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Control Z World

by LuminescentAnt


Scene One

In a classroom setting, there is a row of four wobbly desks and chairs, where Luna and Christine sit in their chairs facing each other and talking. They each wear a high tech wristband on their wrists. There is soft music playing in the background.

CHRIS

Okay, so yesterday, my parents had to go talk to the guy at the counter, so I had to take care of my brother. But then he started crying and making a whole scene when I told him we couldn’t leave the room.

LUNA

Oof.

CHRIS

So then this random lady came up to me and was like, “Are you going to calm him down or not?” And then I was like, “Uhh what do you think I’ve been doing, ma’am? Obviously I can’t control my screaming baby brother!”

LUNA

That’s crazy, she was just some random stranger!

CHRIS

Exactly! And then she told me, “Are you even trying?” Like, what?

LUNA

Yeah, I mean, you were trying right? Did you try every option?

Chris eyes Luna with slight suspicion and unsettlement. A pause.

CHRIS

(slowly) What do you mean? Yeah, I tried everything. This isn’t my first time taking care of him, you know.

Another short pause as Luna tried to come up with what to say.

LUNA

Well, I’m just saying, maybe there was something you forgot? It’s hard to remember when…

CHRIS

What are you saying Luna? That she was right to yell at me? I was already embarrassed because I was dragging around a squirming and wriggling baby in the middle of a hotel lobby…

Luna touches her wristband with the other hand and eyes it. Chris sees this and scoffs.

CHRIS

You know what, I don’t even care if you undo this. I just want you to know that sometimes you can really be a such a-

With a beep, Luna presses a button on her wristband. Blackout. The music stops playing. After a few seconds, the lights fade back on, and the music restarts, this time from a point in time that had already been played when Chris and Luna were talking.

CHRIS

Exactly! And then she told me, “Are you even trying?” Like, what?

LUNA

(scoffing) Psh. People these days.

She glances up at the clock.

I should go. Class starts in a few minutes, and I need to ask Ms. Angelwood something. Bye Chris!

CHRIS

Bye Luna!

Scene Two

A home setting with an armchair with a blanket draped over it. There is an old carpet on the floor. Luna’s mother, Julia, sits at the armchair, scrolling on her phone, with random social media sounds coming out from it. Julia also wears a wristband. As Luna enters the room, Julia looks up from her phone.

JULIA

Welcome home sweetheart! How was school today?

LUNA

Uhh…good I guess.

JULIA

What’s wrong, baby? Did something happen? Did you get bullied? Did you get sick? Oh no…did someone ask you out? Okay, but just remember that…

Luna does not respond, but simply walks over the floor on the other side of the room, sets her bag down, and sits next to it.

JULIA

Ohh I know what it is. You undid something today, didn’t you?

LUNA

How could you tell?

JULIA

I’ve been stuck with you for fourteen years. I’m pretty sure I can tell.

Pause.

Do you want to talk about it? Undoing things are big decisions, and in my opinion, shouldn’t have been introduced in the first place, but people love new ways of getting money, so who am I to stop them?

LUNA

It wasn’t undoing it that’s hitting me so hard…it’s just that Chris was about to say something before I undid the conversation, and if we hadn’t been given this whole “undo” thing, I probably would have heard it, and maybe I would think of her differently. And maybe we would be in a further argument, and maybe we would stop being friends for a while. I’m glad I prevented that, but…what if I didn’t?

JULIA

I guess that’s the point of these wristbands. It’s supposedly “One Step Closer to a Perfect World,” copyright by the way, and we get to fix our mistakes before they escalate. That also means that we are curating the world to our benefit, to a world where everyone is perfect. The undo button was introduced when I was a teenager, a little older than you, so I used to live knowing mistakes happen. When mistakes happened, people thought they were okay, since everyone made mistakes. But now, almost nobody makes mistakes that they don’t undo, so there’s a pressure for everyone to be perfect.

LUNA

Mom, can you skip the lecture and just get to the point, pleeeaase?

JULIA

Fine, fine. What I’m trying to say here is that the truth is that mistakes are a part of human nature, so no matter how much they try to convince us otherwise, being imperfect is what makes us humans human. If not, we’d all be brainless animals.

LUNA

(smiling) So we’d all be clones of Stella.

JULIA

(jokingly angry, but amused) Heyy don’t say that about your sister!

Scene Three

Avery is talking to Chris while walking in the halls, they both have backpacks on their shoulders, and are wearing wristbands as well.

AVERY

I don’t even know why that assembly was necessary. Does he think the wristbands were given to us yesterday?

CHRIS

Maybe people were using the undo buttons too much or for useless things.

AVERY

I mean, yeah, but how exactly did what he said help? “Only use the button when you really need it”? I mean, we get randomly chosen whether we have the button or not in use every day, probably so that the world doesn’t erupt in chaos and everyone’s undoing everything. We should take advantage of the fact that we have it, otherwise, we’ll just waste it.

CHRIS

Well, just don’t use it for something like calling your teacher “Mom” or whatever.

AVERY

But that would be kind of embarrassing though, so shouldn't that still count?

CHRIS

(sighing) Well, I’m not the All-Knowing creator of the Undo Wristbands. Stop asking so many questions.

AVERY

I’m not hurling questions at you, I’m just trying to figure out what our “wise” head of school Mr. Rickson wants us to do with these wristbands.

CHRIS

Whatever it is, someone clearly didn’t do what they wanted them to, which is probably why we have to endure this pep talk. Come on, let's change the subject.

Avery and Chris exit as they continue to talk. Luna enters that part of the hallway as if she had been listening to them, and stops where they were standing to think. Then she leaves and continues walking in the direction of where they were walking.

Scene Four

Back in the same classroom as before, but there is a recycling bin on the side. Luna sits at a desk two desks away from the recycling, and Cassie sits at the desk next to the recycling. Chris and Avery are at desks too. They all still wear wristbands. Avery is drinking a bottled drink until it finishes. Luna has an empty bottle, but she has not thrown it away yet.

AVERY

Guys look at my amazing throwing skills!

Avery gets up and throws their empty bottle into the recycling and it lands. Avery takes a bow as Luna and Chris clap sarcastically.

LUNA

Wow, Avery, you truly are quite talented.

AVERY

Thank you, thank you.

Avery and Chris talk amongst themselves. Luna decides to try to throw her empty bottle in the trash. She tries, but it accidentally hits Cassie in the head. Cassie turns around out of curiosity, but she is not angry. Chris and Avery take a glance at them and snicker.

LUNA

(panicked) Oh my goodness I am so sorry. I was aiming for the recycling, I swear.

CASSIE

(smiling) No, no it’s okay! It happens to the best of us.

LUNA

Well, still, I should have been more careful…and it shows that I have terrible aim…that’s kind of embarrassing.

CASSIE

Really, it’s fine! I’m Cassie by the way, I’m new! It’s really nice to meet-

Luna presses the button on her wristband, and the beep sound is heard again. Blackout. Music stops playing, and it is dark for a few seconds, then the lights fade back on. The plastic bottle is back on Luna’s desk, and Avery and Chris are still talking. The music has rewinded and Cassie is in the position she was in before in her chair. Luna gets up, picks up the bottle, and prepares to throw it in the recycling again.

LUNA

(whispering to herself) Avoid Cassie, avoid Cassie, avoid Cassie…

Cassie looks up in shock.

CASSIE

I’m sorry, did I hear that right? Why did you say you’re trying to avoid me?

LUNA

No I wasn’t I…it’s not about you!

CASSIE

How could this possibly not be about me if you’re whispering, “avoid Cassie, avoid Cassie”? What did I do, I literally just got here.

LUNA

I…

Cassie grabs her phone out of her bag and turns her back against her and scrolls on her phone. Luna sits in her chair with sadness and throws the bottle towards the recycling bin. It lands inside. She mouths, “I hate you” to the recycling.

Scene Four

A cafeteria setting, there are two tables, one where Avery, Luna, and Chris sit, and on the other, Cassie sits by herself. They are all eating lunch off trays, not particularly enjoying the food.

CHRIS

(whispering) Who’s that?

LUNA

(whispering) That’s Cassie. She’s a new kid I think.

AVERY

(whispering) We should invite her over!

CHRIS

(whispering) Yeah, we totally should!

LUNA

(whispering) Wait, hold on-

AVERY

Hey, it’s Cassie, right? Come sit with us!

Cassie is about to agree when she stops and notices Luna. Then she scowls and slumps in her seat.

CASSIE

(looking at Luna) Ugh, not you again.

CHRIS

You mean Luna? What did she ever do to you?

CASSIE

(scoffing) Well, why don’t you ask her?

AVERY

Oh god, Luna what did you do this time?

LUNA

I didn’t even do anything I swear, I just accidentally-

CASSIE

An accident? How could that possibly have been an accident?

Cassie grabs her lunch tray and exits. Chris and Avery look at Luna with annoyed expressions.

CHRIS

Really, Luna? She’s new, but she doesn’t want to be our friend and wants to sit by herself because of something you did.

LUNA

(loudly) Great, now you’re mad too!

Luna exits. Chris and Avery look at each other and then shrug.

Scene Six

We see the hallway again, and it is empty until Cassie enters and walks through. Luna enters behind her. Cassie has not noticed her yet, because she is fuming with her hands crossed. Luna runs up in front of her.

LUNA

Can you please just let me explain?

CASSIE

Explain what? What is there to explain?

LUNA

(sighing) Yesterday, I wanted to throw a bottle in the recycling bin, but I accidentally threw it at you. In the head. I was really embarrassed, so I undid it, and in the second time, I was whispering to myself to make sure I didn’t hit you. I didn’t have an automatic grudge against you or anything.

CASSIE

Wait, you mean undid that because you were embarrassed? I thought we were just given a speech about how the undos are for emergencies. That doesn’t sound much like an emergency if you ask me.

LUNA

Well…I mean…

CASSIE

See? There’s nothing to say.

Luna tries to press a button on her wristband, but nothing happens. Cassie scoffs at her.

CASSIE

Guess you didn’t get an undo this time, huh? Not every mistake has to be undone with the wristband, you know. Our lives don’t have to be pristinely perfect.

Cassie exits. Luna stands in the hallway, looking in the direction of where Cassie exited in dismay, when Julia enters, and stops next to Luna.

JULIA

Hey, are you alright?

LUNA

I don’t know, it’s like no matter how hard I try, everything I say comes out wrong and Cassie still seems to be angry at me about something. I just want to be her friend.

JULIA

Well she swung by my office yesterday, and she told me that some people were whispering in her direction and laughing at her.

LUNA

What? Why? She just got here.

Julia looks around, and then whispers in her ear.

JULIA

(whispering) She was writing in a diary. But I won’t share more than that.

LUNA

No wonder. People are mean to her on the first day.

JULIA

Yup. Maybe you should give her a little space, because I think she just needs to take a little breather. And maybe realize that not everyone is that horrible.

LUNA

Okay then. I should probably get back to lunch anyways.

JULIA

And I should get back to my office. Bye, sweetheart! Have a good lunch!

LUNA

Bye, mom!

Luna exits the way she entered, and Julia exits the opposite direction.

Scene Seven

It is the same classroom setting from the first scene, with Luna, Chris, Avery, and Cassie sitting at the desks. They each have a backpack sitting next to the chairs.

CHRIS

Oooh partner work! Luna, do you want to be partners for this part?

Luna looks at Cassie for a few seconds with sympathy, then turns to Chris.

LUNA

Uhh sure! Let’s be partners.

AVERY

(calling offstage) Hey Damien! Wanna be partners?

Avery exits in the direction that they called to Damien. Chris looks off stage, as if looking for something for a while. Then she turns to Luna.

CHRIS

Hey, I think Ms. Angelwood said that everyone has a partner, so we can start. Do you have your notes?

LUNA

Yup!

CASSIE

(with dismay) Everyone has partners? Well what about me?

Cassie gets up and exits sadly. Chris and Luna watch her.

LUNA

I can’t help but feel like this is partially my fault.

CHRIS

What do you mean? How could this be your fault?

LUNA

Well…in saving a small part of my life, I ruined a large part of hers. Or at least, I made it feel worse. And just by using this stupid wristband.

CHRIS

Well, maybe stop using the wristband for a little while. It seems like more trouble is caused by using it than not using it.

Pause as Luna ponders this.

LUNA

You’re right. I shouldn’t have to rely on this wristband as if it’s the source of life.

SCENE EIGHT

The setting has gone back to the cafeteria, although this time, even though there are two tables, one is empty, and in the other, Cassie sits by herself, eating her food miserably alone. Luna enters, stops, and takes her wristband off her wrist and pockets it. She takes a deep breath and sits next to Cassie. Cassie does not look up, but speaks.

CASSIE

I never asked you to sit here.

LUNA

Well, I didn’t ask you to come to this school either, yet here you are.

Pause as Cassie does not respond.

LUNA

I’m sorry. If I hadn’t undone my mistake, we probably would have gone off to a great start and become friends, but I was just filled with so much shame and humiliation and regret that I acted on impulse. I shouldn’t have wasted my undo button like that. I’ve always thought mistakes were to be taken as imperfections, or holes in a weaving, but they’re really just opportunities. I understand that now, so I will try to not hang on to my regrets.

Another pause.

LUNA

And also, I know these past few days were not the best first days at the school, and unfortunately you cannot prevent them from happening. But what you can do about terrible days is have someone go through them with you. Truce?

Luna holds out her hand for her to shake. Cassie looks at her hand for a second, and then shakes it firmly as if she were a military commander.

CASSIE

(smiling) Truce.

Luna smiles back, and they let go hands as the background music swells into a crescendo.

End of Play


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Tue Jun 04, 2024 2:15 am
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Plume wrote a review...



Hey there! Plume here, with a review!

A script! I absolutely adore scripts and think that not nearly enough are published on YWS, so thank you for doing your part to fulfill that deficit. I really enjoyed this one, too; I think the premise was super clever and your characters were written well. It reminds me of something a school might put on to teach kids that mistakes are normal!

I think you did a great job at capturing the realistic teenage awkwardness in Luna. The first scene especially was wonderful at establishing her motivation to avoid embarrassing scenarios. I also think the dialogue was brilliantly naturalistic in it, too, which I always love to see. I did think that naturalism faltered a bit as the play went on, particularly in Luna's final monologue; it felt a bit less genuine and more like she was just reciting something. I know a lot of the naturalism comes from the actors' interpretations, but it can help a lot to develop a unique and believable voice for your characters. Just something to keep in mind as you revise/write new plays!

Another thing to consider would be pacing, I think, particularly on stage. Don't be afraid to stretch out your scenes; a lot of them go by really quickly. When you factor in a lot of the set changes, it makes the show feel choppy and like equal parts scene and scene transition, which doesn't make for a fun watch. I know for some people, it helps to think of each scene like its own individual story, which can help isolate the arcs and tighten up the pacing.

Specifics

Another short pause as Luna tried to come up with what to say.


I think this should be left aligned and italicized, since it's stage directions. One of the most important parts of scriptwriting (unfortunately) is the formatting, so it's always good to double check!

Scene Four

A cafeteria setting, there are two tables, one where Avery, Luna, and Chris sit, and on the other, Cassie sits by herself.


Just a tiny thing--- this scene header didn't match its formatting to the rest of them, and I think it should say scene five! I'm sure it was just an editing error. I think scenes seven and eight also didn't follow the typical bolded formatting you kept for most of the other scenes.

Overall: really nice work! I really hope you write more scripts in the future; you're a natural! Until next time!




LuminescentAnt says...


Hi Plume, thank you so much for the review! The feedback really help, I will be sure to take a look at Luna%u2019s monologue when I can. And about the formatting, I copy pasted it from a Google doc and the formatting didn%u2019t stick and previously the scene headers were in all caps but I wanted to change it, hence the formatting mistakes. Thanks for noticing them!



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Wed May 22, 2024 6:19 am
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AnotherCrowInRow says...



It looks great! I'm sure I would like to see it one day. Setting is interesting, and I'm really interested about characters. Good Job!




LuminescentAnt says...


Thank you so much for reading my play! I'm glad you like it. :)



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Wed May 22, 2024 5:18 am
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HildeMint wrote a review...



This is the first play i have read on here, its very interesting. There is a bit of confusion as to why Luna's mom is at the school, but other than that it is a very detailed story i would love to see in person, it is a little fuzzy on what the consequences of the undo button are, but due to the medium i think that can be avoided. It has a great moral and honestly i love it




LuminescentAnt says...


Thank you for the review! Luna's mom is at the school because she is the school's counselor. The feedback really helps, I'm glad you like the play! :D



HildeMint says...


AH




It is only a novel... or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language
— Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey