A Short Play Scene

This is a short scene written by Victoria L. Smith, in which two characters want the same thing.  A third character plays a role in how it turns out.

“The Coveted Role”

(high school hallway. Leah and Sandra are standing outside an auditorium in the school with sheet music.)

Leah    –           Hey, Sandra.  How are you?

Sandra-           I’m fine.

Leah    –           Are you auditioning for the school musical?

Sandra –           I have always wanted to be Cassie in A Chorus Line.  Now I can.

Leah    –           I am auditioning for Cassie too!

Sandra-           Wonderful, Leah.

Leah    –           I wonder if anyone else is.

Sandra-           I’ve talked to everyone.  I’m the only one.

Leah    –           Oh my, I wonder which one of us the director will like better.

Sandra-           It should be obvious.  You might as well pick a different part to audition for.

(the assistant director comes out of the auditorium.  The two girls hush.)

Assistant Director       –           Welcome girls, thanks for coming to audition for the role of Cassie.  Sandra, you’ll be first in about two minutes, and then you’ll go next Leah.

(he exits)

Leah    –           I mean to at least audition.

Sandra-           They’d never pick a girl with an accent like yours.  (beat) I better go in.  I don’t want to be late.

(Sandra enters the auditorium.  Leah stays outside.)

Leah    – (to herself)    She thinks she so much better than me.

(Sandra emerges.  She looks pleased.)

Sandra-           I did amazing.  As usual.

Leah    –           I’m next.

Sandra –           Good luck (sarcastically).

Leah    –           Thanks.

(Leah enters.  Sandra stays outside, looking very pleased and humming ‘One’)

(Leah emerges and stands outside.)

Sandra-           Well how’d it go?

Leah    –           It went well.

Sandra-           See, I told you.  My audition went ‘amazing’, and yours only went ‘well’.You should have given up before making a fool of yourself.

Leah    –           Nobody has been made a fool yet.

Sandra-           All things come in time.  Did you get a callback?

Leah    –           Yes.  In ten minutes.

Sandra-           Mine’s in five.  I have to sing The Music and the Mirror again.

Leah    –           Me too.

Sandra-           Look, we both know who is going to be cast as Cassie.  Don’t go to the callback.

Leah    –           Don’t be afraid.

Sandra-           I am not afraid.  What in the world would I be afraid of?

Leah    –           It’s been five minutes.

(Sandra leaves huffingly.  Leah remains.)

(Sandra emerges)

Sandra-           You don’t have a chance.

Leah    –           We’ll see.

Sandra (trying to make her mad)        –           Go on, keep deceiving yourself into believing you are better than me.  It won’t get you the role anyway, so there’s no harm in it.

Leah (getting angry)   –           If you are so sure, why are you even auditioning?  Wouldn’t the director seek you out if he didn’t find anything he wanted in me?

Sandra-           I’m auditioning, you nerd-girl, because that’s how it works.

Leah    –           Isn’t it how it works that everyone should have a fair chance at something?!

Sandra-           You believe that?

Leah    –           Yes!  I absolutely do!

Sandra-           Then clearly you are cloudy minded.  (smartly)  Yelling will hurt your voice.

Leah    –           Mind your own business.

(Leah starts to leave, realizing her callback is about to start.)

Sandra-           Don’t go away.  We aren’t finished out here.

Leah    –           I’m finished.

Sandra-           Why do you want this part so bad anyway?  Why are you willing to fight so hard for it.

Leah    –           I want this part because I believe that I may have the potential and motivation to play it.  I’m willing to fight for it, because I don’t believe that it is fair that people like you should always get what they want.

Sandra-           And it’s fair for a person like you?  Leah, you have to understand.  The world isn’t fair.  It will never be fair.  If you keep deceiving yourself –

Leah    –           I wish you’d stop saying that.

Sandra-           I’ll say what I like.

Leah    –           I’ve learned th-

Sandra-           You are missing your callback.

(Leah jumps, and rushes into the callback.)

(Leah comes out.  The girl stand and don’t talk to each other.)

(Assistant director comes out.)

Assistant Director       –           Okay, girls, we’ll be having a quick dance audition. Just come on in in about two minutes and I’ll show you a series of steps to repeat after me.

(the assistant director exits into the auditorium.  A few moments pass.)

Sandra-           I better go in.

 (Sandra goes to the door, smirks and holds it open for Leah. Leah unsuspectingly walks through, and Sandra sticks out her foot to trip Leah.  Leah falls flat on her face.  The trip sprained her ankle.)

Leah    –           Ouch!  My ankle!

Sandra-           Did you trip?

Leah    –           Yes, I don’t know how in the world I could have.

Sandra-           Some people are just born clumsy.

(Leah frowns, the girls enter the auditorium. Sandra takes the stage and the assistant director shows her a few steps to try.  She performs them successfully to music.)

Assistant Director       –           Okay, thanks.  Come on up Leah.

Sandra-           Are you going to be able to dance?

Leah    –           I’ll have to try.

(Sandra crosses her arms, watching Leah struggle up the stage stairs.  Leah limps through a dance combination that, subtracting the limp, looked very complex and pretty.)

(The assistant director shows Leah a couple of different steps.  She does very well, although she limps badly.)

Assistant Director       –           Did you just hurt your ankle?

Leah    –           Yeah, coming in.  I tripped on accident.

Assistant Director       –           Could you do the combination once more with music?

Leah    –           Absolutely.

(the assistant director plays the music and Leah does the combination again, pushing against her bad ankle.)

Assistant Director       –           Great. Girls, wait in the hallway for the casting decision.  It will be about forty five minutes.

(as the girls exit the auditorium)

Sandra-           I’m sure you would have done okay.  But with that ankle it looked pretty bad.  He must think you are pretty clumsy just tripping on your way in like that.

(Leah shrugs)

Sandra-           Now we wait for the casting decision.  You have to be there to accept the role, or it will immediately be given to someone else.

Leah    –           I can wait forty five minutes.

Sandra-           You do look like you need medical help.

Leah    –           I can wait forty five minutes.

(The girls exit to the hall.  Leah crosses the hall to use the restroom.  Sandra looks around, and places a desk in front of the bathroom door. It is around the corner, so nobody could see the desk without looking.)

Sandra(to herself)       –           Just in case.  (beat)  Now it’s all mine.

(a moment or two passes before Sandra hears a knock from the inside of the bathroom door.  Sandra ignores it.  The knock comes louder this time.  Sandra seems to be worried that someone will hear.  She thinks about what to do.  She slips out her iPod and begins to listen to music.  For added measure, she goes around the corner.  Now she has an excuse if someone asks her why she didn’t hear the knocking. The assistant director comes and posts the cast list. He looks around and doesn’t see anyone.  He finds this odd.  He hears a knock.  He looks around and wanders to find where the knock came from.  He sees the desk in front of the bathroom door and moves it.  Leah emerges)

Assistant Director       –           How did you get stuck in there?

Leah    –           I don’t have any idea.  Has the list been posted?

Assistant Director       –           I put it up just a moment ago.  I thought it strange when I didn’t see you or Sandra around.

Leah    –           Sandra’s not here?

Assistant Director       –           Not that I can see.

(Leah goes over to the cast list.)

Leah    (to herself) –    I can’t believe it.  I have made a fool of myself.  Sandra got it.  I am her understudy!

(she stands there mummified.)

Leah    –           At least I tried.  That’s worth something, I suppose.

Assistant Director       –           Technically since Sandra isn’t here, you, as her understudy, could sign for the role.  At the top of the paper here it says “Being present at the casting announcements for your role is mandatory.  If the recipient of the role is not present at the time of the casting announcement, the understudy can sign for the role.”

Leah    –           Are you serious?

Assistant Director       –           (nods) It’s your decision whether you want to take on the role or not.

Leah    –           Of course I do.  But, I just wonder –

(Leah seems to be considering whether or not to do this.  After all, Sandra is nowhere in sight, for she is sitting around the corner listening to loud music with earbuds.  Leah bites her lip, takes the pen and signs her name.  Satisfied, she forgets about her ankle.)

Assistant Director       –           Great!  I’ll see you at rehearsal tomorrow.

Leah    –           Ouch!

Assistant Director       –           Are you okay?  You should see a doctor, you’re ankle looks like its swelling.

Leah    –           I will, I just needed to finish the audition.

(Sandra hears this cry, and pulls out her earbuds, and comes around the corner.)

Sandra-           They’ve posted it!

(She goes up to the sheet.  Leah sees danger and begins to limp away.)

Sandra-           What in the w- You signed for my role!

Assistant Director       –           You weren’t here, so Leah had the right to sign for the role.

Sandra-           I was sitting around the corner!

Leah    –           Sorry, I didn’t know you were here.

Sandra-           Like I would leave?

Assistant Director       –           You weren’t here, so Leah had the right to sign for the role.

Sandra-           That’s not fair!

Leah    –           Now I realize, like you said, that not everything in life is fair. I’m sorry I didn’t see you.

Assistant Director       –           You can sign for her understudy.

Sandra-           Yeah right!  I’m not doing the show!

(she storms off. )

Assistant Director       –           Whew!

(he exits into the auditorium.)

Leah    –           Yup.

(Leah exits a different way humming One.)

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