Drowning Ophelia

by Rachel Luann Strayer
  • 60 - 90 minutes
  • 2 Male, 2 Female, Max 4/Min4

Dramedy, Poetic Drama, sexual abuse, Comedy, Edgy Play, Highly Theatrrical, Trust

$11.97$125.00

The set of this one-act comedy for four actors is Jane’s bathtub. She finds it inhabited by a strange, Shakespearean woman whose enigmatic commentary intrudes on Jane’s thoughts and her new romantic relationship. This dark comedy is about the long-term consequences of childhood abuse and a love letter to those who have suffered. There is always hope.

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  • Review Script 11.97 Watermarked PDF Download
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  • Multi-Copy PDF 79.75 Printable Cast Script PDF
  • Class/Group Study Pack 125 Printable PDF

Performance Fee $90.00 A Production License Fee Per Performance (mandatory for all performances)

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Play Details

Overview

In this one-act comedy for four actors, Jane doesn’t know what to do with Ophelia, the literary character who has taken up residence in her bathtub. Ophelia delights in singing songs about death and valentines, interrupting Jane’s carefully planned fantasy dates with an actor named Edmund. Ophelia brings up memories of a brother Jane would rather forget.

As Jane’s past intrudes dangerously on her present, it becomes clear that Ophelia is not simply a character from “Hamlet,” but a long-forgotten messenger with a question from Jane’s own troubled mind: How do you move on when reconciliation is not an option?

“Drowning Ophelia” is a dark comedy performed in one act about the long-term consequences of childhood abuse, and a love letter to those who have suffered. There is always hope.

Raises issues on mental illness and mental health in relation to childhood abuse/

by Rachel Luann Strayer

From the Play

DROWNING OPHELIA

Scene One: Now

Setting: A bare stage. A large, deep bathtub, center. A phone rings repeatedly. It may even be mistaken for a cell phone in the audience. The ringing stops. A series of beeps can be heard, as though someone is punching numbers on a cell phone. Then, a VOICE.

VOICE
You have one new message sent today at 9:52 a.m.

EDMUND VOICE
Hey Jane, it’s Edmund. Just wanted to make sure we’re still on for tonight. Call me if you get a chance. Bye!

VOICE
To delete this message, press 7. (there is a beep) You have seven skipped messages. First skipped message sent Wednesday, January 12th at 11:14 a.m.

ADAM VOICE
Janie, it’s me. I need to talk to you. Call me.

VOICE
To delete this message, press…(beep) Next skipped message sent Monday, January 24th at 9:59 p.m.

ADAM VOICE
Seriously, are you out of the country or what? ANSWER YOUR PHONE. (beep)

VOICE
Next skipped message sent Friday, February 11th at 10:22 a.m.

ADAM VOICE
I’m in town. Call me, Janie. (beep)

VOICE
Next skipped message sent Friday, February 11th at 4:36 p.m.

ADAM VOICE
I need to talk to you. Please. Look, just…talk to me, ok? Please. (beep)

VOICE
Next skipped message sent Saturday, February 12th at 3:41 a.m.

ADAM VOICE
SO HELP ME I AM GOING TO COME OVER THERE AND BREAK DOWN YOUR DOOR IF YOU DON’T… (beep)

VOICE
Next skipped message sent Saturday, February 12th at 3:45 a.m.

ADAM VOICE
Uh…yeah. Sorry about that. (beep)

VOICE
Next skipped message sent Sunday, February 13th at 8:24 p.m.

ADAM VOICE
Hey Janie. It’s me. Listen, I…You need to know, Janie, that…Can’t you pick up your phone? Janie…I guess I just wanted to say…I love you. That’s all. Bye.

VOICE
To delete this message, press 7. To save it in the archives, press 9. (beep) End of messages.

OPHELIA, fully clothed and drenched, sits up out of the tub. SHE gazes into the audience.

OPHELIA
‘Tis in my memory locked, and you yourself shall keep the key of it.

SHE ducks out of sight. JANE enters wearing lived-in pajamas. They are her uniform for the entire play unless another costume is specified. JANE is dragging a trunk full of costumes behind her. SHE opens the trunk and begins to sift through clothing. Suddenly OPHELIA sits up out of the tub and splashes JANE with water gleefully, like a child.

OPHELIA
(singing)
By Gis and by Saint Charity,
Alack, and fie for shame!
Young men will do ‘t, if they come to ‘t,
By Cock, they are to blame.

JANE
What are you doing?

OPHELIA (singing)
Quoth she, ‘Before you tumbled me,
You promised me to wed.’
He answers:
‘So would I ha’ done, by yonder sun,
An THOU…hadst not come to my bed.’

OPHELIA lets out a peal of laughter.

JANE
I don’t think you’re very funny.

OPHELIA
I was the more deceived.
(singing)
Tomorrow is Saint Valentine’s Day
All in the morning betime
And I a maid at your window
To be your valentine

Tomorrow is Saint Valentine’s Day
All in the morning betime
And I a maid at your window
To be your valentine

Tomorrow is Saint Valentine’s Day
All in the morning betime
And I a maid at your window
To be your valen –

JANE
Stop it! (OPHELIA goes silent.) I don’t like that song. You know I don’t like that song.

A pause.

OPHELIA
(softly)
Tomorrow is Saint Valentine’s Day
All in the morning betime
And I a maid at your window
To be your valentine

SHE continues to sing, quietly at first, but growing louder with each verse. JANE ignores OPHELIA and speaks to herself as SHE sorts through the trunk, pulling out several costume pieces – including a dress – throughout her speech.

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