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Drawn From the Shell, By Cedric Taylor
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Cedric Taylor is 15 and a 10th grade homeschooler, he plays the violin and is learning guitar.  Cedric likes to read, play with his dog, and play soccer. 

Joe: retired man with grey hair, very spry

Jane: teenage girl with long dark hair

(Jane sitting on the bench; Joe off front stage: watching the birds)

Joe- Ahhhh, the returning robins are truly a wonderful sight. Winter is asleep!

Joe- Another text from Jane. (sigh) She must really be upset to text me this early on a Saturday.

(Walks toward bench where Jane is sitting, drawing)

Jane- Joe, when you told me that you would talk to me whenever; wherever, did you really mean it?

Joe- Yes, of course, that is why I am here. So… what’s wrong?

(Jane looks down and draws, not answering)

Joe- So, what are you mad about?

(still drawing)

Joe- Had another tough day?

Joe- They started to bully you again, huh?

Jane- Yeah (sigh) I really thought they would finally leave me alone.

Joe- Do you want to talk about it?

Joe- Come on, you can’t be upset and angry forever.

Jane- Why? Who cares what I feel like?

Joe- I care! I see that you have a lot to offer the world…

(Jane draws violently)

Joe- (frustrated) … and you shouldn’t care what other people say about you.

(Jane jumps up)

Jane- How do you know what I’ve been through or how I’ve been treated? You don’t understand at all.

(Jane storms away)

(Touches her shoulder; she stops)

Joe- I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to be so…

(Starts crying)

Joe- There, there. I’m willing to listen to you. Please, tell me about yesterday.

Joe- Please Jane, I want to understand.

Jane- Fine. They mocked the only thing that I care about- my drawings, and they poured water on my art

notebook when the teacher wasn’t looking. Okay?

Joe- No. It’s not okay that you’ve been bullied. We can’t let this keep happening to you. We need to do

something about it, maybe talk to the principal, or the kid’s parents.

Jane- What would that do? Those bullies would get a light slap on the wrist and be back to making my

Joe-Well, something must be done to stop those jerks. What could we do…?

Joe- I’m here because I care about what happens to you Jane! I don’t like to see you hurt. When you’re

hurt, your smile doesn’t shine like it should. You withdraw into your own little shell and beat yourself

up. Remember when I first met you in the lobby of our apartment complex? You were upset about your

lost art notebook, but we worked out where it might be and we found it. You just need to think about

Jane- I know Joe … I’m sorry I snapped at you but I am really upset right now and need to think this

through. I want change but I’m not sure how.

Joe-Fine, I’ll leave you alone so you can think, but promise me you’ll think about this: You don’t HAVE TO

BELIEVE what the bullies say to you. You define you, no one else does.

(Joe rises from bench)

(Joe starts to exit)

Jane- Well…on Monday… could you come with me to the principal’s office? I don’t think my parents care

and I need someone who can be there for me.

Joe- Absolutely! Great idea, this is a great way to try and make change. Let’s meet here again at 8:00 in

the morning and we’ll go together.

(Lights fade)

(Lights (come up) slowly. [on] Joe is sitting on the bench, watching the birds.)

(Jane enters with a picture and sits down on the bench)

Jane- Thank you for coming to the bench Joe. What are you watching for today?

Joe- I’m watching for any stray robins, but they’ve migrated for new horizons. As a matter of fact… just

like you’ve done with your art. That gallery opening was a huge success Jane. It was excellent to see how

many people came to see your drawings.

Jane- (laugh) It won’t quite support me financially, but it does feel good to have people enjoy my work.

People told me they could actually feel the pain and anger I felt through my art.

Joe -All of this came about because you decided not to believe what those bullies said. (smile) A wise

Jane- Here Joe. ( hands him the picture) This picture of a bird’ s nest with empty shells symbolizes me

coming out of my shell. I couldn’t have done it without your support. Thanks!

(Lights Fade; End of Play)

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