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Steven, By Anna Jaoudi
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Anna Jaoudi is an aspiring writer, journalist, and playwright. Her play, Blueberry Tart, was performed in Philadelphia Young Playwrights' Saturday Reading Series in 2011. Besides for her creative works, her writing has expanded to news production, working with media and broadcast, as well as writing for her school newspaper. Anna is a sophomore at Strath Haven High School in Wallingford, Pennsylvania.


Characters

YOUNG STEVEN: a boy, around the age of ten. Struggles with confidence and fitting in because of his differences from other students.

STEVEN: an older man, distinguished round black glasses, mid-sixties, stands to stage left and observes and reflects upon his younger self, YOUNG STEVEN.

TEACHER / STUDENTS 1-4 / MAN 1-5 / WOMAN 1-2 : extras that YOUNGER STEVEN interacts with.

TIME: Present reflection and re-enacting of the past.

SETTING: The stage is split into two halves, that of stage right and left. To stage right, it is suggested that this is a school setting. To stage left, STEVEN simply stands and walks upon it; reflecting on what is occurring on stage right.

NOTE: This is a creative non-fiction piece. It is inspired by a biography about a successful adult who was bullied as a youth. This piece will utilize events that really occurred, as well as lines that were actually said by the successful adult.


Act I

Scene I

(The lights come up on stage right, as a group of students appear to be in a hallway, chattering and walking. Suddenly, YOUNG STEVEN enters and everything around him is frozen. The lights go down and a spotlight catches him).

(A teacher walks on and stands next to him)

TEACHER

Steven!

(Opens a book, and hands it to him)

Steven, please read this page to the class?

STEVEN

(Looks puzzled at the book)

I...uh...ummm

(Looks around, embarassed)

(Students are unfrozen as lights come back up, except now they are looking at Steven and laughing)

STUDENT 1

What's wrong? Can't 'cha read?

STUDENT 2

Time to go back to the first grade, I guess.

(Laughter of students)

STUDENT 3

Can't do anything if you can't read.

(Students start leaving stage)


TEACHER

Steven! You'd better improve your reading skills...

(Hands him a stack of large books)

(Turns to teacher behind her)

(Stage whisper)

It's probably dyslexia, he'll just never get anywhere with it.

YOUNG STEVEN

(Drops the books, and is holding a clarinet)

(More and more students file on stage)

STUDENT 4

Ha! You're in the orchestra...

(Laughs with peers)

A nerd who can't read!

(As ruthless insults are thrown around, more students gather and surround YOUNG STEVEN)

(The lights once again are brought down as a spotlight catches YOUNG STEVEN, who is now looking at the ground, the students around him frozen)

(Stage left is now lit, as STEVEN walks on somberly, hands in pockets, look of pity at the scene on stage right)

STEVEN

Yeah... I was teased a lot as a kid.

(The students on stage right, still silent, now move in slow motion – with mocking gestures and mouthing insults at YOUNGER STEVEN).

(The students slowly move away, until on stage is just YOUNGER STEVEN and STEVEN, both facing front).

YOUNGER STEVEN

(Looks next to him, a video camera is on the stage)

(Picks it up with wonder)


STEVEN

So... I discovered movie making. And that was how I dealt with it.

(YOUNGER STEVEN now appears to be actively using the camera)

Movies really helped me, kind of saved me from the shame of not fitting in. Making movies was my

great escape, that's really how I was able to get away from all that.

(pauses thoughtfully)

When I felt like an outsider, movies made me feel inside my own skill set.

For once, my voice could be heard.

(Now on stage left, dressed up men and women approach Steven. They look star-struck and are shaking his hand with appreciation)

MAN 1

I'm a huge fan of Wagon Train!

WOMAN 1

My personal favorite was Escape to Nowhere.

MAN 2

The Sugar Land Express!

(A murmur of agreement is shared among the crowd)

MAN 3

(Almost shouting)

Indiana Jones!

(Louder applause, cheering)

WOMAN 2

Wait! I loved ET!!


MAN 4

Back to the Future! The Color Purple!

MAN 5

Jurassic Park! Men in Black!

(Now the applause of overwhelming, there is cheering an more handshaking)

(YOUNGER STEVEN looks overwhelmed, happy, and confused)

(Now MAN 1 is holding a sealed envelope)

MAN 1

We all know that here, at the Academy Awards, we are appreciating the world of film. In this envelope


contains the winner for Best Director...

(Opens envelope)

And the award goes to... Steven Spielberg!

(Roar of cheering)

(As the people file off stage slowly, chattering with happiness, MAN 1 walks over to YOUNGER STEVEN and hands him the envelope)

MAN 1

Pleasure to meet you, Mr. Spielberg. You are one of the most influential film personalities in the history

of film, Hollywood's best known director, and one of the wealthiest and most successful filmmakers in

the world.

(YOUNGER STEVEN looks stunned and is speechless)

(Lights go down on stage right except for spotlight on YOUNGER STEVEN, holding and looking at his camera.)

(STEVEN, standing alone and facing the audience, now has a grin on his face)


STEVEN

With every accomplishment I have received, I feel as if that isn't an accomplishment for me, but for

that little boy who never fit in.

(Points to stage right)

(As he does this, the lights suddenly come up on stage left. Now YOUNGER STEVEN is surrounded

by the students once again. He is still clutching the envelope and the camera)

STUDENT 1

(In an insulting tone)

Hey there's the..

(He has no time to finish because YOUNGER STEVEN, who is smiling and clearly distracted with his camera and envelope, walks away before he can do so)

STEVEN

(Laughs and looks at stage left.)

If only I had known!

(Students now can "hear” STEVEN, and look over at him)

STUDENT 1

Wait, you're Steven Spielb...

STEVEN

(Arms outstretched)

Look at me now.

(YOUNGER STEVEN joins him onstage and they high-five)

(Students are stunned and silent)

(Lights go down. End of play.)


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