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At open, a sound of metal doors crashing closed behind them. And then the VOICE…
The contest is being simulcast through cable channel 52 but there will be certain hours when you will not be observed by our cameras. The red light is at the BACK of the auditorium people C you can see it blinking now. When that light is off what you say and do will be confidential. You’ve all got a list of the rules and if anybody breaks one they can be voted out of the game by the group with a unanimous vote. Three days from now the audience will vote and decide which one of you wins $10,000. They are to base their decisions on which of you demonstrates the most honesty and respect for each other. And remember the winner also gets $10,000 given to their favorite charity
And so the game begins.
Gillette Elvgren is an award-winning writer of many successful plays for teens, students and family audiences.
This play is also available as part of the collection I Am The Brother of Dragons
From the Play
LETHA a cheerleader type
JENNA the Goth look.
COLBY small but a presence none the less.
JONATHAN truly preppie
(A group of teens enter carrying knapsacks, sleeping bags, stuff. They are on a stage— the empty stage where the play is being performed. A ladder and stage accouterments can be placed around, based on what is available — add a few cubes and a prop trunk. An empty mirror frame is standing downstage.
The kids are LETHA, the popular cheerleader type. JENNA, closer to a female freak, dressed in black, spiked hair, black lipstick—the Goth look. The jock is MIKE, athletic, bouncing a basketball. COLBY is the mascot, the victim, small but a presence none the less. Last of all is JONATHAN, who looks truly preppie. At open, a sound of metal doors crashing closed behind them.)
MIKE: Mike has arrived.
LETHA: (Sneezes.) I’m allergic to dust.
COLBY: (Yells out his name and fakes echo sound.) Colby. . . Colby. . . Colby
JONATHAN: I thought there was supposed to be five of us.
MIKE: (Sees Jenna at back of auditorium.) There she is. Marilyn Manson’s little sister.
JONATHAN: There’s the radio. Let’s turn it on. (JONATHAN turns radio on.)
VOICE OVER: Congratulations Mike, Letha, Jenna, Colby and Jonathan. (They raise their hands and respond to the canned applause.) You are the winners of WPHL Radio’s Three Long Days Lottery. This is your home for the next three days. Three loooong days. There is a bathroom off to the left. And sorry, no showers. The fridge in the back is loaded with everything you’ll need including fresh pizza from Murphy’s Pizzeria, proud sponsor of the Three Long Days Contest.
COLBY: I like mine with pepperoni, thanks.
V.O.: The contest is being simulcast through cable channel 52 but there will be certain hours when you will not be observed by our cameras. The red light is at the BACK of the auditorium people C you can see it blinking now. When that light is off what you say and do will be confidential. You’ve all got a list of the rules and if anybody breaks one they can be voted out of the game by the group with a unanimous vote. Three days from now the audience will vote and decide which one of you wins $10,000. They are to base their decisions on which of you demonstrates the most honesty and respect for each other. And remember the winner also gets $10,000 given to their favorite charity.
MIKE: I’m my favorite charity.
V.O.: Your personal challenges are in the manila envelopes. You are all expected to “take up your challenges” and do your best. You will be hearing from me again, as we present more challenges for you to complete. Good luck, and see you again in three days.
Three. . . (All, but JENNA, chorus in.)
ALL: ‘ looooong days’.
(COLBY turns sound off.)
COLBY: Hi, Mom!
LETHA: You see any cameras?
JENNA: There’s one back here.
MIKE: Cool, they’ve got one outside the bathroom door.
COLBY: But they’re just cameras. This is the only place that has a microphone right?
JONATHAN: Big Brother is watching and listening.
LETHA: I mean this is so cool. It’s like being on TV or something.
COLBY: We are on TV.
MIKE: (Bouncing basketball.) No hoops. Bummer.
COLBY: You know Coach Peterson. He’d never let us use the gym. The third time he caught me wearing street shoes I got thrown out, which is just what I wanted.
MIKE: Catch, Runt. (COLBY lets the ball go by.)
COLBY: I don’t catch.
MIKE: (To JONATHAN.) Which school you go to?
JONATHAN: Sewickley Academy.
MIKE: Ooooeee. Prep school alert. (Makes siren sound.)
JONATHAN: Yeah, don’t you wish. (Beat.) So you all know each other?
MIKE: We’ve seen each other. We don’t know each other. I. . . avoid, people like them. Twerps and those who wear the color punk. And her . . . (Points to LETHA.) She goes to the other high school in town. So why’d you buy a ticket, Letitia?
Canberra Grammar School, Canberra 31 Oct. 2020
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