2 characters. 1M, 1F; 8 pages in length. Approximately 5-10 minutes running time. A touching drama for children and teens written by Jon Bromfield.

Bequest is a poignant drama for children and teens with profound themes. Teenager Jackie teaches his younger sister, Boo, about the moon and constellations as they peer through his telescope one evening. Both desiring to travel to the moon one day, they make a pact to go together. A surprising revelation at the end of the story makes their relationship and the promise even more bittersweet. These two roles are very challenging and require exceptionally nuanced performances by young actors.

Jon Bromfield has been involved in theater since high school. He began writing plays when he joined up with the Old Pueblo Playwrights in Tucson, Arizona, and first experienced the exquisite pleasure of hearing his words spoken by actors. He hasn’t been the same since.

Excerpt from the play:

CAST OF CHARACTERS

JACKIE: 12-14 years old; a thin and very serious boy.
BOO: 6-8 years old; Jackie’s baby sister; Cute and intelligent.

AT RISE: JACKIE is at his telescope, half sitting on a stool. He is wearing a knit cap that completely covers most of his forehead and ears, and a baggy jacket that hangs loosely on his thin frame. A chart table is nearby. On it a small lamp with a red bulb provides some illumination but the scene is mostly lit by soft moonlight. A white shade scrim is set up upstage on which astronomical photos of what is seen though the telescope will be projected, but at rise it is blank because Jacking is not looking through the eyepiece. Strangely, he is looking not at the sky but staring unfocused straight ahead, lost in thought.  BOO enters carrying a thermos. Despite the cold weather, she is dressed only in pajamas and slippers, though she does have a brilliantly colored scarf around her neck. JACKIE looks at her and smiles. 

JACKIE
Boo, what are you doing out here?

BOO
I brought you some hot cocoa, Jackie! Mommy said you must be freezin’ out there and made some hot cocoa. She said I could bring it to you!

JACKIE
Didn’t she also tell you to put on a jacket and cap?

BOO
I forgot.

JACKIE
You remembered your scarf.

BOO
That’s because it’s so pretty!

(She does a pirouette to show off her scarf)

JACKIE
Silly Boo. Well, thank you for the hot cocoaa.

(He takes the thermos, pours some cocoa into the cup, then hears Boo’s teeth chattering.)

You cold, Boo? Better go back inside.

BOO
N-n-no. I’m not ca-ca-cold.

JACKIE
Come here, goofy girl.

(He sets aside the cocoaa, then partially unzips his jacket and helps the little girl climb into it from below, pulling her onto his lap and then drawing the zipper clasp up to just below her chin. He kisses the back of her head.)

BOO
Watcha lookin’ at, Jackie?

JACKIE
What? Oh, the moon. It’s just a sliver now, but there is still some pretty cool stuff to see.

BOO
Like what? Horses?!

JACKIE
(laughing) No, no horses. Nothing lives on the moon, Boo. There’s no air to breath.

BOO
Oh…not even bugs?

JACKIE
Not even bugs.

BOO
Not even…spiders?

(She says the last word in a fearful voice and shivers. JACKIE hugs her close)

JACKIE
Not even spiders, Boo. Nothing that can hurt you. You know I’d never let anything hurt you.

(He kisses the back of her head again and the little girl smiles, happy because she knows it is true)

JACKIE
You want to look through the telescope?

BOO
Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

JACKIE
Okay. Here, hold your head like this and use your right eye. No, don’t close the other one, just look with the right eye. That’s it.

(As he speaks these words a bright but blurry and splotchy image appears on the scrim.)

BOO
I can’t see anything.

JACKIE
No? Oh, I was looking without my glasses. Here.

(He turns the focusing knob while the girl continues looking. The image on the scrim resolves into a view of the waxing crescent of the moon, its craters and mountains in sharp relief. Boo gasps in delight.)

BOO
Ohhhhhhhhhh!!! It’s beautiful, Jackie.

(JACKIE is a bit surprised by her reaction but grins, pleased.)

JACKIE
Yes, it is.

BOO
It’s got holes in it!

JACKIE
They’re called craters. They were made by meteors hitting it. And see those dark areas? They’re called marias; that means oceans because people use to think they were filled with water. But they’re not; they’re filled with lava, from volcanoes. And those bumps? You see them?

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