12+ characters; 4M, 7F, 2+ Either; 42 pages in length. Approximately 30-45 minutes running time. A contemporary comedy for teens with study guide written by Sandy Barker. (3 credits)

This play is a contemporary comedy written for performers aged 13 to 16, depending on ability and maturity of the cast. It will play well to audiences of peers, as well as parents/teachers. 

Thematically it addresses popularity, friendship and loyalty, and self-confidence.

Synopsis

Catarina Brown has a very rich fantasy life, and if often caught daydreaming by her friends and her parents. She is in love with the most popular boy in school, Chad Splarht, and is ignorant of the crush that her best friend, James, has on her.

Catarina’s other close friend is her cousin, Bronte, who is the same age. Bronte hangs out with the cool girls and would love for Catarina to join their group.

Catarina cannot believe her luck when Chad finds her at parent/teacher night to tell her that they have been assigned to perform the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet. Her parents seem determined to embarrass her, but she is secretly excited about the plans to rehearse and perform a scene that requires Chad to kiss her. Bronte and her girlfriends ambush Catarina in an attempt to give her a makeover, so that she will be worthy of Chad Splarht.

Meanwhile, James befriends the ‘new kid’, Salman, who has just immigrated to the area from overseas. Salman has an idea about how James can win Catarina’s heart, but the plan backfires. James writes a poem to Catarina, but through a misunderstanding, she thinks it is from Chad.

In a humiliating scene, Catarina thanks Chad for the poem in front of everyone. He dismisses the possibility rudely, and Catarina is mortified. James, upset that Catarina thought the poem was from Chad, leaves. Salman then reveals to Catarina that it was James who wrote the poem. Catarina doesn’t know what to do.  James is her best friend and she has never thought of him romantically, but she knows she must talk to him. She finds him at his usual hiding place and they talk about what happened. She asks him if he wants to try dating and the play ends with two friends smiling, wondering how things will work out between them.

Sandy Barker started writing plays for her students some time ago and is pleased to be able to share them with other Drama teachers across the world. As a playwright and Drama teacher, she strives to provide meaningful parts for a large cast of mixed abilities. Additionally, her one-act plays are simply-staged and draw on themes that are relevant to the performers and audiences. Sandy has a degree in Theater Arts and English Literature from Curtin University in Australia, as well as a post-graduate degree in Education, and started teaching high school Drama in 1994. Before moving to the United States in 2008, she was Head of Drama at Brigidine College in Sydney. From 2001 to 2004 she taught an extra-curricular Drama program to children aged 4 to 16 through the Helen O’Grady Drama Academy. From 2005 to 2008, she was an examiner for the high school Drama performance exams for New South Wales.

Excerpt from the play:

CAST OF CHARACTERS

CATARINA BROWN (CAT) A troubled teenage girl
CATARINA’S CONSCIENCE Her inner thoughts (Voice Over) and ‘fantasy’ enactments
MOM Catarina’s mother
DAD Catarina’s father
BRONTE Catarina’s cousin, same age as Catarina
JAMES Catarina’s best friend
SALMAN New student from overseas
CHAD Catarina’s dream guy
TIFFANY The most popular girls in
AMBER school
SKYE
CHORUS Actors to play roles of parents/teachers/students/cheerleaders/giant donut/giant diet cola/referee/dancers

SCENE ONE:
Catarina’s bedroom is lit DSL.  The rest of the stage is bare.
Catarina sits on her bed rolling her thighs with a rolling pin, counting, nearing 1000.  Her conscience is reciting a poem aloud, volume and intensity increasing.  She continues to roll her thighs throughout.

CATARINA:
987, 988, 989, 990…

CAT’S CONSCIENCE (VO):
There once was a girl called Cat,
Whose thighs were horribly fat.
She’d wobble and jiggle,
While skinny girls giggled.
What could be more pathetic than that?

MOM:
(Offstage) Catarina!  (She stops rolling her thighs.) Hurry up, Sweetie.  I want to be on time for parent-teacher interviews.

CAT:
Terrific. 

She climbs off her bed, fixes her clothes and exits SL.  Blackout.

SCENE TWO:
School. Parent-Teacher Interviews. 

Chorus bring on theatre blocks or chairs and conducts Parent-Teacher interviews in mime. Each actor is either a parent or teacher, and they continue to revolve between interviews throughout the scene.  Catarina and her mother enter SL.

CAT:
Now Mom, please don’t embarrass me, like last year. 

MOM:
Sweetie, I told you I didn’t mean to embarrass you. 

CAT:
(Talking under her breath) You told Mr Richards that I wet the bed until I was 10! 

MOM:
But…

CAT:
Mom, there is no defence!  So, remember what I told you: just listen to what they say, nod, and smile. 

MOM:
Kitty Cat, you have nothing to worry about.   I’m a cool mom.  

CAT:
No Mom, you’re not.  Trust me. 

Bronte enters SR and crosses to Mom and Catarina.

BRONTE:
Hi, Aunt Barbara.  Hi Cat.

CAT:
(Unenthusiastically) Hi.

MOM:
Hello, Sweetheart.  (She kisses Bronte) Where’s your mother?

BRONTE:
She’s held up at work – again, and dad’s away – again.  (She sighs)Can you check in with my teachers for me?  Mom told me to ask you.

MOM:
Of course, Sweetheart.  (Bronte hands her a list) Well, let’s start making the rounds. 

Chad enters with a parent SL.  They begin interviewing with a teacher in mime.

CAT:
(Seeing Chad) Mom, do you mind starting without me?  I need to, uh, talk to Bronte about something.

MOM:
Fine, Sweetie.  Don’t wander off.

CAT:
Mom, I’m not five.

Mom goes on to interview with teachers, interacting with chorus in mime.

BRONTE:
So, what’s up?

CAT:
(Watching Chad) Huh?  Oh, nothing.  I just didn’t want to sit in on interviews.

The girls continue their conversation in mime, crossing to DSR.   James enters SR and sees Salman CS.  James crosses to him.

SALMAN:
James, my friend, good to see you.  I like this parent-teacher meeting.  Very festive. 

JAMES:
That’s one way of looking at it, Salman.

SALMAN:
So, where is this girl you’re always talking about?  Catarina?

JAMES:
Shhh.  She’s over there.  (Salman looks) Don’t look!

SALMAN:
Oooh, she’s a pretty one.

JAMES:
(James looks over) No, not that one.  She’s Catarina’s cousin.  The other one.

SALMAN:
Yes, I see her – the one in the blue top.  She’s a very pretty girl.

JAMES:
Yeah?  I mean, I think so, but I didn’t think anyone else would.

SALMAN:
(Looking again) I think she looks very nice.

JAMES:
Okay, Salman.  Remember that I like this girl? I just don’t know what to do about it.

SALMAN:
Well, you must tell her.

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