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English 401-Advanced Composition

One-Act Play

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College Bound 

College Bound

 

Characters:  Emily Logan-a 17 year old high school senior

                      Beth Logan-Emily’s mother and an alcoholic

                      Stephen Logan-Emily’s father, Beth’s husband, abuser

                      Mrs. Starks-Emily’s high school guidance counselor

 

Time: Present day

 

Location: Mrs. Starks’ office at the high school

 

(Mrs. Starks is in her office with Emily Logan.  She is waiting on the arrival of Emily’s parents, Stephen and Beth Logan. Emily is pacing around the room.)

 

Mrs. Starks: (with concern in her voice) Emily honey, please sit down.  I know you’re worried, but your parents will be here any minute and this will all be over with soon.

 

Emily: (In desperation) I know, but I can’t help it.  They don’t care and they’re not going to agree to any of this.  (She plops down in a chair and folds her arms.)

 

(There is a knock at the door.  Emily sits straight up, her eyes full of fear.  Mrs. Starks walks to the door and opens it)

 

Mrs. Starks: (Smiles and reaches out to shake their hand.) Mr. and Mrs. Logan, thank you for coming. I’m Mrs. Starks, Emily’s guidance counselor.

 

(Mrs. Logan is obviously drunk. Her clothing is a mess and her hair is disheveled.   Mr. Logan looks pissed at having to be here.)

 

Mrs. Logan: (Slurring her words) How longs this gonna take?  I’m missing ‘Jerry Springer’.

 

Mr. Logan: (Interrupts his wife and angrily barges into the room. He stands with his hands on his hips, towering over Emily) So, what’s the little bitch done now?

 

Mrs. Starks: (Trying to remain calm) This won’t take long and Emily has not done anything wrong.  Please, sit down. (Motioning to the chairs in front of her desk)

 

Mrs. Logan: (Slumping in a chair) Well, hurry up! We ain’t got all day, ya know! What’s this all about? She knocked up or somethin’?

 

Mr. Logan: (Raises his hand as if to strike Emily) Pregnant? Why I outta knock yer head off.

 

(Emily cowers at the threat of getting hit by her father. Mrs. Logan looks around the room as if she is bored. Mrs. Starks interrupts.)

 

Mrs. Starks: (Sternly) Mr. Logan, don’t you dare strike her, especially not in my presence.

 

Mr. Logan: (laughing) Aw, I ain’t gonna hit ‘er.  I was just kiddin. So whatcha wanna see us for? (Pulls a cigarette and lighter out of his pocket and proceeds to light it)

 

Mrs. Starks: (Sternly) Mr. Logan, there is no smoking in the school.

 

Mr. Logan: (Puts it back in his pocket) Aw, sorry.

 

Mrs. Starks: Now, I have a copy of Emily’s transcript. Do you know that she is a straight A student?  Number one in her class.

 

(Both Mr. and Mrs. Logan snicker)

 

Mr. Logan: Yeah, so? What she doin’, cheatin’? (He gives Emily a menacing look)

 

Mrs. Starks: No, Mr. Logan.  Emily has not been cheating.  Have either of you ever seen Emily’s report cards?

 

Mrs. Logan: (Still slurring and beginning to hiccup while speaking) Yeah, I see em.  I sign em, but I don’t really look at em.

 

(Mrs. Logan gets up and wanders around the room, looking at the diplomas on the wall.)

 

Mrs. Logan: (Addressing Mrs. Starks) These yours?

 

Mrs. Starks: (Looking annoyed) Yes, they are.

 

Mrs. Logan: You must be really smart yourself…

 

Mrs. Starks: Please Mrs. Logan; we’re here to talk about Emily’s academics, not mine. (Motioning Mrs. Logan back to her seat) Now, what I asked you here for is to talk about Emily’s college choices.

 

Mr. Logan: (Snidely) College? She ain’t goin to no college.  She gonna get a job and help support her family til she finds her a good husband and starts popping out babies.

 

Mrs. Logan: Yea, she gotta start helpin’ to feed her brothers and sisters.  (Pointing to her husband and herself) We caint do it all by ourself, ya know.

 

Mrs. Starks: (Exasperated) Mr. and Mrs. Logan, Emily has already been accepted to several top universities.  She has a bright future ahead of her.  She just has to decide which one she wants to attend.

 

Mr. Logan: (Leans forward) Lady, you been listenin’ to what we’re sayin’?  Emily ain’t goin to no college.  Hell, we caint afford it anyway. Understand?

 

Mrs. Starks: (In a serious tone) Mr. Logan, I understand what you are saying, but there are many scholarships available for Emily, along with other financial aid.

 

Mr. Logan: (Becomes offended and stands up abruptly) Aid?  We ain’t no charity case.

 

Mrs. Starks: (Trying to calm him down) Mr. Logan, it’s not charity.  Financial aid is available to everyone.  Emily has been offered a full scholarship to pay for her tuition, and she qualifies for enough financial aid, through grants, to cover her books, and any other expenses. This is the opportunity of a lifetime for her.

 

Mr. Logan: (Stands and leans over the desk and gets in Mrs. Starks’ face) I’m gonna tell you this one more time, lady.  Emily ain’t goin to no college.  As a matter of fact, we need her to drop out of school now and get a job.

Emily: (Jumps out of her chair in shock and begins yelling) What? Drop out of high school? No, I’m not! 

Mrs. Logan: (Beginning to sober and realizes that Emily is back talking her father) Don’t you talk to yer father like that, missy.  You heard what he said.  You can come work with me at the truck stop. (Laughs and goes back to daydreaming, twirling her hair and smacking the gum in her mouth)

Mr. Logan: (Grabs his wife and Emily by their arms and pulls them toward the door) Come on, we’re leavin’.

(Mrs. Starks stands and looks at him in shock)

Emily: (Breaks free from his hold) I’m not going anywhere and I’m not dropping out of school.

Mr. Logan: (Shoves his wife back into the chair and turns to Emily) Don’t talk back to me young lady! You heard me, now let’s go.

(Mrs. Logan acts oblivious to the controversy going on around her)

Emily: (Puts her hands on her hips and stands straight) I said I’m not leaving and I’m not dropping out of school.  I want to go to college.  I’m smart and I deserve this chance.  If you don’t want me to go, then that’s too bad. 

Mr. Logan: No, what’s too bad is the beatin’ you’re gonna get when we get home.  Now, let’s go. (Pulls his wife back to her feet and towards the door)

Emily:  No, that’s where you’re wrong! There won’t be any more beatings; at least, not for me anyway. I have papers here that I had drawn up by an attorney.  All you have to do is sign them and I will be emancipated.  Then I will be free to go to college and do anything else I please.

Mrs. Logan: (Confused, she looks at Mrs. Starks, her husband, and Emily) Emanci- what?

Emily: Emancipated, mother.  It means that I will be an adult in the eyes of the law. I will be free to do what I want, live where I want, and go to college if I want.

Mr. Logan: (Smirking) That’s all fine and dandy, but where ya gonna live and whatcha gonna live on, yer looks? (He and Mrs. Logan laugh)

Mrs. Starks: (Stepping forward to put her arm around Emily) She will come to live with me.  Both of my children are grown and gone, and I have plenty of room for her.  My husband and I would be glad to take her in.

Mr. Logan: (In shock) You’re gonna take er? Why?

Mrs. Starks: Mr. and Mrs. Logan, Emily has a lot of potential. (Looks at Emily) She’s very smart and she has a bright future ahead of her.  We’re willing to take her in, and this will be one less mouth for you to worry about feeding since it will be at least four years, if not more, before she will get a good paying job.

(Mr. and Mrs. Logan look at each other and consider what was just said)

Mrs. Logan: (In her drunken stupor and in a hurry to go home and watch t.v. she grabs the papers quickly) Got a pen?

Mr. Logan: (Upset) What are you doin’ woman?

Mrs. Logan: (quickly signing the paper) What I’m doin’ is gettin’ rid of one more brat in our house. 

Mr. Logan: You’re gettin’ rid of our meal ticket, woman!

Mrs. Logan: (Pulling him toward the door) Aw, come on, let’s go. One less mouth to feed, one less to worry about clothin’, one less to worry about…PERIOD! Now, I’ve done missed Jerry Springer, but maybe I can still catch Maury.

Mr. Logan: (Obviously unhappy, but defeated): Fine! (to Emily) But don’t call us needin’ no help. You’re on your own now…

(Emily and Mrs. Starks watch Mr. and Mrs. Logan leave. As the door closes, Mrs. Starks takes Emily by the shoulders and turns her to face her.)

Mrs. Starks: (Smiles at Emily) Well, it looks like we need to go home and get you settled.  Are you sure you’re o.k. with all this? No regrets?

Emily: (With relief in her voice and a smile on her face) Oh, yes! I’m definitely o.k., and I have no regrets at all.  Let’s go home…

They both smile and walk out of the office, arm in arm.