|Oh no its not done I needed to get Stephen Gregg of "This is a Test" fame's blessing before I posted the remainder (I borrowed some stuff from him) fortunately I have so here it is in rough draft form
An Angst Driven Teenage Social Awareness Play
By Todd Ford
At Rise: A dimly lit blue stage four actors dressed in all black stand lined up along it. Tim is frozen in a dramatic mid walk going toward a case of coke center stage. As each actors speaks they are enveloped in a bright white light (preferably directly from above) causing stark shadows.
Tim’s Mom I should have seen the signs. It started with an empty can here or there. Then came (she chokes up a little) the cardboard carton. (overdramatically weeping). I should have seen the signs. I should have done something anything. I can’t believe what he’s become and it’s all my fault. All the parents told me it was no big deal. Their kid does Coke all the time. They even said they tried Coke. Why did I listen to them? Why didn’t I take the can from him? His actions crushed my soul like a can and threw it in the recycling bin of darkness.
(Tim dramatically takes a step forward and reaches for the case of Coke)
Tim’s Dad I can’t forgive him. I tried but I can’t. How could he do this to us? We love him. We’re his family. I tried to stop him. I suggested he take a hit of something less addictive. Cheerwine, Mountain Dew, anything but he said he needed the Coke. He said all the cool kids were doing Coke. He said he could handle it. He even suggested that I try Coke. He said it would blow my mind. I knew we were in trouble when he turned to Coke 0. He said the calories just got in the way of his buzz. How could he. He has a brother who looks up to him, a mother who love him. How could I forgive him he’s become a monster? He just wanders from place to place looking for his next buzz. Why Tim? Why did you do this to us?
(Tim dramatically takes a coke in his hand and freezes)
(as Tim’s Brother says this line the other three drop character and stare at him) You hurt me like someone stepping on the soda can of my heart. I felt your size eleven slowly squish and felt the crinkle of the compression. I felt you rip the tab away like you ripped apart our relationship. You drank the soda draining my life. Now I am left empty and shattered on a cold dark street. Cast into the alley like trash.
Tim’s Dad What?
Tim’s Brother It was a metaphor. I was trying to explain my feelings.
Tim’s Mom Actually most of those were similes.
Tim’s Brother Really? What’s the difference? I never can remember.
Tim’s Mother Well a simile uses like or as and a metaphor….
Tim’s Dad (interrupting) Enough already. The point is it was rubbish it made no sense.
Tim’s Girlfriend (mooning over Tim’s brother) I thought it was beautiful.
Tim’s Dad (annoyed) Whatever let’s just get on with it.
(Tim meanwhile has sat down on the stage clearly bored. The others cough. He suddenly realizes what’s happening and strikes a dramatic pose opening the can)
Tim’s Girlfriend (very dramatically) Coke (dramatic pause) is (dramatic pause) bad. (falls to the floor as if exhausted)
Tim’s Mom That’s it?
Tim’s Girlfriend Yeah, coke is bad.
Tim’s Dad No deep monologue on how he ruined your life?
Tim’s Girlfriend Nope. Just coke is bad.
Tim’s Brother No artful similes or metaphors?
Tim’s Girlfriend Nope. Just “coke (dramatic pause) is (dramatic pause) bad (falls to floor).”
(Tim dramatically drinks from the can. The four dramatically turn to the side of the stage in unison and walk away)
(Tim suddenly stands in the middle of the stage five actor’s stand at various areas of the stage. If possible Tim should be on a box. The lighting should be bright and harsh)
Tim Love that buzz.
Actor 1 Taste it.
Actor 2 Feel it.
Actor 3 You know you need it.
Tim Need that cool condensation in your hand.
Actor 4 Coke.
Actor 5 Cherry Coke.
Actor 1 Diet Coke.
Actor 2 Vanilla Coke.
Actor 3 Pepsi.
(All the actors look angrily at actor 3. They point offstage he leaves dejected)
Tim When you drink a Coke….
Actors You’re not thirsty.
Tim When you drink a Coke…
Actors You’re wide awake.
Tim When you drink a Coke….
Actors (confused) Your uhm…uhmm….really really not thirsty.
Tim You talk different.
Voices When you’re buzzed on Coke.
Tim You walk different.
Voices When your buzzed on Coke.
Tim You piss different.
Tim Well…you know…sometimes it causes kidney stones.
Tim (holding up coke can) Coke.
(Lights blackout. Suddenly flashlights flick on one at a time on the influences each holds a shiny can of Coke. They speak in soft hissing tones)
Influence 1 Everyone is doing it Tim. (takes a threatening step forward)
Influence 2 You know you want to. (takes a threatening step forward)
Influence 3 Don’t be a wimp. (takes a threatening step forward.
Influence Cases studies show that one out of five adolescent males will give into suggestive peer pressure which we represent. (takes a threatening step forward)
(The voices continue this chanting come closer and closer and louder and louder with each step forward)
Tim (screaming) Noooooooo…..who are you guys?
Influence 1 (still hissing) Bob.
Influence 2 (still hissing) Fred.
Influence 3 (still hissing) George.
Influence 4 (still hissing) Paul
All Influences Influence.
Tim OK. Well influence. Can I call you influence? What the hell do you want?
Influence 4 Well you see. We are a physical representation of your subconscious. We are here to show the audience how the power of suggestion has clouded your decision making process. We are shown as a nefarious malignant force in order to coerce the audience to not make the same choices you have.
Influence 1 We’re bad.
Influence 2 We made you do bad things.
Influence 3 We’re here to scare the shit out of the audience so they won’t do bad things.
Tim OK. Got it.
Influence 1 OK back to work. (pulls out a black trash bag)
Tim (panicked) What is that?
Influence 4 It’s a trash bag. We are going to put you in it to show a symbolic death caused by your vices. Normally we would use a box but we ran out of time and money hence a trach bag. Any more questions?
Influence 2 Then may we continue.
(All the influences run back to their mark. Check to see that each other are ready. Nod in agreement and then begin)
Influence 1 Shouldn’t have…
Influence 2 Taken that…
Influence 3 Last sip….
Influence 4 Of soda.
Tim Why…why did I listen? Why didn’t I just put down the can. (dramatically falls to knees)
Influence 1 Because….
Influence 2 We are….
Influence 3 You.
Influence 4 (still hissing) As explained in the out of character dialogue previously.
Tim (fist in air screaming over the top) Noooo. There has to be something anything I can do.
Influence 1 Too late.
Influence 2 All over.
Influence 3 (putting trash bag over Tim) Lights out.
Influence 4 Now audience please do not try this at home. Putting a trash bag over your head could result in suffocation. We’re trained professionals.
Influences (backing offstage) Goodbye Tim.
(A single spotlight illuminates Tim enclosed in the garbage bag. He tries to get out struggles a moment. If desired he can walk around the stage and bump into things. Finally a frustrated Influence 4 comes on stage and cuts him out)
Tim Oh thank it was just a dream. (pointing to audience) and you were there- and you, and you, and you and you. (a dog bark is heard) and you to Toto.
(lights come up on three performers standing in the back. They are dressed in all black. The have dark makeup and their heads are down. They initially speak in low growling voices)
Performer 3 This is not dream Tim.
Performer 1 (suddenly bright and sunny pulling out a coke can) This is a coke
Performer 2 A what?
Performer 1 A coke.
Performer 2 A what?
Performer A coke.
Oh a coke.
Performer 2 (to performer 3) This is a coke.
Performer 3 A what?
Performer 2 (to performer 3) A coke.
Performer 3 A what?
Performer 2 A coke.
Performer 3 Oh a coke.
Note: This is done in the same manner as This is a Test by Stephen Gregg who took it from an acting exercise. Please see the production notes at the end for further clarification.
Performer 1 (to two holding a coke zero) This is a zero. (Performer one and two go through the same dialogue: “A what?” “A zero” “a what” “a zero” “Oh, a zero” When performer two takes the zero he or she immediately turns to performer three and says “This is a zero” Simultaneously, performer one- holding a cherry coke- says “this is a cherry to performer two. Performer three responds “a what?” to two to performer two at the same time that performer two turns and responds “a what?” to performer one. Performer one and performer two, who turns back to performer three, say. “a cherry” and “a zero” Performer two and performer three respond “oh a cherry” and “oh a zero” and take respective objects. Performer two immediately says “this is a cherry” to three while one says “this is a vanilla” (holding a vanilla coke) to two and the process repeats with performer one presenting objects, three receiving them and performer two both presenting to performer three and receiving from performer one. After. After the match they pass a diet, a new coke (they say new), a coca-cola with lemon (they say lemon) and any other coke types you like that are available to you. Tim’s monologue goes on over this exchange.
Tim No anything but that. What have I done to deserve this? Confronted by voices. Covered in a trash bag. Now repetitive dialogue resembling that of an over-produced play. Why? Why God. It was just a coke. I didn’t realize this would. I told myself I could stop anytiome. I told myself I wasn’t addicted. Now I’ve lost everything. My friends. My family. My sanity. It wasn’t worth it. The buzz wasn’t that high. The liquid wasn’t that quenching. The sugar was never that sweet. Please stop. Please show compassion.
Performer 1 Compassion? Why should we show you compassion?
Performer 2 Your selfish actions showed us no mercy.
Performer 3 Your actions affected us in ways you never even realized.
Tim How I don’t even know you.
Performer 1 But we know you Tim.
Performer 2 We’ve seen your actions.
Performer 3 We’ve listened to your choices.
Performer 1 I was standing on the candy aisle trying to decide between Snickers and a Reeses. I listened to the soothing soft hum of the florescent lighting and the steady beep of the check out counter. The air was filled with the aroma of freshly cooked hot dogs and floor wax. I picked up the Snickers feeling the satisfying weight in my hand. I swallowed and felt the arid dryness of my throat. I was parched. I turned to get a soda and as I did I felt a cool blast from the open cooler door. There you stood. You were dressed in a grimy T-Shirt and ripped jeans. Your tongue darted out of your mouth like a lizard. You shifty eyes glanced about the store nervously clearly the eyes of an addict. In your hand a basic full of soda. I watched as you grasped the last Coke and tossed it in your basic. I tried to speak. I tried to stop you but my voice caught in my throat. Because of your selfishness I got nothing to drink. Because of your carelessness I will always be thirsty. Because of your addiction I will never know what it’s like to feel the cool satisfaction of a refreshing Coke. You ask for compassion but did you show any?
Tim I’m sorry I never realized I did that to you. I never knew my actions could….hey wait why didn’t you just get a different soda.
Performer 1 This isn’t about us Tim.
Performer 2 (film noire style ala Humphrey Bogart) It was hot. The kind of sweltering heat that makes you shoes stick to the asphalt. The steady buzz of the fan blew in my air of a small stream of relief to the heat. My names Marlowe. I’m a cashier. I saw you walk into the convenience store with darting eyes of a criminal. You were tall dark mysterious. I thought to myself “of all the gas stops in all the world why did he have to step into mine”. I watched as you approached the cooler. You glanced nervously back in my direction. Our eyes met and the tension was thick you could cut it with a knife. I watched as you filled you basket. One soda, then another, then another. It never ended until it did. Because we were out of soda. You approached the counter. In a soft raspy voice you said “I’d like to buy these sodas sir”. I knew I shouldn’t but one gaze from those piercing blue eyes and I had no choice. I rang them up you left. I knew it would lead to no good. Because of you I ended contributing to your addiction. Because of you I helped you destroy the life of others. Because of you I have to live with the guilt every day. You ask for mercy but you showed me none. You showed no mercy for my conscious. Are you there to comfort me when I loose sleep at night thinking about what you did?
Tim You lose sleep at night because I drank soda?
Performer 2 Yes.
Tim But no one got hurt.
Performer 2 I did Tim. I did. (performer 2 goes to performer 1 crying. Perform 1 comforts him/her)
Performer 3 How dare you? How dare you, you bastard. I clean for hours. I work my knuckles to the bone and for what? For some careless caffeine junkie to undo all my hard work. You were leaving to go home but you just couldn’t wait could you? You just couldn’t make it out of the store without that first hit? Was the high really worth it? Was it really worth undo the hard work of others. You opened the bottle and then something happened. You slipped. You started to fall and you dropped it. Coke rained down like my tears hitting the floor. It created a large sticky pool from which I would never escaped. You looked at me and you said “I’m sorry”. “I’m sorry”. Do you really think that’s enough? Will it do my work again for me Tim? Will it clean up your mess that you left co carelessly on the floor. I had to scrub for minutes. MINUTES TIM. On my hands and knees. You’re right you didn’t realize. You didn’t realize the pain you caused. You didn’t realize the mess you left behind.
Tim I slipped because the floor was wet where you had mopped it.
Performer 3 Your going to blame us for our addiction now. How dare you?
(the performers slowly leave during Tim’s monologue)
Tim OK I’m sorry. I never realized how my actions affect people. I never realized how (picking up the Coke) this small can could change everyone. I made a choice. I made a decision. I made a mistake but don’t we all. Don’t we all make bad choices? Are you going to leave me here because of one bad decision? Are you going to leave me here because of one foolish choice? Listen to me. Please don’t leave me here. I’m sorry please just don’t leave me.
(All the performers come on stage)
Tim’s Dad OK.
Tim’s Mom OK. We won’t leave you here.
Tim But…the voices…and then the….
Influence 1 Oh, us we’re not here to doom you.
Influence 2 Nope. Just to scare the shit out of you.
Influence 3 We can’t do anything we’re just voice in your head.
Influence 4 Byproducts of an over active imagination, caffeine and hormones causing you to have a hallucinatory dream about what you most desire at that moment in time.
Influence 1 In order words you’re jacked up on sugar.
Tim But what about the people I hurt?
Performer 1 We don’t even know you.
Performer 2 We’re just people you saw on the street.
Performer 3 Well I know you. I’m Kate the custodian at your school and if you write on you desk again I’ll kick your…
Performer 2 Whoa whoa calm down Kate.
Tim So what happens now?
Actor 1 We leave.
Tim And what happens to me?
Actor 2 You stay here in a life of pain torment and loneliness.
Tim But I thought you said?
Actor 3 She (or he) was kidding.
Tim That’s a relief.
Actor 4 You’ll wake up hopefully a little wiser.
Tim About what?
Actor 5 OK….maybe not. Well we got to get going see you tomorrow Tim.
(All the actors leave)
Tim (confused) Tommorow?