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It Can Be Both

by Em16

Act 1, Scene 1

ROSALIE is sitting in bed, holding a book.


(reading from the book)

"Edward Simmons' eyes were like green caterpillars-" Green caterpillar eyes. That's an interesting phrase.


(calls from offstage)


ROSALIE leaps off her bed, runs over to her desk and begins writing frantically on a piece of paper. MOM walks in, carrying a large stack of books.


I got some new books for you.

(sets the books down on the bed and starts rifling through them)

Astrophysics for Young People, The Expanding Universe, and-this one looks interesting-Death by a Black Hole.


Thanks, Mom.


I got a Calculus workbook, too. I thought you might need it next year. I'm so proud of you, sweetie, for being so smart and driven-




I'm proud of you for following your passion and excelling at it. Is that bad?




Fine, I'll stop. On an unrelated note, have you finished packing?

ROSALIE looks at the audience, panicked.


I-um-was too busy doing homework.



Just finish up soon, ok? We're leaving early tomorrow morning. Wouldn't want to miss your cousin's wedding!

Act 1, Scene 2

The stage has become the wedding venue. The bride and groom have not yet arrived, so the guests are milling about and talking, while young children are running around and screaming. ROSALIE stands in the corner, alone and clearly uncomfortable. An OLDER MAN walks over to her, with gray hair and an ocean-themed tie.


Excuse me?

ROSALIE is startled.


Forgive me for interrupting, but I couldn't help wondering- are you Rosalie Westlake? Did you win the National Science Fair Competition two years ago?


I did.


Nice to meet you.

(They shake hands)

I'm a scientist too. I research marine life.


That sounds fun.


It is. Quite fun, actually. Are you interested in pursuing a career in marine studies? Or do your interests lie in another area of science?


Well, actually-

ROSALIE is interrupted by the sound of music playing. It is clear the wedding is about to start, so everyone takes their seats. ROSALIE and OLDER MAN are separated.

Act 1, Scene 3

The stage is now a reception area. There is a large dance floor in the center stage, where most of the guests are. The rest are sitting at tables around the edge of the stage. ROSALIE is one of those, sitting by herself and reading.


May I join you?

ROSALIE is shocked, but nods. Seeing JASPER clearly elicits strong emotions.


Are you the famous Rosalie? Your grandmother has been telling me all about your accomplishments.

ROSALIE blushes.


I'm Jasper Haye, in case you were wondering.


My cousin- um- he told me you were coming, actually. I didn't believe it, of course, because, well- you're Jasper Haye. You're the most famous actor of the twenty-first century.


Are you a fan?

ROSALIE holds up the cover of her book, and JASPER nods in understanding.


You were amazing as Edward Simmons. Everything about the character, and the way you brought him to life is so wonderful and-

(she stops herself)

I'm sorry. My cousin told me not to talk about Midnight.


I'm used to it by now.


Can I- do you mind if I ask why you don't want to talk about Midnight? Do you not like it?


I don't have anything against Midnight. It's a great movie. But every time I walk down the street, someone points and says "Edward Simmons". Even though I've been in other movies, and my real name is Jasper Haye, I'll always be known as Edward Simmons, teenage heartthrob.


I'm sorry.



It's not your fault. I signed the contract.


Still, I'm sorry.

There are a few moments of uncomfortable silence. Neither one knows what to say.


That's enough from me. Let's hear about you. How are you planning to win the Nobel Prize? Curing cancer? Or discovering alien life?


I don't know.


You don't sound very enthusiastic.



I win one competition and everyone thinks I'm the next Marie Curie.


You are, aren't you?



It's just like you were saying.


What was I saying?


I do one extraordinary thing, and that's all that's remembered about me. I wasn't trying to win anything, I just wanted to please my science teacher. But now that one prize, that one medal- it's my whole life. And I'm not sure I want it to be. It's too late, though, isn't it? Can't take it back.


It's never too late.


(laughs softly at herself)

I wrote a play for my English class, and it was- it was really good. It was really, really good. The drama teacher used it for the school's fall production, and she actually paid me for it. Can you believe that? She paid me for it. It was that good.


You must have some skill as a writer.



I do. But my achievements as a writer are nothing compared to my achievements as a budding scientist.


I understand. Everything you do now seems insignificant next to what you've accomplished in the past.



They go quiet again.


God, we're depressing, aren't we? It's a wedding, for goodness' sake. Come dance with me, Rosalie.


(All the color has drained from her face)



(rolls his eyes)

Now she turns into a fangirl. Rosalie, will you dance with me?

ROSALIE nods, speechless. JASPER leads her out onto the dance floor, where a soft, wistful song is playing. Everyone is slow dancing, and JASPER and ROSALIE do the same.






Are you dancing with Jasper Haye, or with Edward Simmons?

ROSALIE pauses and thinks for a moment.


Can it be both?


(looking down at ROSALIE, smiling faintly)

Yeah. It can be both. 

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User avatar
15 Reviews

Points: 649
Reviews: 15

Sun Oct 11, 2020 1:04 pm
omer wrote a review...

Hey Em16!
Great script. Very good wording. As @Valkyria, I totally think the interacrion of Rosalie with the audience contributes to their relationship, gets the audience closer to Rosalie and simply makes them laugh. It could be a small look and it could slowly turn into monologues! Keep that element, it's very nice.
To make the script tidier, I'd use online script formatting websites or even just put the dialouge at the center, to make a more clearly separation of the text and the directing notes.
Also, I'd like the characters to move more! Wake the audience up! They sit through most of these scenes, and I feel like more directing notes wouldn't be harmful. :)

You have a real relatable-movie-writing-skills. All of the uncomfortable silences are exactly in the right spot.
Good job!

User avatar
106 Reviews

Points: 8327
Reviews: 106

Tue Sep 01, 2020 11:25 pm
Valkyria wrote a review...

Hello Em16,

This is a very sweet story that conveys a nice message. The characters are simple, but they have real problems. It makes them relatable, as @Tanishka said.

I love how Rosalie interacts with the audience, even if it is just a panicked look to them. I would like to see more of that with, to keep up with the continuation.

The script is detailed. The characters aren't floating heads, leaving the reader clueless, but Rosalie, Jasper, and the others are active. They're sitting at tables, reading books, talking.

I love Rosalie and Jasper's interaction. It feels realistic, but they bounce off of each other.

Great job!

User avatar
26 Reviews

Points: 30
Reviews: 26

Sun May 31, 2020 8:26 am
Tanishka wrote a review...

Hey Em16 !

This is actually a very nice plot , so simple yet so deep. I can relate to it easily . The dialogues are truly realistic and they form a really good image . Initially, it is difficult to ascertain who the characters are and slowly ,though you get to know them. It is really good, I mean I liked it a lot. I hope you post more such works . Honestly , I am always jealous whenever I see someone writing good prose piece, be it a play, or anything . I am very bad at prose writing. This is really good.

Keep on posting such beautiful work. :)

Em16 says...

Thank you!

User avatar
66 Reviews

Points: 5482
Reviews: 66

Tue May 19, 2020 8:39 pm
Andrewknorpp wrote a review...

I like it. The idea about doing one good things is strong, and the dialogue is believable.
I only have one critique and it is as follows:
Normally in a story there is a period of normal life, one which shows how the characters life should normally be before the 'story happens.' But this seems like it has already jumped into this 'story part' were unusual things are happening and normal life is disrupted. If this is really act one, it would be nice to see some of what our main characters 'boring and normal' life looks like. Of course breaking the rules of art is one of the main ways of making new and interesting art, and if you want to throw the audience right into the feeling that life is unusual, then by all means do it. But the way throughout most of storytelling history we have shown that life is unusual is by showing the usual first.
Just my two cents.
Thanks for reading my review and I enjoyed the writing!

If I find myself afraid or scared, that means I'm doing the wrong thing.
— Jack Hanna