by Catherine Sorrentino
Writing, like any art, is often a tool of protest and social activism. Speculative fiction and plays allow for creative writing to challenge, rather than uphold, our current circumstances. In a recent Worldbuilding Intensive hosted by author Jelani Wilson and PYP teaching artist Mr Stine, young writers were given the opportunity to imagine fantastical and futuristic worlds to examine our present.
Ready to explore another world? Here’s the theatrical work of student Avery Hamill. (CLICK READ MORE ----->)
Content Advisory - Language - This piece reccommended for High School and older
by: Avery Hamill
(Stage is set as a city, but not a modern city; the city is falling apart and running down, there is trash and lots of people passed out on stairs everywhere, letting the buildings almost completely run down.)
(Mumbling to self)
Sandwiches to Susan, candles to Bil, blankets to the Smiths, now where the hell I am going to get sandwiches….
(mumbling and walking off stage. As he walks away, one of the people wakes up and stands off the step; she will act as our guide though the rest of the show)
(Her clothes are falling apart, there is a big logo on the back of her clipboard-it says The Housing Department)
Now that he’s gone. Let’s get down to business, I am Jill. It seems like you guys are new here.
Well lets see the only space we have for you. Oh I am kidding it's not like YOU would get a house any way. Pff I don’t even have a house yet. Now I’ll give you …..
(as she is saying this there is a long beep and then a speaker says)
LOUD FEMALE VOICE
Please clear the streets, get off the streets now. (Beep)(Beep) Clear The Streets (Beep Beep)
(After the second round of beeps everyone starts to run off the streets as fast as they can, climbing up to the tops of the buildings and peeking out though the boards)
(Jill is peeking out through a window as she says the following)
(Whispering) Oh that, well it could be anything, but usually it’s the government from the woods come over to show each other how much they have improved the city, it’s not like they have done anything. They tell us to get off the roads so that they can show how many people they have rehomed. While we are all still just living on the fucking street, I have not- (She sees something out of the side of her eye)
Oh shit. (super quiet) We will talk later. (head goes down) (On the street are a few really expensive cars passing and people waving out of them, we see on the streets happy fed people waving back. Once the cars pass, a government bus comes and picks the people back up) (Black Out, clear stage set Jill’s “house” a collection of boxes in the blowout rumble of the house she was hiding in, we see her family, her son, grandmother, and uncle. Grandma is cooking something, maybe a squirrel….)
Now Jill, do we know what that one was about and more importantly… Food?
JILL (In a run down, sad voice)
No and no.
(Lights dim and the lights go out on the word age)
Now when I was your age...
(Lights back up and we see a happy beautiful city, like a current city but crimeless and clean)
YOUNG GRANDMA (Calling to her kids)
Kids time for dinner!!! (We see a table laden down with all sorts of delicacies piled high to the ceiling)
YOUNG GRANDMA cont.
Ah Home just in time. (Pulling more pies out of an oven)
How was work today? (There is a super loud beep from outside the window)
Now what could that be (Grandpa is just pointing out the window down their perfect street, to this red cloud that is coming over the city, as the fire cloud comes closer Grandma grads the kids and runs out the front door to a shelter, losing most along the way only having her one son with her, Grandpa is still in the house still pointing flashback ends B/O we are back in Rubble City)
LOUD FEMALE VOICE (Two loud beeps)
Please take to the streets to show your appreciation for your mayor, Cyrus O’Harea! (Two Beeps and then prerecorded clapping, a big black car pulls up in front of the only building not rubble on the street and this little angry old man gets out of the car, ready to give a speech)
CRYUS O’HAREA (Big booming voice)
(Just as Cryus is getting out of his car to give his speech, the citizen tumble out of their “houses” to see what new laws they are going to have to stomach, 5 people in complete black from head to toe are setting a stage for Cryus to speak on, behind where the people are standing is a fake row of buildings that are perfect, a video camera is recording Cryus and another is pointed at the “citizens”)
Good Morning my amazing citizens!!
(sad clapping from the rubble people) Today you might have seen the amazing friends we had visited today, now I know what you are thinking. What do we the citizens of Squrillatina deserve to be visited by the amazing people of the other world? (Beat) Well we don’t. (Beat) But sometimes they still grace us with their otherworldly presence. (Preening) Once again I would like to thank Mr. Cantons for seeing all the good work that I have been doing here in the city of Squrillatina and how much I have been doing to make this city a better place, and gracing me by extending my tenure here for another 4 years!!
(A few people clap, then the people in black reenter making everyone else clap by just being their, but not Jill, she is standing in the corner with a mad face and stomping her foot)
Once again I would like to thank you for this amazing opportunity to be your amazing mayor, and as my first rule as your new mayor I am going to ask that all the citizens donate at first one pound of food a month to our government per person in your household.
Hush Hush, my pets have I ever done anything to hurt you? (Saying it so fast that no one is able to say anything)
No!! It’s only so we can make sure everyone gets the same food. That’s all for now, Mayor Cyrus signing off.
(Just as fast as it was set up, it’s all taken down b/o)
(Jill is now standing up in front of everyone)
THIS IS SHIT!!!
(Trying to pull Jill off the stage and shush)
You’re just As bad as them!!!
And all of you too. You let HIM
(pointing to the way the mayor went)
Let people control you. Let people take whatever they want from you. In what world do you think Mayor (putting emphasis on Mayor) Cyrus is going to give you what you need. When was the last time you have eaten.. When was the last time you have had anything under the bare minimum or even the bare minimum.
Pffff. So what. What can a little girl like you do. Do you really think the men from above would ever pick you. The only reason Cryus is mayor is because he licked enough boots of the bears outside the city walls. If you really think Cryus has any (Draw out any) power, then you are dumber than you look.