CHARACTERS

MICHAEL – An eleventh grade student. Quiet, stubborn and studious.

SCOTT – Michael's best friend. Loves drama, extroverted and friendly.

SAMANTHA – Scott's twin sister and friend of Michael. Caring, preppy and gets good grades.

MRS. DUVALL – the drama teacher at their school.

SCENE: The school yard on a typical day after school.

(SCOTT and SAMANTHA enter, talking about something, inaudible. When they arrive in front, they stop and face the audience.)

SCOTT: So… are you trying out for the play this year? It's gonna be awesome, you know.

SAMANTHA (shakes her head): Come on, Scott… you know how much school work junior year has, plus applying for colleges and stuff. It's just not realistic to do everything. Even Michael knows that.

(SAMANTHA jerks a thumb towards the other side of the stage, where MICHAEL is seen reading a book and mumbling to himself, completely lost in his imagination.)

SCOTT (places a hand on SAMANTHA's shoulder): Come on, sis. You love drama as much as I do. The play isn't going to be the same without you.

(SCOTT pretends to pout, while SAMANTHA rolls her eyes at her twin.)

SCOTT (in a teasing voice): We're doing Romeo and Juliet this year… Even you couldn't say no to that, Sam!

(SAMANTHA pushes SCOTT's hand down gently and shakes her head. She looks sad. There is a long pause as SCOTT and SAMANTHA hold eye contact with each other.)

SCOTT (with a smile): Well, I'll tell you what… (SAMANTHA eyes SCOTT doubtfully.) If I can convince the Mikester to try out for the play, then you'll have to try out. Or… you can do my chores for a week.

(SCOTT holds out his hand for SAMANTHA to shake it. SAMANTHA places hands on her hips.)

SAMANTHA: You know Michael doesn't like being called that.

(SCOTT looks over briefly at MICHAEL, a guilty look on his face. MICHAEL is wandering around in small circles, reading his book, and does not seem to notice the twins.)

SCOTT: He'll get over it.

SAMANTHA: Here, I'll try out for the play if – and only if – you can get Michael to try out AND you stop calling him Mikester. Deal?

(SAMANTHA h0lds out her hand and SCOTT shakes it.)

SCOTT: Deal.

(There is a long pause and SCOTT and SAMANTHA look over at MICHAEL.)

SCOTT (chuckling nervously): So… how do we do this?

SAMANTHA: There is no we this time, Scott. You're on your own with this. Good luck. (long pause) You'll need it. (smirks)

(SAMANTHA exits, smiling smugly to herself. SCOTT stays in the middle of the stage and shoves his hands into his pockets, looking out into the audience somewhere.)

SCOTT: To ask or not to ask, that question has already been answered for me. But how to go about it… that's a problem in and out of itself. To take up arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing, end them. I've got a stubborn lad on my hands and no force on earth or in the heavens above will allow me to convince him otherwise! (SCOTT takes hands out of his pockets and lifts them up in the air, shaking them towards the sky in frustration.) I might as well've been better off letting that twin of mine go…

(SCOTT puts his hands back in his pockets and exits, his head hanging down.)

SCENE: School yard, the next day.

(MICHAEL is sitting on a bench, reading a large book. SCOTT enters and sits down beside MICHAEL.)

SCOTT: What's up, Michael?

(MICHAEL looks up briefly from his book, raises both of his eyebrows slighty and then goes back to reading. SCOTT shrugs his shoulders.)

SCOTT (aside): This could be more difficult than I thought…

SCOTT: So, umm, Michael… you know they're in need of more guys for the play this year…

(SCOTT scoots closer to MICHAEL on the bench. MICHAEL moves away slowly, never looking up from his book.)

SCOTT: It's Romeo and Juliet… don't you remember reading that in English or somethin'?

(SCOTT elbows MICHAEL in the ribs and MICHAEL glares at him. MICHAEL is no longer reading his book and looks directly at SCOTT, still glaring.)

SCOTT (grins and chuckles): Well… at least I got your attention away from that book! What's it about anyways?

(MICHAEL holds up book, a slight frown on his face. SCOTT looks confused for a brief moment, but then shakes his head.)

SCOTT: Whatever. You should try out for the play! You'd be great as… (long pause, as SCOTT is trying to come up with the name of a character) … Benvolio!

(MICHAEL raises both of his eyebrows, shakes his head and sighs.)

SCOTT: Come on, Michael! (uses hands in pleading motion) You know you want to…

MICHAEL (sarcastically; more of a statement than a question): How about not?

(MICHAEL opens up his book again and starts to read. SCOTT sighs loudly in frustration. The school bell rings and class starts for the day.)

SCENE: Drama class with MRS. DUVALL.

(STUDENTS are sitting crosslegged on the floor, all talking amongst themselves. SCOTT and SAMANTHA are arguing over something, inaudible. MICHAEL has his book open and is reading.)

MRS. DUVALL (enters): Alright, alright. Calm down class. (STUDENTS quiet down.) Today, we're having auditions for Romeo and Juliet. (mixed reactions from the STUDENTS.) Now, before we get started…

(MRS. DUVALL walks over to MICHAEL and kneels down.)

MRS. DUVALL (whispering): Michael, you need to pay attention. We aren't going to have the same people play the main roles this time. That wouldn't be fair. I don't even know why you're in this class. You haven't acted in a single play we've done for other people.

(MRS. DUVALL takes MICHAEL's book away and gives him a stern look. MICHAEL looks upset and MRS. DUVALL turns back to the rest of the class.)

MRS. DUVALL: Now, to give people a mix of roles, I've already picked parts for people. Your scripts have been highlighted and please, no one is allowed to trade with anyone else.

(MRS. DUVALL passes out scripts of the play to each STUDENT. MICHAEL hardly looks up after he receives his script.)

MRS. DUVALL: Alright. That's all I have for today. Don't forget to start memorizing your lines for the next class. We'll be doing read-throughs tomorrow and Friday. Have a good afternoon.

(MRS. DUVALL gives MICHAEL his book back and exits. STUDENTS exit, all except for SCOTT and SAMANTHA.)

SCOTT: Well… that's that, I s'ppose.

SAMANTHA: Hey, what part did you get? (peers over SCOTT's script.) Not fair! I have to play the part of a guy!

SCOTT (shrugs his shoulders): Well, I guess that's what you get for being in a drama class with a lot of girls.

(SCOTT gives SAMANTHA a pat on her shoulder. SAMANTHA smiles. Both TWINS look over at MICHAEL.)

SAMANTHA (whispering to SCOTT): I wonder what part he got…

SCOTT: Ditto.

(SCOTT walks over to where MICHAEL is sitting. SAMANTHA follows and both TWINS sit down by MICHAEL.)

SCOTT: Wanna talk?

MICHAEL (looks up momentarily from his book and closes it): There is not much to talk about, Scott.

SCOTT (shocked): Whatd'ya mean?

MICHAEL: Alright, if you will just answer me one question…

SCOTT: Go on.

MICHAEL: Why did you and Samantha make that bet? You should have remembered that Mrs. Duvall did mention in class that she would be picking roles for this play and it was illogical for you to make the bet.

SCOTT (sighs dramatically): I'm outta here!

(SCOTT exits, shaking his head and mumbling under his breath. SAMANTHA turns to MICHAEL.)

SAMANTHA: Are you upset about something, Michael?

(MICHAEL shakes his head and SAMANTHA eyes him doubtfully. There is a long moment of silence and MICHAEL avoids making eye contact with SAMANTHA.)

MICHAEL: Nothing that you need to be concerned about, Samantha. Now if you will excuse me…

(MICHAEL picks up his book and exits quickly, leaving SAMANTHA all alone onstage.)

SAMANTHA (sad, watches MICHAEL exit): What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. This above all: to thine own self be true, Michael. And it must follow, as the night, the day. Thou canst not then be false to any man. O, woe is me, to have seen what I have seen, see what I see!

(SCOTT sees SAMANTHA and enters. SCOTT puts his hand around SAMANTHA's shoulder.)

SCOTT: Don't worry, Sam. It'll turn out fine. You'll see.

(SCOTT and SAMANTHA exit, SCOTT's hand still on SAMANTHA's shoulder.)

Finis.