Title: Lindsey (Talking to her friend.)
I had a boyfriend when I was five. Why can’t I get one
now? I had them lining up! In kindergarten, I got
married. It was just pretend, but we kissed and walked
all the way to the circle- time spot holding hands. Then
in first grade, three boys all wanted to marry me at once.
I was adored! What happened? (Pause.) Maybe I don’t
deserve a boyfriend now. Back then I was little and cute
and smart. Now I’m the tallest girl in my state. People
think I’m twenty, but I’m thirteen. You don’t get
glasses, braces, and pimples all in the same month
unless you’re thirteen. Oh, I wish I could snap my
fingers and right-now-ugly me would just disappear!
Then I’d be the next me - whoever that is. Who do you
think I’ll be when thirteen is over?
Title: Jean (Talking to her teacher.)
Respect is a two-way street. Why should I respect
anybody who treats me like that? All I was doin’ was
sittin’ on the bus, listenin’ to my music, lookin’ out the
window. OK, my backpack was on the seat next to me,
but there were only four people on the whole bus. Then
this old guy gets on, walks up, and pushes my backpack
on the floor. He didn’t poke me to get my attention, ask
me, nothin’. Just pushed my backpack on that dirty
floor. Then he didn’t even sit in the seat next to me. I
mean, what’s that about? He shoved it on the floor cause
I’m a kid. That’s all. Do I deserve that? Like I say,
respect is a two-way street. He’s got to be respecting
me, if he wants the same.
First I was a tomboy. I used to climb trees and beat up my brother, Tom. Then I used to try to break my sister
Joanie’s voice box because she likes to sing. She always
scratched me though, so instead I tried to play Emily’s
cello. Except I don’t have a lot of musical talent, but I’m
very popular. And I know more about the cello than
most people who don’t know anything. I don’t like the
cello, it’s too much work and besides, keeping my legs
open that way made me feel funny. I asked Emily if it
made her feel funny and she didn’t know what I meant;
and then when I told her she cried for two whole hours
and then went to confession twice, just in case the priest
didn’t understand her the first time. Dopey Emily. She
Someday! Someday! Someday I’m going to get out of
this nowhere pit and get to a real city where my talent
will be recognized, where people won’t look at me as
though I’m made out of pixie dust because I want to be
an actress instead of getting married to some brain-dead
dork and making a career out of being pregnant. Like my
grandmother and mother and most of the women in this
When I tell people I’m going to be a star and do plays
and movies someday, I just know they don’t think I’m
serious. It’s, like, I’m going through this phase that I’ll
outgrow. They tell me to get real. And we all know what
“get real” means. It means get stupid and get married or
get a job at the paper company where, if you’re lucky,
you get to retire after twenty-five boring years on a
treadmill to nowhere.
Well... come spring, after graduation, I’m outta here for
New York. I know it isn’t going to be easy, because I’m
going there cold-turkey. But I gotta do it because I think I
have talent. Anyway, I’d rather be cold-turkey in New
York trying to get a life than dead meat in this stupid
Title: All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
Any teenager who has been forced into washing dishes knows that the stuff in the bottom of the strainer in the
sink is toxic waste. Deadly poison. A danger to health.
In other words, it’s about enough to make you hurl. One
of the very few reasons I have respect for my mother at
all is because she reaches into the sink with her bare
hands - BARE HANDS - and picks up all that lethal
gunk and drops it into the garbage. To top that, I saw her
reach into the wet garbage bag and fish around in there
looking for a lost teaspoon BAREHANDED - a kind of
unbelievable courage. She found the teaspoon in a
clump of coffee grounds mixed with chicken fat and
scrambled eggs. I almost passed out when she gave it to
me to wash. No matter what my mother thinks, I know
that the stuff in the sink strainer is lethal and septic. It
will give you leprosy or something worse. If you should
ever accidently touch it, you must never touch any other
part of your body with your fingers until you have
scalded and soaped and rinsed your hands. Come to
think of it, my father never came closer than three feet to
a sink in his life. My mother said he was lazy. But I
knew that he knew what I knew about the gunk. I told
him once, “I bet Jesus never had to wash dishes and clean the gunk out of the sink.” He agreed. It was the only theological discussion we ever had.
Last Sunday was my grandmother’s birthday. I went out to visit her...- its not that far, maybe forty miles; just a
little past “civilization,” just into the country.
The trees’d just budded, there were those little yellow
flowers, I don’t know what they’re called but they smell
wonderful, all along the roadside. The sky was very blue.
Nimbus clouds, lots of birds. Butterflies and birds.
I got there about 10 o’clock, right when they opened. I
laid the flowers I brought on her grave, and then I just
stood there awhile. It was so quiet.
I realized I knew what it was like, to lie there, in the
earth, to not know and, and yet to know: That there was a
world you’d been part of, full of sadness and loss, and
laughter and love. The first thing I did?, was cry.
Anyway, I stood there, looking even though I think my
eyes were closed. Then I kissed Grandma - her stone I
mean - and I walked back. I’ll go out there again; there’s
plenty of time.
Dad, I like baseball. Really. I’ve played it since I was six.
Remember? You called me your six-year-old slugger.
Well, I’m twelve now, and I’ve just got other things I
wanna do after school. No big deal. Dad, why are you
looking at me like that? I didn’t ask if I could dye my
hair blue, I just wanna quit the team. Don’t look so disappointed. We can still play. You and me, on
Saturdays. But no pickup games at the park, or with
anybody, OK? I don’t want to hear it anymore: “Move in
everybody. Chris is up to bat. Easy out. Easy out.”
Please, Dad, I can’t stay on the team. Don’t make me.
UNCHANGED VOICES (ANY GENDER)
AND BASSES (LOW CHANGED VOICES)
TENORS (HIGHER CHANGED VOICES)
Song from the Original Musical
(Same Key as Unchanged Voices/Basses)
(Same Key as Unchanged Voices/Basses)