11+ characters. 6F, 5M, 2+ Either; 13 pages in length. Approximately 10-15 minutes running time. A one-act comedy for teens about obsession written by Donald Arneson.

Idols is set in the hallway of a high school, the idols in question are Rocky and Valerie, portrayed in glorified, glamorous poses by two pedestaled manikins, and are the center of attention for passing students. The two elites, however, maintain their haughty, aloof superiority throughout. Being ignored by their idols is especially hurtful to Becky, in love with Rocky, and Arthur, enthralled by Valerie. The two students are ridiculed by other students until they erupt from their captivation and stand up to their detractors –– and their idols. A fun play for teens about obsession and finding your self-worth.

Donald Arneson has been a teacher, a magazine editor, and a writer of fiction and drama. He has published two children’s books, Arnie, Knight of the Day and Doing Something Nice, Inc. and Other Short Plays for Kids. In addition, he has written five plays. Golden Wedding was the winner of the Mid-West Playwrights’ Program and was produced at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and The Prior Lake Players Community Theater. Turkeys of a Feather was a runner-up at Midland Community Theatre McLaren Competition and received praise from Dale Wasserman (Man of La Mancha). Finnegan’s Wake was a winner of the Brooklyn Repertory Theatre Playwriting Contest, plus having a reading at the Playwrights’ Center. Also it received an honorable mention from Ohio State U., Newark’s Annual New Play Contest and was a winner of the Renegade Theatre of Duluth’s New Works Festival, where it was given a staged reading. Two other plays are The Glass Ceiling, a play about a play within a play that is about the restrictive ceiling that keeps women in their place and Happy Hour which takes place at Eden Garden Senior Retirement Haven at that time of day treasured by the elderly residents when they gather for a drink (only one allowed) and sing to piano music.

Excerpt from the play:

CAST OF CHARACTERS

BECKY
JILL
TERRI
SUE
KIM
NANCY
VALERIE, a manikin
ROCKY, a manikin
ARTHUR
STEVE
MARK
PAUL
BRAD
OTHER STUDENTS as needed.

SETTING: A school. Present time.

NOTE: The idols, which are non-speaking parts, could be played by manikins or students frozen in place. Additional, non-speaking student parts could be added if students are available, but that is not essential.

At rise, all of the students are on stage frozen in walking/running positions, some in the process of texting. The set should suggest the interior of a high school: lockers to suggest a hallway, desks to suggest a classroom, and a goal post or anything to suggest an athletic field.

At stage center on platforms are two manikins, one dressed as the All-American, clean-cut, football hero, perhaps wearing a football uniform or, at least, a letter sweater. He is the school’s male idol. His name is Rocky. Beside him, also in athletic uniform such as a letter sweater or a cheerleading outfit is Valerie, Miss Everything. They are in glorified, glamorous poses.

On cue, with the ringing of the passing bell, all, except the two heroes, come to life. They are all passing back and forth in the between-classes stampede. They shout, wave to each other, drop books, push, scream, laugh, squeal, whistle, struggle with lockers, all the normal activities. If there is a shortage of actors, they could go off-stage and re-enter to repeat their passage.

Finally the stage is left to the two manikins. After a moment, BECKY and JILL enter stage right. (All entrances are right; all exits, left.)

JILL
Hurry up! We’re gonna be late for lunch ­­­­­­­­­­­–– my favorite class!

BECKY
(with a long face.) I don’t care. I’m never going to eat again!

JILL
What’s the matter?

(BECKY stops by Rocky, looks up and swoons. JILL looks up at Rocky but does not swoon.)

JILL
Oh, him! Still crushing on him, huh? (Sarcastically.) Big Rocky! Rock-head. He doesn’t even see you. C’mon, Becky, he doesn’t care about anybody but himself. Forget him! Let’s go to lunch.

BECKY
I can’t! I just can’t! I’m going to die.

JILL
Can’t you wait until after lunch?

BECKY
I’m serious! (Falls at Rocky’s feet.) I’m going to stay right here until he talks to me. Until he says he loves me. I’m never going to eat again. I’ll never leave him. Ever!

JILL
(growing impatient, looks offstage.) C’mon, Becky! The line’s gonna be a mile long.

BECKY
Not long ago he loved me. What happened? What did I do wrong? (Looks up at Rocky pleadingly.) Oh, Rocky, what did I do? Talk to me! Say you love me!

JILL
I think they got pizza today. (Sniffs.) Gosh, Becky, let’s go!

BECKY
Jill, what’s the matter with me? Don’t I look pretty enough?

JILL
Sure, but boys are weird. Who knows what’s goin’ on inside that thick skull of his? All he thinks about is sports and how many girls faint over him. So c’mon! There are more important things to think about. (Pauses; sniffs deeply.) Like pizza!

BECKY
(adamantly.) No! I’m not leaving my Rocky. (Wraps her arms around his feet.) Oh, Rocky, I’d die for you. Can’t you talk to me? Just one little word? Rocky! (Kisses his feet.)

JILL
(indicates Valerie.) He’s got bird-brain here to keep him company. She’s all he can think about ­­­­–– that is, except football, baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, track, skateboarding, skiing, weight-lifting… (Pauses.) and himself. Himself, above all.

BECKY
Huh! What does she have that I don’t?

JILL
Nothing. Absolutely nothing! All she’s got is brains, looks and money ––  lots of dinero. C’mon, my pizza’s gonna get cold.

BECKY
Oh, you don’t even like pizza.

JILL
Yeah, but I like to slip it under people just before they sit down.

BECKY
Jill! Well, you better not do that to my Rocky-honey.

JILL
Huh! He’s so stuck-up he’d never notice. Besides, I could never get that close to him.

BECKY
Don’t you talk that way about Rocky! (Suddenly catches fire.) Jill, I hate you! You’re so mean to him, always calling him names and things. Leave me alone!

JILL
(shocked.) Fine! Be that way! Good-bye! (Exits left.)

(BECKY, not knowing what to do, wanders for a moment, then slumps down behind Rocky, covers her face, and sobs quietly. TERRI, SUE, KIM, and NANCY enter stage right. They are chatty and very casual until they see Rocky; then they swoon.)

TERRI
Oh, Rocky!

SUE
Oh, he’s so ­–– so –– hot! Hi, Rocky.

KIM
Classy! Oh, sooooo classy! (Does several cartwheels, ending with the splits at his feet.) Hi, Rock. (Waits for a response.) Hey, Rocky. Hi! (Reacts to his silent indifference.) Gee! What’s the matter? Can’t you say something?

NANCY
What a hunk! I just love him!

Why Subscribe?

kk-question box coloredInside Drama Notebook, you will find a huge collection of well-organized lesson plans, scripts for kids, drama activities, 50 drama games on video and more! Membership is only $9.95 a month. Join today and dramatically reduce your planning time while delivering fresh, innovative drama lessons to your students!

If you are new to teaching drama, this site will be a Godsend!

You will immediately feel confident about teaching drama like an expert. The site guides you step-by-step and provides you with materials that you can use right away with your students.

If you have been teaching for years, Drama Notebook will inspire you with a fresh new approach and innovative ideas!

The site is packed with original, innovative lessons and activities that you will not find anywhere else—and new materials are added monthly.