4 characters. 8 pages long. Approximately 5-10 minutes running time. A drama for teens written by Scot Walker.

The Golden Goose is the story of four teen-age girls who are the closest of friends… or so they would have us believe. Three of them, self-centered, “princesses”, Emily, Brooke and Courtney, hanging out at the mall, are shocked when they discover their dear sweet friend, Jessica, has committed suicide. They are even more stunned as they open their devices and discover the same email—sent moments before Jessica died. In her final words, Jessica shares her version of “The Golden Goose.” When the play ends, the three may have learned their lesson… or they may not. This vitally important drama for teens is meant to be performed and discussed now before more are lost to suicide.

Scot Walker is a retired middle school teacher of English who’s been writing stories, poetry and plays for over half a century. His passion is to involve students with fine scripts and he longs for your questions and input about his plays.

Excerpt from the play:

CAST OF CHARACTERS

EMILY: 18, outgoing senior, prom queen, head cheerleader, member of the National Honor Society, a stunning beauty who has no patience with those whom she considers beneath her.

BROOKE: 17, the most popular senior, friends with everybody, National Honor Society member, student government president, and actor who played the lead in the school’s production of Evita. She is a conniver who knows how to get others to do her bidding.

COURTNEY: 17, senior with a 4.4 GPA, National Honor Society president, lead soprano in the a cappella chorus, Olympic ice skater, Miss Junior America, extreme sport enthusiast, and owner of a Mazda 6. Her father is on Forbes List of the Richest People in the world and the family spends vacations skiing in St. Moritz or surfing in Hawaii.

JESSICA: 17, overweight, unattractive, but sweet. Introverted. She will do anything for a friend. She’s dead now, and we know that the moment we see her; her friends, however, can barely glimpse a memory of her memory.

SETTING
The mall and “heaven” whatever or wherever that is.

TIME
The present

(JESSICA sits out of sight of the others, at her keyboard. EMILY and BROOKE are chatting as COURTNEY rushes in)

COURTNEY
She’s dead! Jessica’s dead. . . she just killed herself!

BROOKE
What? Why? . . . Suicide? Oh, my God! We were with her all day yesterday. What happened?

EMILY
I don’t know. She was always so quiet, barely speaking a word, but that was Jessica—she never really talked —she was just there. What happened? What on earth happened?

COURTNEY
The last time I saw her she was listening to us talk, giggling as she ate—

BROOKE
Not ate! Jess never ate: she devoured. When it came to food, she was queen of the table. Don’t you remember the last time we were together, she ate an entire bucket of Popeye’s Fried Chicken, a pint of slaw and a super large Coke—

COURTNEY
All twenty pieces, happily chewing with her mouth wide open, sucking each finger dry!

EMILY
She looked so happy! Why would she kill herself?

COURTNEY, BROOKE AND EMILY
Poor Jessica!

BROOKE
Did I tell you about the time I asked Jess to tutor me? She came to my house every Sunday evening to help me with my homework. . . . She’s the reason I earned all those A’s.

EMILY
And last year when we were all inducted into the National Honor Society, she sat there in the front row, gazing up at us with her sparkling blue eyes—

COURTNEY
Brown. Jess had brown eyes. I could see her happy face, grinning from ear to ear. She was so proud of us!

BROOKE
Jessica was so sweet. Why would she do this? Why in heaven’s name would she take her own life?

EMILY
She was gold. . . better than gold. Jess was our friend.

COURTNEY
Remember when the three of us starting ice skating lessons back in second grade?

EMILY
Jess was there every day, sitting on the sidelines, picking us off the ice when we fell, and when I suggested I was too tired to carry all my stuff home and asked her to do it, she did . . .but then both of you gave her more. . . that was so hilarious—I mean I barely saw her shoes—she was so burdened.

BROOKE
I thought it would help her lose weight! (beat) Well, I did—and it didn’t hurt. I mean it’s not like she had a life or anything. And I used to think off Jess as our little dwarf—

EMILY
Or a gnome—

BROOKE
And I loved watching her humped over, flipping our skates from her right to left shoulder like she was whisking flies off her back—

EMILY
As we giggled and laughed all the way home.

COURTNEY
From then on out, I thought it would be fun to watch her carry all my stuff—I mean she never made the team—

BROOKE
She barely dressed out for P. E.

COURTNEY
After, all a little exercise is good for the soul. . . .isn’t it? . . . Jessica was just too damned big!

BROOKE
She was more like a pack animal than . . . a mule!. . . . She was just my humpbacked little mule, but she loved it. I mean she had to love it right? Everyone loves us! It’s not like she had any other friends. You know, I did her favor! And she never even thanked me.

EMILY
But she was so quiet. Sometimes I swear Jess didn’t say a word for weeks, as she stood by us, enamored by everything we said, everything we did. I don’t think she understood them all, but at least she listened—

BROOKE
Remember back in seventh grade when Jess got the blame when we were caught cheating?

COURTNEY
We didn’t cheat. We just copied the test Mr. Drake gave Jessica’s brother. The one she found when she went snooping in his room.

EMILY
Well Jessica didn’t turn us in. I’ll say that for her. She was a great friend!

COURTNEY
Jess was so sweet. How could this happen? How could we not know something was wrong?

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