School Work is science-fiction play that takes place in a middle school. Lack of government funding means that schools are closing and being turned into factories. Students are being forced to work in these factories making an unidentifiable object and the slave-driving overlords are extraterrestrials! This comedy explores the value of education and forced labor without targeting or offending any particular group in our own society (unless you’re an alien).
Elizabeth Rapoza first began writing plays for and with children over 30 years ago. All of Liz Rapoza’s plays are kid and audience tested, some many times over. Her youth play, “Perstephanie Goes Underground” won the Boston Public Schools Short Play Development Award. Her adult radio comedy “The Amazing Adventures of Pajamazon” was a winner in Mae West Fest of Seattle’s search for the Ultimate Female Protagonist. Her plays have also been performed at such venues as SlamBoston and the Factory Theater Boston. In addition, Liz is also a professional actor, dancer, musician, vocalist, puppeteer/puppet constructor and costumer. She has taught college theater courses since 2003. Liz currently teaches at Cape Cod Community College and the Zeiterion Theater, New Bedford, Ma.
Excerpt from the play:
CAST OF CHARACTERS
TEACHER/GEEBO (m or f)
ANNOUNCER/CHOOZHDEE (m or f)
SETS AND COSTUMES:
The setting for Scene 1 is a middle school classroom. Desks are arranged in rows with a teacher desk and chair at the head of the classroom. Scene 2 is set outside of the school building and be performed in front of the closed curtain. Scene 3 is the area formerly the classroom, desks now replaced with tables. Chairs can be removed or placed in a row upstage. Students actors are playing students and can dress as themselves. Students playing aliens can where nondescript clothing in a single color.
SCENE 1: A middle school classroom on a Monday
(STUDENTS sit at their desks talking and fooling around) (TEACHER enters and stands behind her desk)
Please quiet down for the afternoon assignments.
(STUDENTS quiet down. A bell rings)
Good afternoon Garfield Middle School. Today was a wonderful day for teaching and learning at our spotlight school. Now for the news…because the government no longer has any money to fund education, our school has been bought out by an independent corporation. I regret to say, there will be no more school.
(Some STUDENTS cheer)
Some of you may be thinking that this is a good thing, but let me assure you, it’s not. The corporation that bought all of the schools is going to turn them into factories and you are going to be the workers.
Enjoy tonight because starting tomorrow, you’ll all be working hard to help the economy recover!
(STUDENTS react with confusion and dismay)
Before you all start complaining, let me tell you that there will be an aptitude test. After that, I’ll collect all of your books which will then be destroyed.
(With confidence) Dude, I’ll totally ace the attitude test.
(Snapping testily) Not attitude test you id…(Taking a deep breath to compose herself) an aptitude test. (Under her breath) Gloopy!
What was that?
Just shut it rahbskee!
Dude, my name’s not Rob.
And my name’s not Dude! It’s Mr./Ms. LeBlanc!
Hey! What about our football game?
Yeah! We’re in the finals!
You’re not in the finals. You’re in last place.
Well that’s pretty final.
(Mocking the TEACHER) Neechkt! Neechkt!…Neekcht! Neechkt!
(Raising hand) Do we really have to give up our books?
I can’t give up my books! I haven’t finished my homework!
There is no more homework, only work.
Oh, yeah? And what if we refuse to work? There’s a law against kid’s working. You can’t make us.
They have changed the law. If you refuse to work, there will be consequences. (Evil laugh) Heh heh heh heh heh.