3 characters, (2M 1F). 21 pages in length. Approximately 20 minutes running time. A one-act comedy for teens written by Robin Rice.

Wrong Way, Dude tells the story of Walter, a high school athlete and senior in desperate need of a prom date.  He’s tried everything but the girls just aren’t interested in him.  As a last resort, he begs for advice from Stan, the popular school brainiac.  Stan is busy, attempting to win a competition to help pay for his mother’s medication but agrees to help him, for a price.  When new girl, Susan arrives asking for directions to the school office, both boys vie for her attention.  Who gets the girl this time? Nope, you’re wrong.

Robin Rice is the author of over 70 plays, including 20 full-length comedies and dramas. Her plays have been honored and produced from Off-Broadway to Australia, South Africa to South Korea, London to Alaska. Some of her publishers are Samuel French, Original Works, Smith & Kraus, YouthPLAYS, and Blue Moon. A few titles  ALICE IN BLACK AND WHITE, PLAY NICE!, THE POWER OF BIRDS, HONEY’S SMILE, HUMANS REMAIN and LOLA AND THE PLANET OF GLORIOUS DIVERSITY. Saving our planet is a frequent topic, as is the struggle of individuals to realize their own potential. She founded Manhattan Oracles in New York City in 2001, and is also a member of The Dramatists Guild, The League of Professional Theatre Women, The International Centre for Women Playwrights, The 29th Street Playwrights Collective, and on the board of Rebel Playhouse in NYC.

Excerpt from the play:

CAST OF CHARACTERS

STAN – 17; Athletic; Sincere; Insecure.
WALTER – 17; Brainy; A player; Very confident.
SUSAN – 16-17; Not a follower.

TIME: Late afternoon.
PLACE: A counter or desk in a high school classroom.

AT RISE:  Bespectacled WALTER builds a tall tower with blocks, referring to an app. on his cell phone to make calculations before placing each block. STAN enters. He has a gym bag.  WALTER is very focused. He ignores STAN.

STAN 
Yo.

(Pause. WALTER doesn’t even look at STAN.)

STAN
I’ve been at practice.

(Pause. WALTER continues with his work.)

STAN
How come you’re still in school? It’s like 4:30, dude.

(Pause. WALTER doesn’t reply.)

STAN
Whatcha doin?

(WALTER carefully places a block on the top of the tower, ignoring STAN. STAN screws up his courage to ask )

STAN
Can I ask you a question?

(Continuing to not acknowledge STAN’s presence, WALTER carefully places another block.)

STAN
I don’t have a date for prom.

WALTER
(not looking at Stan ) Whatever.

STAN
How do I get girls to like me?

(Pause. No reply from WALTER.)

STAN
I wanted t’ask you in chem. class, but you’re always mixing stuff that wows the girls. I was gonna ask you in bio. Tuesday, but you were busy slitting a frog open, girls all crowded around you. They think you’re awesome.

WALTER
I’m trying to concentrate.

STAN
You are awesome, Walter.

(Not looking at STAN, WALTER smiles.)

STAN
Wednesday I caught a frog at the Frog Pond and brought it to homeroom. Betsy Hooper screamed like I was trying to get in her pants. Girls love your frogs and science stuff. They’re gonna love your tower. There’s symbolism in that, but I dunno what.

WALTER
Who are you?

STAN
Stan Parker.

(WALTER shrugs, concentrates on the tower.)

STAN
Football team? Basketball team? Baseball team?

(WALTER shrugs, still not knowing who STAN is.)

STAN
I’m desperate.

WALTER
I’m busy.

(Pause. Pause.)

STAN
Do you have to know math to do that?

WALTER
If you want to win.

STAN
How about with girls?

WALTER
I have strategies.

STAN
No fair. Geeks have all the girls.

WALTER
Don’t you have to go pull the legs off a fly or something?

STAN
Come on, dude! It’s not just prom. I never even had one date. Well back in 8th grade sort of. I went to her house and rang the bell. She answered the door and we stood there and I couldn’t
even think of my own name. She said — I’ll never forget it — she said “oh well” and went back
inside. I stood on her porch for like an hour but she didn’t open the door again. So I guess it doesn’t really count as a date. (pause) Oh, man. The prom. What do I want to go to prom for? I must be nuts. (pause) But we’re seniors. I’m a senior. I can’t graduate and not go to prom. I won’t have football or basketball or baseball after high school. What’m I gonna have? I don’t take a girl to prom I’ll feel like a loser the rest of my life. I’d pay anything for advice on how to get a date.

WALTER
(suddenly all ears ) “Pay”?

STAN
I don’t feel good. Really not good. I might kill myself.

WALTER
You’d pay for advice?

STAN
For sure!

WALTER
How much?

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