You Oughta Be In Pictures is a short sci-fi comedy. Two girls are highly suspicious when approached by a boy who wants to take their pictures. Their suspicions are justified when it turns out the boy has lied not just about attending their school but about where he’s really from. It is a cautionary but light-hearted tale about the potential for abuse in social media. The play also gives student actors an opportunity to practice dialects.
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
LANA – schoolgirl (f)
BETTE – schoolgirl (f)
FELIX DRIMPLE – pompous photographer (m)
SETS AND COSTUMES:
The setting is a schoolyard, so no sets are required. It can be implied by chalking hopscotch or other playground game on the floor. The girls carry backpacks containing the following items: Bette: book; Lana: gum, cookie cutter, chip bag; Felix: digital camera, 2 business cards, cell phone/communicator.
When this play was originally written, young people didn’t have to worry about being embarrassed via social media. I have updated the play to reflect the current time.
(BETTE and LANA sit on the edge of the stage)
(Handing a piece of gum to BETTE) How’d you like the new gym teacher today?
(Taking and unwrapping the gum) Okay, I guess. He reminded me of my uncle. You know, kind of dweeby but in a nice way.
Yeah. That’s what I thought too.
(FELIX enters. He sees the 2 girls and “frames” them with his hands. LANA notices and nudges BETTE)
(Turning to look) I don’t know. I’ve never seen him before.
He’s looking at us kind of weird. It makes me nervous.
Let’s get out of here.
(LANA & BETTE stand up, pick up their backpacks, and begin to exit away from FELIX)
(Calling after them) Ladies, ladies! I beg your pardon, could you spare me a moment of your time?
Why? What do you want?
I am, as you can see (holds up his camera) an aspiring photographer and I was hoping I might persuade you to pose for me.
(To BETTE) I told you he was a weirdo! (Taking out her cell phone. To FELIX) I have a cell phone and I’m not afraid to use it!
I’m afraid you misunderstand me. I have no evil intentions. I merely wish to document playground activities for a research study.
Right here. In the schoolyard. You may review the photos.
(Shrugging) Okay, but we can’t stay long. I have to be home in a few minutes.
It won’t take long I assure you. (Lifts camera to take a photo)
(Pushing his camera down) Wait a minute! Not so fast. Who are you taking these pictures for? You can’t share them without our written permission.
Yeah. Who is this “research study” for? And why do you talk so funny?