprhey and Lunch Lady Linda. What could it all mean?

Foster once again returns to the app to let the Drama Club know they all did great work and she has figured out the mystery: Mr. Humphrey has kidnapped Lunch Lady Linda so that he can impersonate her and serve mercury-filled fish in the cafetorium, to clear out the school so that he can use the building for his Lord of the Rings Themed Ballroom Dancing competition. Dejected and realizing she’s wrong, Foster thinks about giving up sleuthing for good.

Skip Sinwell addresses the school once more over morning announcements claiming that he has come up with the answer to the mystery behind the disappearances. But before he’s able to reveal his answer, a news bulletin is put in front of him: “Would the Drama Club please report to Custodia?”

In Custodia, a hooded figure addresses the Drama Club. It’s Ms. McGery! She chastises them for jumping to conclusions and informs them that, in fact, they’ve been wrong this whole time. Mr. Humphrey didn’t kidnap Lunch Lady Linda. They are actually getting married!

The next day, during morning announcements, Skip Sinwell relays the story of Mr. Humphrey and Lunch Lady Linda’s wedding in the cafetorium, in front of the whole school. Additionally, he thanks the Drama Club: “Sometimes a flair for the dramatic is needed, and this reporter is grateful to the Drama Club for sending me on my greatest investigative inquiry to date, and keeping us all on our toes.”

Our story ends with a rousing flash mob danced by the entire company at the wedding of Mr. Humphrey and Lunch Lady Linda; a newfound sense of community surging between them.


Looking for something to bring joy and purpose to your students, this is a fantastic option!

–Karen Pionke, Viking Middle School, Gurnee, IL

School Staff: Adults, can be played by students.
Ms. McGery: School Drama Teacher turned Janitor.
Librarian: A powerful shusher.

The Drama Club
Foster: A precocious girl with a penchant for sleuthing.
Carrie: Prone to getting “carried away.”
Techie: An app-creating whiz-kid.
Lane: Techie’s eager assistant.
Maddox: The self-proclaimed “foodie.”
Terry: Carrie’s sister, and just as prone to dramatics.
Carter: A video-game playing, Tolkien-fiend.
Gloria: A birthday girl who feels underappreciated.
Clara: A very loud talker, but a very bad listener.
Danny: A member of the school band, plays any instrument.
Jess: A girl who goes with her gut... sometimes to the wrong places.
Sophie: A shy girl who sees the best in people.
Carol: A prima ballerina.
Lucy: A religious, though morbid soul.

Other Students
Skip Sinwell: Chief Reporter for Campus Chronicles.

Setting: In and around Hi-Mount High School

Performance Royalties for AMATEUR and EDUCATIONAL Groups, please fill out an application for your personalized quote.

Performance Royalties for PROFESSIONAL Theaters will be quoted as a box office percentage, with a minimum guarantee based on ticket prices and theater particulars. Please fill out an application for your personalized quote.

Authorized Materials must be purchased from Stage Rights as a part of your licensing agreement (see Materials).

Billing responsibilities, pertinent copyright information, and playwrights' biographies are available in the show rider that comes with your license agreement.

"My 12-14 year-old students loved exploring the variety of characters in The Mystery of Custodia. All the performers—especially those who are typically ensemble members—were grateful to have a monologue and/or song of their own. Dylan's lyrics are fresh and clever, and I definitely don't mind having his tunes stuck in my head. They are fabulous!" – Jaclyn Loewenstein, Artistic Director of Class Act (Champaign, Illinois)

"Mystery of Custodia provided Viking Drama with a challenging and enjoyable alternative to the traditional stage musical. It’s a quirky, humorous and tongue in cheek story about teenage imaginations that have run amok. The virtual experience is driven by scenes crafted by individual actors, which allows for ease of recording, directing, editing and rehearsing. The students had a great time creating this unique show and it kept them engaged in theater during this unparalleled time. We used it for a summer drama extra-curricular, but I can definitely see this as a great choice to use within any theater curriculum. Looking for something to bring joy and purpose to your students, this is a fantastic option!" – Karen Pionke Viking Middle School, Gurnee, IL

Authorized Materials must be purchased from Stage Rights as a part of your licensing agreement. Your materials will be sent to you digitally by your Licensing Representative.

The Authorized Materials/Production Package for

Mystery of Custodia: The Play are all fulfilled digitally and consist of:

Acting Edition

Stage Manager Script