One-act play for middle school and high school. 10 characters; 1M, 1F, 8 Either; 14 pages in length. Approximately 10-15 minutes running time. A comedy for teens written by Frannie Dove.
It’s All In Your Head is a one-act comedy set in the prefrontal cortex of Drew Peterson, a high school boy. In the PFC, Emotion runs wild, Focus can’t focus, and Planning is losing her mind. Together, the feelings of Drew must team up to accomplish their most difficult task: successfully asking a girl out on a date. Will Impulse be able to keep the team in line? Will Insight and Judgment remain balanced? Will Empathy finally participate in something? The stakes are high, but the team has no choice but to try. This hilarious comedy is a no-brainer for your next teen production!
Frannie Dove graduated from James Madison University (JMU) in with Bachelors in Theatre and Media Arts as well as a Minor in Creative Writing. While at JMU, she had many of her short plays produced at bi-annual Director’s Fests and was able to workshop her first full-length play, Dead Puffins. In addition to writing, she served as a director, actor, dramaturg, publicist, and deviser on numerous productions. She received the Madison Screenwriting Award in 2014 for her short screenplay D.C. Beauties and won the Steven Snyder Memorial Award for Creative Work in Theatre in 2014 and 2015. She continues to write independent projects, short stories, and plays in Northern Virginia, where she resides with her husband and her goldendoodle, Ollivander.
Excerpt from the play:
CAST OF CHARACTERS
PLANNING: anxious and stressed
FOCUS: always searching for ways to occupy his time.
IMPULSE: the team captain of the bunch
JUDGMENT: the overly critical gossip
INSIGHT: currently meditating to find his chi
EMPATHY: the slacker and napper of the group
EMOTION : an indecisive seesaw of conflicting feelings
DREW PETERSON: a boy in his senior year of high school
MISS TREBLE: his tenured teacher
KENDRA/CAROLINE: the past and present girls that Drew falls in love with
None of the Feelings are gender specific. Pronouns can be changed to fit the casting decisions of the director.
In some cases, the actor who plays Drew has doubled as Miss Treble. This is an acceptable doubling if Miss Treble speaks from offstage.
SETTING: The Deep Corridors of the Prefrontal Cortex
AT RISE: FOCUS is staring at the wall, EMOTION is going haywire pacing back and forth very agile, IMPULSE stands in a corner sizing up his competition, JUDGMENT and INSIGHT are holding hands and sitting on the floor, EMPATHY is taking a nap. PLANNING trounces in with a caffeine high.
I can’t take it. I can’t take it anymore. I swear, if I could leave, I would. Gosh darn you, Drew! You hear that Mr. Drew Peterson! There is a reason that you are always so overwhelmed. You keep me stressed out of my mind.
(Laughing) That’s funny because we are his.
Focus, focus! We can’t start the day unless he is focused. Now pay attention. It’s a big day for him.
You’re losing your mind out here, kid. You look terrible. Anything I can do to make it better?
Sometimes I wish you could keep certain things in your mind before you spew them out like that. This is the best I could look with the short amount of sleep he gave me.
There is nothing wrong with what he said. It’s the truth. You look hideous.
You see all the papers in her hands and the coffee. She must have had an all-nighter last night.
Oh, true. So there is reason behind that, doesn’t change the fact that she looks
We should leave her alone. Look how upset she looks.
(Waking up yawning) What? What’s wrong?
Don’t bring him into this. He’s horrible at his job.
Come here. Now.
Five more minutes.
All right, all right. I’m coming. What’s wrong?
Planning? (Pause) This is for you. Talk it over with him, kiddo.
I need a favor. I need him to care.
Is it my job to make him care?
It should be.
Care about what?
Let’s see. His friend Jenny was having trouble with her Spanish homework so they could do it together. I want some interactions with other people that will keep him on track. Anything that will keep him on schedule.
I don’t know if I can-
Look, Empathy, you lazy bum. I have been toiling over this schedule for weeks. I have this. (She pulls out a scroll and lets it go all the way to the floor.) This is the plan for months. College decisions come back in two weeks, scholarship applications are due next week, and he has two huge exams. I scheduled this whole thing out precise and to the point. Now, if you would take notice to the edits all made here in red pen. Why are there edits, you may ask. Why are there edits? Well, because on [INSERT A DATE – A WEEK BEFORE THE PERFORMANCE]Drew Peterson bought the new Pokémon game and ever since, my planning has gone out the window. It’s always “I’ll do it later”, “I’ll start it tomorrow”. He isn’t going to! The more he plans to push it aside, the more I stay awake fretting day in and day out that he won’t get things done. I plan things. It isn’t my fault if he chooses not to follow through. Is it?!
Um. I think this isn’t a job for me right now. Have you talked to Focus?
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