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2 (F) characters. Ten minutes running time. A teenage couple visits the family home of one of the girls after her mother has died.

Alicia has suffered the tragic loss of her mother and she blames herself. Her partner, Ebony, accompanies her to her childhood home one last time before it is torn down. This scene gives young actors a chance to learn about subtext and to tap into a complex range of emotions.

About the Playwright

Jeff Dunne is a playwright living near Baltimore, but his plays have been produced across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Both his full-length plays and shorter one-act scripts have won numerous festivals and competitions with professional and amateur theaters, and several works have been either written for or adapted to film. Jeff’s focus in writing is to encourage people to see life from new perspectives, to open their minds to alternate interpretations and possibilities with respect to things that they might otherwise take for granted. When not writing, Jeff enjoys acting (not nearly enough) and chocolate (far too much), and runs a Not-For-Profit organization that works to improve our world through a better understanding of the nature of self and consciousness. He is also a researcher in physics, engineering, and data science at the Johns Hopkins University.

Excerpt from the scene

CHARACTERS

ALICIA
A woman, ideally in her twenties but could be older, who has been through some pretty awful stuff in her life.

EBONY
Alicia’s partner, similar age. Understanding, patient, caring.

SETTING: Alicia’s old bedroom; present day.

Note: The bear stuffed animal, along with associated lines, can be altered to accommodate any stuffed animal.

SCENE

(Two women walk into the bedroom of a young girl. The first, ALICIA, is hesitant, scared, forcing herself to walk into the room. The second, EBONY, is clearly concerned for the first. They have come in from out of the cold, each with winter coats that have been opened but not removed.)

EBONY
Let’s just go. We’ve seen the house, you’ve-

ALICIA
No. I want to do this.

EBONY
You don’t wanna do this.

ALICIA
Yeah, well, maybe I need to.

EBONY
We shouldn’t have come up here. You’re not going to find anything in here worth remembering.

ALICIA
Nope. Probably not.

EBONY
Then let’s just-

(Ebony stops at a glare from Alicia, then sighs in resignation. Alicia starts to wander around the bedroom, looking at reminders of her childhood, picking up the odd memento.)

Is it like you left it? It seems

ALICIA
(She laughs an empty laugh.)
No. This is what it looked like when I was a little girl. They gave that bed to my sister when I was nine. They must have moved it back in here at some point. And I would never hang up a picture that had me in it.

EBONY
That’s you? You look

ALICIA
Stupid.

EBONY
I was going to say adorable.

ALICIA
Right.

EBONY
Look at that smile.

ALICIA
I remember taking that one. They tried for like ten minutes to get me to smile. Eventually they promised to get me puppy if I did.

EBONY
I didn’t know you had a dog.

(Alicia gives her a “have you forgotten who we’re talking about” look.)

Oh. (Pause,) So is any of this stuff actually yours?

ALICIA
Yeah. Most of it. (She sees that Ebony is staring at her.) Stop looking at me like that.

EBONY
I wish I had never told you.

ALICIA
I had to know. If they’d torn the place down before

EBONY
Then you’d never have to face it again.

ALICIA
And I’d never get to, either. It’s the only past I have, and this is the only place left that

EBONY
That you can run away from?

ALICIA
Maybe. It’s hard to run from a memory. Once this is gone, there’s nothing else to you know face.

EBONY
Would that really be so bad?

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