With simple staging and props, this play for teens is easy to stage and to tour.
It invites the audience into the home and school of a young girl Melissa. She is being pressured to make a decision she doesn’t feel ready to make.
Characters include parents who assume innocence, girlfriends who encourage experience, and boys who pretend they have more sexual experience than they might have had.
Melissa is surrounded by characters who make her decision more difficult. With freeze-frame action on the stage, we, the audience, are allowed to see into the minds of these teens who are making important decisions about their lives.
Written by Gillette Elvgren, award-winning writer of plays for schools.
From the Play
MELISSA: High school student
TONY: Melissa’s brother, high school student
MOM: Melissa and Tony’s mother
SUZIE: Melissa’s friend, High school student
DAD: Melissa and Tony’s father
GUY: High school stud
PATRICK: Melissa’s boyfriend, high school student
SCENE ONE: interior – bedroom and living room
(MELISSA enters SL, and PATRICK enters SR, they sit on chairs, face DS – hands over imaginary keyboards of computers. Actors read as they type in an Internet chat room. End of lines overlap. MELISSA is sipping Diet Coke, TONY is eating chips.)
PAT: (Types.) Hello, Melissa Thompson.
MELISSA: (Types) Hello, Patrick Dominguez. Dominguez, is that Spanish?
PAT: (Types.) No, it’s not Spanish, it’s Greek.
MELISSA: (To herself.) Oops (Types.) Sorry. So how did you do on the English midterm?
PAT: (Types.) Okay. (Pause.) How did you do?
MELISSA: (Types.) Okay.
PAT: (Types.) So… dot dot dot dot
MELISSA: (Types.) So!!!!!! Exclamation marks.
PAT:(Types.) So….. Here we sit talking to each other through a computer.
MELISSA: Two computers.
PAT: (Types) Why is it so hard to get to know girls? No that’s stupid, erase, erase.
MELISSA: (Pause, types.) Are you still there? (To herself.) I wonder if I said anything wrong?
PAT: (To himself.) Sometimes it’s like they’re another species, you know, like from outer space.
MELISSA: I hope he doesn’t think I have anything against Greeks.
PAT: Girl/boy, male/female/ masculine/feminine it’s— so complicated. I mean, why am I so “attracted?” to you? Why am I “drawn” to this girl, this female named Melissa who sits next to me in English class who I know absolutely nothing about?
MELISSA: I wonder if I should apologize or something.
PAT: Sweating palms—relax! Just be yourself—whoever that is? (He types.) Do you want to go out this weekend? I’ll buy you a coke or something. (To himself.) Send. Ahh, I forgot to spell check!
MELISSA: (Reads.) “I’ll buy you a bloke?” (Types.) “What?”
PAT: (To himself.) Now I’ve blown it. (Types.) Quick, uh…Saturday night…a coke and a bucket of wings at North Park. My treat.
MELISSA: (To herself.) Uh…What do I say now? You’re kinda cute… but I hardly know you. Sometimes it’s so hard being a girl.
PAT: (Types.) So what do you say?
MELISSA: (Types.) I don’t like Coke. (To herself.) Send. No, no, don’t send. That was so stupid. Quick… (Types.) Sure, where do you want to meet?
PAT: (Types.) Forget it. (To himself.) I’ll just pick you up at six and we can… I’ll just pick you… What? What error occurred? No, don’t crash on me. You stupid computer!#*^ I don’t have her phone number. Dial up again. (Computer noise begins and repeats.)
MELISSA: (Reads.) Forget it? Ah great, way to set me up, Dominguez.
PAT: Why does this always happen to me! She must think I’m the biggest jerk.
MELISSA: YOU… are the biggest jerk!
MELISSA: Boys! (Exits SL.)
PAT: Girls! (Exits SR.)
SCENE TWO: living room
(MOM and DAD enter SL and set up living room scene. DAD sits SL with newspaper; MOM sits SR with basket of laundry. TONY enters SL, MELISSA enters SR, sits next to MOM with homework.)
TONY: (Entering SL.) Dad, can I borrow the car tomorrow? I’m taking Suzie to the movies.
DAD: My boy’s got a date! Things getting serious between you two?
TONY: Oh yeah.
DAD: Just make sure you play it safe. I’ve got stuff to do in the basement. (Exits SL.)
TONY: I’m using the computer. (Exits SL.)
MELISSA: What’s Dad mean “play it safe”?
MOM: It means boys will be boys.
MELISSA: What? Is that some sort of code word for safe sex?
MOM: I still don’t know what I’m fixing for dinner. You want spaghetti? (Exits SL.)
MELISSA: (To audience.) Why is it that whenever I mention the word sex my mother freezes up and changes the subject? It seems the whole world is overcharged with sex. It’s on TV, at the movies, in every magazine. Everywhere except in my house. But in my house it’s the “forbidden subject”. Hey, Mom how far should I go with a guy before I get married? (As MOM.) Gee, honey, I don’t like young people driving too far at night. (As MELISSA.) Hey Dad, how do you say ‘no’ to a guy and not scare him away? (As DAD.) Anybody so much as looks at you the wrong way they’ll wish they were never born. (Back to MELISSA as TONY, crosses reading a magazine.) Will someone please tell me the truth about SEX!