Selected Scenes from In the Spotlight, an Original Student Play

Setting: A blackbox theatre set up like a living room. A table stage left, a couch stage right, and an armoire upstage center.

 

Characters:

VIOLET………………………………….an actress, twenty-four

MAYA…………………………… an outsider, eighteen

GRANT……………….the artistic director, thirty-two

 

SCENE

MAYA is near the couch, VIOLET on the other side of the theater at the table. MAYA watches VIOLET intently. VIOLET is completely still.

 

MAYA: I spent my whole life wishing to be an actress and I’m here.

 

MAYA sits on the couch.

 

MAYA: I’m where I’ve always wanted to be.

 

VIOLET takes out her compact mirror and begins to take off her stage makeup. Slowly, a large and dark bruise is revealed covering her swollen eye. She stares at herself in the compact mirror.

 

VIOLET: Beauty is pain I guess.

 

VIOLET finishes taking off her makeup. The sound of glass breaking is heard from offstage. This startles VIOLET, but not MAYA. The sound of GRANT’s voice yelling at the person who broke the glass startles her even more.

 

MAYA: Sometimes things break here.

 

VIOLET digs her long nails into the back of her hand. Little drops of blood begin to gather where her nails are. As she lifts her hand, the droplets flow down her arm. She brings her hand up so that it is covering her mouth.

 

MAYA: It’s often best to just stay silent.

 

VIOLET drops her hand, but remains tense.

 

VIOLET: Yes, Grant will fix this. Grant will make it all go away.

 

VIOLET tries to get up from the table. She falls over and hits her bruised eye. She gives up on moving.

 

MAYA: Sometimes people break here.

VIOLET is left bruised and bloody. VIOLET weeps. MAYA sits beside VIOLET. A moment. MAYA holds VIOLET’s hand and examines her bruises. It is as if MAYA doesn’t notice when VIOLET speaks.

VIOLET: She looks down and all she sees is a violet bruise on my forearm. And another around my wrist. And two more on my kneecaps. Violet—the color your skin turns to show the world you’ve been hurt. The color of fragility, of weakness.

Blackout.

 

SCENE

Night. A storm. Water floods the stage. It is pouring rain. VIOLET stands in the middle of the stage, letting the rain fall over her. She is barefoot. She does not cry, but she does not smile. She is soaking wet, and we can tell she’s been out there for a while. MAYA walks onstage, holding an umbrella.

 

MAYA: Violet! Go inside.

 

VIOLET: (at peace) No.

 

MAYA: Come on, Violet. You can’t wander through the rain all night because it’s poetic.

 

VIOLET: Fuck you.

 

MAYA: I’m not your babysitter.

 

VIOLET: You sure?

 

MAYA closes her umbrella. She lets the rain fall through her fingertips. She takes off her shoes, folds the umbrella, putting it next to the shoes. MAYA grabs VIOLET’s hand and spins her around. The two women waltz in the rain. MAYA spins out, offstage. When she is gone, VIOLET puts on her shoes, takes the umbrella, and stands in the rain.

 

SCENE

VIOLET alone onstage. She is standing center, in the spotlight. Around her, only darkness. She might still be wet from the previous scene.

 

Sound cue: a generic voicemail woman saying “the person you are trying to reach is unavailable and you should leave a message after the tone.”

 

VIOLET: Mama? I just wanted to tell you that I left Electric. I thought it would be the best thing to do. I haven’t seen you since you came to New York… you know… to see the show. (Beat.) I know you knew, Mama. Your eyes gave you away. I always meant to ask you why you never said anything but I never could. I just stood there with that ridiculous smile across my face hoping you wouldn’t notice. And maybe a little hoping you would. (Beat.) We have the same smile, Mama, you know that? Or at least we used to. It’s been a while since I’ve seen you. Well… Anyway give me a call back sometime because I—

 

A beeping sound, letting VIOLET know that her message was too long and that she has been cut off.

 

VIOLET: Miss you.