2 characters. 2F; 34 pages in length. Approximately 30-40 minutes running time. An engrossing drama about two sisters written by Pete Hartley. (5 credits)

Making the Grade is the story of two refugee women who need to find a source of income to remain residents in the country of their choice. Jasmine is a seventeen-year-old student dependent on her older sister India who has just qualified as a Performing Arts teacher. On the morning of a vital job interview, India is unwell following a night out, so Jasmine impersonates her and gets the job at the college where she is about to enroll as a student. Unfortunately, a mistake traps them into pretending to be each other for the next two years. Complications soon arise and somehow they must find a way through the problems or face discovery, punishment and deportation. The notion of truth as revealed by the performance of fiction is right at the heart of this enthralling drama.

Pete Hartley is based in northern England where he taught drama and operated a number of small fringe theatre companies for over thirty years. He has written extensively for the stage. Some fifty of his plays have been performed by professionals, amateurs and student companies. Six won prizes, including one broadcast by BBC Radio. He has also had short stories published and broadcast, and now hawks his output under the moniker of uneasybooks and blogs as uneasywords.

Excerpt from the play:

CAST OF CHARACTERS

INDIA – a twenty-five year old newly qualified teacher of Performing Arts.

JASMINE – India’s seventeen year old sister and a student about to enroll at a new college where India is applying for a teaching position.

SETTING:  The setting should be very simply represented. It is fluid but frequently returns to a simple apartment rented by the sisters. This apartment requires a bed. Two chairs are needed to suggest furniture in the apartment, the seats of a tube train and for individual use in other scenes. In addition, a central spot-lit area is used for individual monologues.

The action commences in the apartment where India is in bed.

INDIA:
I feel chronic.

JASMINE:
Shut up and get up.

INDIA:
I can’t move.

JASMINE:
Get up.

INDIA:
Oh . . .

JASMINE:
Get up!

INDIA:
Time?

JASMINE:
Three past eight.

INDIA:
Forget it.

JASMINE:
Get up.

INDIA:
My throat is as tight as a cat’s butt.

JASMINE:
Come on!

INDIA:
Oh – leave off, leave off, leave off!

JASMINE:
India! Get up!

INDIA:
No.

JASMINE:
You’ve got an interview.

INDIA:
No, I don’t.

JASMINE:
At nine o’clock.

INDIA:
No friggin’ chance.

JASMINE:
You’ve got to get this job.

INDIA:
Sleep. And water. And sleep.

JASMINE:
India! We need you to get this job. It’s your dream job.

INDIA:
Clear off. I’m having a nightmare.

JASMINE:
Why the hell did you go out last night?

INDIA:
Because he asked me too.

JASMINE:
I told you not to.

INDIA:
Oh, schlock! Schlock, schlock, schlock. Do not move the head.

JASMINE:
India!

(JASMINE pulls INDIA out of bed. She falls on the floor.)

INDIA:
No, no, no, nowowowow. Whoa. Uh. Vomit warning.

JASMINE:
Don’t you dare.

INDIA:
That bed has buoyancy.

JASMINE:
You throw up on this floor and I’ll put it straight back where it comes from.

INDIA:
You’re disgusting.

JASMINE:
No, you’re disgusting. India, if you don’t get this job, then we can’t stay here.

INDIA:
I’m sorry, Jasmine. I’m sorry but at the moment I’m just finding it really hard to focus on your face.

JASMINE:
India!

INDIA:
I love you, babe.

JASMINE:
No, you don’t.

INDIA:
You’re my favorite sister.

JASMINE:
I’m your only sister.

INDIA:
Doesn’t stop you being my favorite.

JASMINE:
Shut up! Get dressed. Now.

INDIA:
Oh.

(INDIA attempts to stand, unsuccessfully.)

JASMINE:
For glory’s sake!

INDIA:
I’m sorry, Jas. Jas, Jas, Jas.

JASMINE:
You have got no chance.

INDIA:
I’m sorry, babe.

JASMINE:
We’ll have to go back. We’ll have to go back.

INDIA:
No, we won’t.

JASMINE:
We friggin’ will.

INDIA:
Other jobs. There’ll be other jobs.

(INDIA stands unsteadily, collapses back onto the bed and curls up.)

JASMINE:
No, there won’t.

INDIA:
There will. There will. There . . .   Uhhh.

JASMINE:
Get up!

INDIA:
This is a public safety announcement. Within three minutes, puking will be compulsory.

JASMINE:
Where’s your notes?

INDIA:
What?

JASMINE:
Where are your notes?

INDIA:
Everything moves, little sister, everything moves. I could not say at the moment where the ceiling is.

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