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Episode No. 21 - Our Town - This Friday Night!

written by Mike B

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About this story

Published: 12 Feb 2008 | Size: 74 KB (10074 words) | Language: english | Rating: PG-13
Average: 4.4/5   4.4/5 (7 votes)

based on stories and characters created by Winnie Holzman



Mr. Katimski reads from Our Town.

KATIMSKI: There's an early-afternoon calm in our town: a buzzin' and a hummin' from the school buildings; only a few buggies on Main Street - the horses dozing at the hitching posts; you all remember what it's like. Doc Gibbs is in his office, tapping people and making them say "ah." Mr. Webb's cuttin' his lawn over there; one man in ten thinks it's a privilege to push his own lawn mower.

He puts the book down and pauses.

KATIMSKI: See, the story is about the people. It's about how they live their lives.

CLOSEUP: His eyes move left to right, scanning the room. Our POV shifts to his, and we see...most students not paying attention.

KATIMSKI: Anyway, since the drama club is performing Our Town this Friday and Saturday evening, I thought it would be good for you all to read it. Oh, and did I mention? Extra credit for all those who attend.

Twenty sets of eyes look to him.

KATIMSKI: And write me a short two-page analysis.

Twenty simultaneous groans.

KATIMSKI: Now, I know this is not alot of time. Maybe we can pair off and help each other.

He pairs them off.

KATIMSKI: You and you; you and you; you and you. Who's left?

On opposite ends of the room, Angela and Brian sit, uneasy.

KATIMSKI: Angela? Why don't you pair with Brian.

They exchange a quick glance.

Bell Rings. Notebooks slap shut. Bookbags zip. Students crowd the exit.

KATIMSKI: Please read act one for tomorrow please!

Brian eyes Angela and tries to push through the crowd to get to her. Just as he gets close, Jordan moves in.


Angela whips around. She looks at Jordan, lingers on Brian, then back to Jordan.

ANGELA: (weirded out) Hey.

Jordan stares at Brian, who yields and leaves. For just a moment, Jordan watches him go. Turning his attention to Angela, they walk into:



JORDAN: So, extra credit, huh?

ANGELA: *Yeah*.

JORDAN: Sounds like somethin' I could use.

ANGELA: Tell me about it.

Jordan looks at her, questioning.

ANGELA: I mean, I could sure use extra credit, too.

This satisfies him.

KATIMSKI (O.S.): (calling) Angela!

She cringes but turns toward him anyway.

ANGELA: Mr. Katimski, hi.

Katimski enters the frame.

KATIMSKI: (like he's telling her for the first time) Tom Baker? Had to drop out of Our Town. You were so emotive with Rayanne a while back, I thought you'd be perfect.

JORDAN: Catch you later.

Jordan walks away. Angela wordlessly protests his leaving.

KATIMSKI: I know it's last minute but...(to get her attention) you have such potential! (beat, Angela's more rattled than he expected) I'm sorry, I don't mean to be....but you do.

ANGELA: (recovering) I really don't mean to sound rude or anything? Because that *sounds* really-- (beat, one last longing glance at Jordan) It's just that because I'm already selling *tickets*? And, oh gosh lines? I like even forget to--

KATIMSKI: Gee wiz; it's just a small part. A few lines really.

He steps closer.

KATIMSKI: I can see you being so good in this role.

ANGELA: (grudgingly curious) Which role?

KATIMSKI: (excited) See, it's usually played by a male, but *I* think--

ANGELA: (overlapping) A male?

KATIMSKI: (cont'd) You'd be perfect. (tantalizing) There's extra credit involved.

ANGELA: (more curious) Like extra *extra* credit?

KATIMSKI: Oh, of course. For all cast and crew, I'm giving extra credit cause theatre is strenuous business. N-not that you'd be *strained* in any way, mind you….

Beat, he gauges her interest. Then starts walking with her.

KATIMSKI: (soothing) Why don't you take a few hours? No pressure. You can come to rehearsal with Enrique. He can introduce you. (beat, he lets it sink in) I'd better get to my next class. (he moves away, cheerful) Have a good day!

Ricky approaches as a befuddled Angela watches him go.

RICKY: What's he up to this time?

ANGELA: (with distaste) He wants me to take this part in Our Town.

RICKY: Tom Baker's?

ANGELA: Yeah, how’d you--

DELIA (O.S.): (bubbly) *There* you are. I've been looking for you.

Delia enters the frame and grabs Ricky's arm. Ricky and Angela share a confused look.

RICKY: (neutral) Oh, hi.

DELIA: I was wondering, could you please help me with Bio over lunch?

RICKY: I'd like to, but I promised Angela I'd--

ANGELA: No, it's okay. Go help Delia.

RICKY: You sure?

ANGELA: Yeah, I still have like 20 tickets to sell.

RICKY: Thanks.

Delia smiles at Angela then steers Ricky away.

DELIA (O.S.): There's *something* in my petri dish, but I'm not sure what. Let me show you.





Rayanne, in front of the mirror, anxiously tosses her braids. Sharon, at the sink, is giving Rayanne a look.

SHARON: Nothing. I...what are you *doing*?

RAYANNE: (irritated with them) *Something* with these braids.

She steps closer to Sharon and gazes at her.

RAYANNE: Sometimes? It's like my hair's a metaphor for my life. (not distressed) It makes no sense. (beat, she takes in Sharon's whole head) Like *your* hair? Makes perfect sense.

Sharon backs away.

RAYANNE: Oh, it's not a bad thing.

Rayanne tilts her head, studying Sharon's long, straight hair.

RAYANNE: It's like you've got stuff figured out. Like, your*self* figured out.

This flatters Sharon.

RAYANNE: And the stuff you don't understand? You just *force* it smooth. So it's like...easier. To deal with.

SHARON: (unsettled, possibly even disgusted) *Why* are you *telling* me this?

RAYANNE: (off Sharon's tone) See? See what I mean?

Frustrated, Sharon turns to leave.

RAYANNE: Like I said, it's not like a bad *thing*. At least that's what Amber says.

Sharon considers and then says in a softer, conspiring tone:

SHARON: You know whose hair I *completely* can't resist?

Rayanne, very curious, shakes her head. Sharon's eyes go dreamy.

SHARON: *Brad* *Pitt*.

Rayanne's eyes go dreamy.

RAYANNE: It's so smooth.

SHARON: Even when it's wavy.

Angela enters, and, catching them in dreamy bliss, stops, not sure what to make of them.

ANGELA: Hi you guys.

Startled, they snap out of it and stand rigid, side by side. Sharon tries to hide her guilt:

SHARON: Hi, Angela. So, what's new?

Their uneasy gazes follow as Angela walks to the sink. She studies her reflection, running fingers through her hair.

ANGELA: Can I ask you guys something?


ANGELA: Should I let my hair color go natural?

Sharon attempts to conceal giggles, and Rayanne grabs her bag.

RAYANNE: In my opinion? (beat, Angela nods slightly) Keep the red. It's a good thing for you.

She pats Angela's shoulder and exits.

SHARON: What makes you think about your hair color?

ANGELA: Katimski wants me in his play.

SHARON: Our Town? Doesn't it open like this weekend?

ANGELA: Friday, but I haven't even decided if I want to do it.

Sharon steps closer.

SHARON: You know? From one friend to another? You should do it. (Angela looks curious) It might be… good for you.

Sharon touches Angela's shoulder and exits.



The lab is full of students helping one another, but Gina's spot is conspicuously vacant.

JORDAN: This Our Town thing. It's you know... required or whatever.

Brian turns to look at Gina's empty seat.

JORDAN: Somethin over there?

Brian turns back to Jordan.

BRIAN: What?

JORDAN: You keep looking.... (something occurs to him) Hey you never told me how that thing went with that girl.

BRIAN: (blushing) Oh, Gina? (beat, no answer) Fine, you know. We bowled. Then she had to go home cause her parents like *need* her back by nine.

JORDAN: That blows. (beat) You gonna see her again?

BRIAN: I don't know. I mean, she *is* a junior.

JORDAN: So? (Brian looks at him) What's the big deal?

BRIAN: I just figured that like *automatically* puts her like *out* of my league.


BRIAN: No? How come, then?

JORDAN: Cause she *digs* you.

BRIAN: (nervous) Oh. Right. So, Our Town....



Rayanne, as Emily, is rehearsing a scene from memory, while Katimski watches from the front row. She stands atop a ladder facing Troy, who, across stage, stands atop another ladder.

TROY: The *third*?

RAYANNE: Why, yes, George--that's the easiest of them all.

TROY: I don't see it. Emily, can you give me a hint?

RAYANNE: I'll tell you one thing: the answer's in yards.

A door opens backstage. Rayanne and Troy stop.

KATIMSKI: (calling) Hello?

He squints to see back there. Angela steps into view.

ANGELA: Sorry I'm late. I had to finish my--

KATIMSKI: Yes yes. Will someone please hand Angela a copy? (beat, a student moves off) *Thank* you. (beat, he sighs) Angela? Why don't you turn to page 35.

ANGELA: Oh. Who am I?

KATIMSKI: Didn't we talk about this?

She shakes her head.

KATIMSKI: I'm sorry. I must've forgotten to tell you. You're Simon Stimson.

A student hands her a copy, which she opens to page 35.

KATIMSKI: Troy? Take it from 'Good night, Emily.'

TROY: Good night, Emily. And thanks.

RAYANNE: Good night, George.

Angela reads, quiet and timid. Her free arm hangs limp at her side. Her knees are locked.

ANGELA: Before I forget it: how many of you will be able to come in Tuesday afternoon and sing at Fred Hersey's wedding--

KATIMSKI: (stopping her) *Okay*. (beat) Angela? Stimson is kind of a harsh man. A little over the top because...well? To put it bluntly, he's a drunk.

This makes Angela feel even more self-conscious.

KATIMSKI: (assuring) No, no. Don't worry. Just practice. Remember to breathe. (deep breath) And please? Don't be so nervous?

She nods

KATIMSKI: Okay, let's try again.



All four Chases sit around the table eating Patty's meatloaf. No one likes it, but they try not to let that show. Angela hasn't eaten much. Graham's speaking. The two girls listen, very interested. Uneasy with the conversation, Patty picks at her food.

GRAHAM: *Then* she says that me, cooking out in the open, while, you know, everyone watches and eats? Is gold.

The girls anticipate more, but Graham doesn't know what else to say.

DANIELLE: Are you gonna do it, dad?

GRAHAM: The thing is? I'm not sure.

ANGELA: Do it, dad.

Patty eyes Angela. She doesn't notice.

PATTY: Can I just say something?

She looks pointedly at Graham.

PATTY: (cont'd) It's really nice to have everyone here. Together. Eating as a family.

DANIELLE: This is *really* good meatloaf.

ANGELA: Mom? You don't have to like *approve* of us--

PATTY: I'm just's *nice*.


GRAHAM: (to the girls) So, you think I should do it?

ANGELA: Definitely, dad. This could be your big chance.

DANIELLE: Why would you want everyone watching you?

GRAHAM: Well, it's'd be...

ANGELA: (overlapping) *Danielle!*


ANGELA: It's *rude* to ask.

GRAHAM: She has a point though. I've never been comfortable with people...with strangers...paying attention to me.

This hits Angela on a personal level.

GRAHAM: (cont'd) (thoughtful, quiet) Maybe...this could be a good thing....

PATTY: So, Angela. How was school today?

ANGELA: Fine, I guess. Mr. Katimski like *drafted* me into his play.

GRAHAM: (enthusiastic) Really? That's *great*.

PATTY: (overlapping) Wait a minute. A play? *I* didn't know you're in a play.

ANGELA: I went to rehearsal this afternoon, but I don't know....I just...

PATTY: When?

ANGELA: This afternoon?

PATTY: No, I mean, when is the play?

ANGELA: (suspicious) This Friday and Saturday?

DANIELLE: Today at school? Bobby got in a fight.

PATTY: (energetic, firm) We should be *at* this play.

ANGELA: Mom, it's okay. Really.

GRAHAM: Your mother's right.

DANIELLE: At *recess*.

ANGELA: It's just that, when I get on stage? I like don't know how to act.

GRAHAM: That's my fault.

Angela and Patty look at him.

GRAHAM: My genes, I mean.

DANIELLE: And then? He got like *detention*.

GRAHAM: Your mother's right, honey. Think of it as...moral support.

ANGELA: (with discomfort) I just don't like knowing. That everyone's watching.

DANIELLE: Ms. Bakshi said he's the first kid *ever* to get detention. In like five years.

GRAHAM: We just wanna see you give it your best shot.

PATTY: (overlapping, enthused) Right, your very best.

ANGELA: I guess so. (beat) That reminds me, I really need to learn lines for tomorrow.

She gets up and exits, leaving most of the meatloaf untouched.


DANIELLE: Would you hate me if *I* ever got detention?

PATTY: Danielle...don't worry about detention.

GRAHAM: Just focus on your schoolwork.

DANIELLE: *Fine.* That reminds me. I really need to study for math.

She gets up and exits.

Patty and Graham exhange a look.



Patty and Graham clean up. As they pass each other, she grabs him and leans in for a kiss. A thought hits Graham. Still holding her, he pulls away.

GRAHAM: (with an urgency) I just remembered.

PATTY: What?

GRAHAM: Hallie. She asked me if I could keep some plants here for a while.

Patty looks confused.

GRAHAM: (off her look) To choose...for the restaurant space. I told her I'd check with you.

PATTY: What's wrong with her place?

GRAHAM: It's one of those really small apartments.

Beat, Holding her breath, Patty looks at him significantly.

GRAHAM: (off her look) Or so she says.

PATTY: (deep exhale) Where would we put them?

GRAHAM: Uh, in the living room?

To expedite the interruption:

PATTY: Alright.

She moves in for that kiss.

GRAHAM: (he pulls away) I should give her a quick ring.

He walks to the phone and starts dialing. She sighs.

GRAHAM: (off her sigh) Just so she knows....



Having arrived at school, students stand, waiting to get off. Brian, at the back, maneuvers until he's behind Angela.

BRIAN: So, hey.

She turns.

ANGELA: Oh, hey.

BRIAN: I can't believe we have to like read Our Town this week. I mean, it doesn't seem like enough time.

They exit the bus...



...and walk across the schoolyard toward the entrance.

BRIAN: I spent an hour and like *tried* to make myself understand it.

Angela pulls back a bit.

ANGELA: You? Can't understand something? Oh, come on.

BRIAN: No, *really*. Math and science are one thing, but my PSAT verbal is significantly lower. I think it's the abstract nature of theatre in particular that throws me.

ANGELA: (not sure she understands) Right.

BRIAN: So...since Katimski paired us off, maybe we can like *help* each other.

She is momentarily surprised at his suggestion but recovers.

ANGELA: I don't know how much help I'll be. Mr. Katimski wants me to play Simon Stimson. I'm going crazy trying to memorize lines.

BRIAN: (impressed) Really? Wait, Katimski has you playing a guy? (containing laughter) Oh my god.

ANGELA: (defensive) What? He's more concerned with the person than he is the *gender*. (beat, Brian's still laughing) Oh, god. I *knew* I shouldn't have brought this up with you.

BRIAN: (stifling it) No, you're right. (beat) So, how are you going to play a g-I mean, Simon?

ANGELA: He's like this aimless *person*, totally lacking direction. I don't know if I can get my head around it. (resigned) I should really talk to Mr. Katimski.

BRIAN: (sensitive) Right. So, (he musters courage) since we both need help, maybe we could like help each other? Over the phone.

They've reached the entrance, but she stops. So does he. They exchange uneasy eye contact.

BRIAN: Since we're like assigned together.

ANGELA: (with a nod) No, that makes sense.


BRIAN: So, right.

ANGELA: (overlapping) Yeah.

They enter the school and go separate ways.



Alone, Katimski eats his lunch and grades papers. Angela enters.

ANGELA: Mr. Katimski?

He looks up from his work.

KATIMSKI: Angela? What are you doing here? Isn't this lunch period?

She walks to his desk.

ANGELA: I'm not sure I should play Simon. (beat, Katimski looks troubled) I'm flattered and all? It's just that I can't seem to--

KATIMSKI: Is it too much? With your other assignments? Cause I can talk with Mrs. Chavatal and--

ANGELA: No, that's not it. It’s Simon. I just can't (beat, she searches for the words) relate to him.

Katimski takes this in.


ANGELA: You do?

KATIMSKI: Sure. He's an outcast. He has no close friends of whom we know....

ANGELA: (hopeful) So, you'll find someone else?

KATIMSKI: (surprised she's asking) Goodness, no.

Angela's hope fades. Katimski stands up.

KATIMSKI: Look, Angela. I know I'm just a dorky English teacher and that acting might not be your thing. But drama? Is an opportunity to be part of something. It's a chance to-to experience another *mind*. Now, just because you happen to *dislike* that mind? Isn't the point.

ANGELA: (beat, she thinks it over) Then, what is?

He sits on the edge of his desk.

KATIMSKI: Why don't you take the part. Try and wrestle with Simon. See what it stirs up.

CLOSEUP on her. Confused and irritated, she turns to leave.

KATIMSKI (O.S.): *Take* this opportunity. Seize *this* moment.

She turns to face him. He has returned to his work. For a long beat, she thinks. Then she turns and leaves.



Angela exits the classroom. Few people are in the hall. From behind her:

RICKY (O.S.): *There* you are.

Angela turns to him.

Angela: *God*, he's like *relentless*. I hate how he pretends to be all forgetful...?

RICKY: He's freaking over Tom Baker.

ANGELA: Which he's *so* obviously not.

Questioning, Ricky looks at her.

ANGELA: Forgetful, I mean.

Ricky nods in agreement.

RICKY: So, in what capacity did he enlist you?

ANGELA: Tom Baker's part; Simon Stimson. Weren't you at rehearsal yesterday?

RICKY: No, I had to miss it. (beat, he remembers something and whispers) Is this why you want to let your hair go natural?

ANGELA: (indignant) Rayanne told you that? (he nods yes) God, I like barely mentioned it to her.

Ricky leans close.

RICKY: (whispering) It's brown, right?

Angela: (playfully offended) *Yes*. (Ricky pulls back a bit) Anyway, it's not like I gave it serious thought or anything.

RICKY: That's good. Because red? Is like a good thing for you. In my opinion.

Katimski leans out into the hall.

KATIMSKI: Enrique, is that you I hear? (beat, no answer) Where were you at rehearsal yesterday?

Ricky looks like he'd love to bolt.

KATIMSKI: (to induce guilt) I *need* my stage manager.

RICKY: (nervous) Uh, sorry! I'll uh be there today?

KATIMSKI: *Oh*-kay.

Katimski retreats into the room.

RICKY: You see? This is the problem with living with your director.



A few students linger in the hall. Angela flips through Our Town, highlighting her lines. Brian sees her, hesitates, and then walks over.

BRIAN: (nervous) So how are you? How's things?

ANGELA: (without looking at him) Fine.

BRIAN: I *know* you're like crazy busy... but I was wondering since we're neighbors and all? Maybe you could like help me understand Our Town. On a purely academic basis.

ANGELA: (still focused on her book) Didn't we already talk about this?

BRIAN: No. I mean yes. I mean? We didn't like make a time, and I sort of need to know, so I can plan my--

ANGELA: (to appease him) How about seven.

BRIAN: Right. That's perfect. This way, I can do my other stuff first and then--

He pauses and quite by accident, BRIAN'S POV: he observes her with genuine attention. Focused on her script, she doesn't feel his eyes on her hair, her cheeks, her lips. The experience makes him uncomfortable.

BRIAN: So you're like, highlighting your lines?

ANGELA: (still highlighting) Yup.

Brian's out of things to ask her. Noticing the silence, she looks at him.

ANGELA: So, seven?

BRIAN: Right, seven.

He walks away.



It’s empty. Then, the nerve-tearing bell signals the end of lunch, and students fill it with the enthusiasm of prodded animals.

Delia approaches Ricky.

DELIA: (energetic) Hi!

A little unsure how to respond to her enthusiasm:

RICKY: *Hi*. How are you?

DELIA: I'm selling tickets.

RICKY: Really. How is that going?

DELIA: (excited) Super. I've sold twenty *seven* so far.

RICKY: (impressed) Wow, that's great.

DELIA: I think I really have a thing for this kinda thing.

RICKY: Let me know when you need more. (she looks at him, expecting)

Then, Angela joins them.

DELIA: Hi Angela.

ANGELA: (politely) Oh, hi Delia. (to Ricky) I need your help. (she holds up Our Town) Should I take this part? Cause I really need to decide.

Rayanne spots the group and approaches.

RICKY: Do it. It might even be fun.

RAYANNE: Fun? Where. Seems like the party's right here.

ANGELA: Even though this Simon Stimson is…hopeless?

RAYANNE: A little hopelessness never killed anyone. (beat, she waits for a response and spots the play in Angela's hand) Is this about Our Town? (Angela looks at the floor) Come *on* Angelica. (she stretches her arms wide) Stretch yourself.

ANGELA: Yeah... But he's *really*...hopeless. (with distaste) It's like too much for me.

RAYANNE: Ease up. He's *just* a....

Something hits her. She tries and fails to recover.

RAYANNE: (sullen) Just ease up. I'd better get going.

RICKY: (thrown by her quick change in mood) Rayanne?

She hurries away.

ANGELA: (oblivious to Rayanne's condition) I'd better go, too. Thanks Ricky.

She goes in the opposite direction as Rayanne.

DELIA: So, I'll let you know? When I need more?

He turns his attention to her.

RICKY: What?

DELIA: Tickets.

RICKY: Oh, right. Just let me know.

She touches his arm and leaves.



Angela swaps books between her bag and locker. She notices Jordan approaching and stops.

ANGELA: (affectionate) *Hey* you.


He leans against the lockers next to Angela. She watches him, waiting. Silence.

ANGELA: So, what's new?

JORDAN: Nothin'. (beat) So you going to that play Friday?

ANGELA: (with energy) Actually? I think I'm going to be *in* the play. So, I guess I sort of have to.

Interested, Jordan turns to face her.

JORDAN: How'd you pull that off?

ANGELA: Mr. Katimski. He like *asked* me. (beat) Well, he more like volunteered me. It's a long story.

JORDAN: Did he?

She nods.

ANGELA: But I think it might be good for me.

Jordan looks at her.

JORDAN: Oh yeah?

ANGELA (VO): Sometimes? When I don't know how to continue a conversation? I wish I'd just stop talking.

ANGELA: I, I mean...personally. Cause like being in someone's *mind,* you know?

He goes back to leaning.

JORDAN: Yeah, that makes sense. (beat, he realizes, bummed) I'm gonna have to skip rehearsal for this thing.

He closes his eyes.

ANGELA: (concerned) Oh...

They open.

JORDAN: I'd better call Tino. (he looks at her) He was thinking about playing bass.

ANGELA: Oh...right.

He exits, leaving Angela looking after him, troubled.



Several girls go about their activities. Rayanne sits on the window ledge. Sharon holds her hair in various poses and tries to judge the effect on her appearance. She gives up in a huff.

SHARON: I don't *want* to be a smoother-over-er.

RAYANNE: *Chill*, Cherski.

SHARON: (to her reflection) I want to be *spontaneous* and...*not* high maintenance.

RAYANNE: You know who's not high maintenance?

Sharon turns to Rayanne.

SHARON: *Who*?

RAYANNE: Hilary Clinton.

Sharon is pained. She tries another pose.

RAYANNE: (cont'd) And she has the hair to prove it.

Sharon gives up again.

SHARON: It's *hopeless*.

RAYANNE: Hugh Grant? (beat, she considers) Not so much.

SHARON: (pleading) Rayanne?

Rayanne tilts her head in thought.

RAYANNE: Now *Bill* Clinton?

SHARON: *Rayanne*?

RAYANNE: That's a tough one.


Unphased, Rayanne turns to Sharon.

RAYANNE: (mildly annoyed) What?

SHARON: (pleading) *Help* me.

Rayanne considers.

RAYANNE: (firm) No.

SHARON: Why *not*?

RAYANNE: Cause that doesn't work for me. All I need is to do something to piss *you* off. Then? I'm back to no friends.

Rayanne hops off the ledge.

SHARON: (vulnerable) Yeah. I guess you're right.

RAYANNE: Besides, I've got enough of my own problems without messing up someone else's.

Sharon watches her, quite possibly in admiration.

SHARON: Well, that sounds awfully responsible of you, miss.

Rayanne walks past her to the door. She's touched, but tries not to let it show.

RAYANNE: Yeah, yeah. I guess that Ang--

She catches herself. Sharon looks right at her.

RAYANNE: I mean, that Emily rubs off.

She exits.



Hallie and Graham sit at a booth facing each other, plates in front of them both. Graham has barely touched his food. Hallie's down to her french fries. Graham stares off, distracted.

HALLIE: I just love the french fries here.

She puts another in her mouth.

HALLIE: (chewing) Don't you?

Beat, no answer. She stares at him.

HALLIE: Hello? Come in - Earth to Graham.

He snaps out of it.

GRAHAM: I, I'm sorry. I was just thinking.

HALLIE: About?

GRAHAM: Patty. She's ah,--

HALLIE: She doesn't like my idea? (with irony) My Graham-as-a-celebrity idea? (beat, she takes his silence as a yes) Ah, well. I'm used to it by now, people not liking my ideas. (Graham tries to say something) She thinks you can't handle the attention? Or, she’s afraid you'll handle it *too* well, and your head'll inflate and...explode. (Graham tries again) That reminds me. Tell her not to worry? (about what? he silently asks) I'll have those plants out of her living room by Sunday.

GRAHAM: She just.... I'm not sure she really understands what this means to me. You know?

HALLIE:, sure. Give it time. I'm sure she'll come around.

Graham thinks it over.

GRAHAM: Yeah, you're right.

She pops another fry into her mouth.

HALLIE: Of *course* I am.



Angela enters, looking back in confused curiosity toward the living room. She pours herself a glass of milk. Danielle sits at the table doing homework.

ANGELA: Why are there like fifty plants in the living room?

DANIELLE: (continuing to work) Something about dad and his restaurant. (beat) So, why are *you* home so late?

Angela finishes her gulp of milk.

ANGELA: Our Town rehearsal.

Danielle looks up from her work.

DANIELLE: What's Our Town?

ANGELA: A play. (beat) That's about all I know cause I'm trying to memorize my lines.

DANIELLE: Oh. Did you know? Mom's mad.

ANGELA: (surprised, takes it personally) What? WHY?

DANIELLE: I don't know. But I think it might be about the plants.

Angela looks around.

ANGELA: Where *are* mom and dad?

DANIELLE: They're fighting upstairs. I would have gone into the living room, but the couch is covered. So I came in here.

Angela doesn't know what to make of this, so she heads into:



Angela walks into a sea of potted plants, some large, all green. They cover the floor and canopy the sofas. Patty and then Graham bomb down the stairs in the midst of a heated discussion. They pay no attention to Angela.

PATTY: What I don't understand is, if you don't want to do it, tell her.

GRAHAM: It's not that I don't want to do it. Why do you always do this?

She stops and turns on him.

PATTY: Graham, if you want to do it, then do it. If you don't, then grow up.

She watches them pass by and head into the kitchen. A knock at the door gets her attention. She hesitates for a moment, then maneuvers through the foliage.

She opens to reveal:


She smiles.


PATTY: (from the kitchen) Then *tell* Hallie that you're sorry.

GRAHAM: (from the kitchen) I'm *not* sorry. *You* are just impossible today.

Jordan looks over her shoulder.

ANGELA: (cringing) My parents. I don't even know what they're arguing about.

He shrugs.

JORDAN: It's cool.

Long beat; they stare at each other. Angela prods him with a look.

JORDAN: (like he didn't know until know) Oh, ah...I came by cause I thought I should...apologize.

ANGELA: (flattered) For what?

JORDAN: When I said I had to miss rehearsal? I should of been more--

Patty then Graham enter the living room, arguing with more heat than usual. They are oblivious to Angela and Jordan.

Angela steps outside...



...and closes the door behind her. In silence, they cross the street and stand close, their sides to the Chase house. From his driveway, Brian rides to the Chases' lawn. Neither Angela nor Jordan notice. He dismounts and knocks on the front door.

ANGELA: I'm sorry. So, what were you saying?

From across the street, we hear:

PATTY: (unaware Angela's gone) *Angela*? Brian's here!

Angela turns and sees him standing in the doorway. She makes apologetic eye contact with Jordan.

ANGELA: I'd better go get him.

She dashes across the street to:

BRIAN: I know I was a few minutes early, but no one answered the phone.

ANGELA: The thing is? This might be a bad time.

Brian spots Jordan waiting across the street.

BRIAN: (beat, he shifts uncomfortably) It's no problem or whatever. I can go.

ANGELA V.O.: As an experiment, I tried to think about what must have been going through Brian's head in that *second*. (beat) I couldn't come up with anything.

As he gets his bike, Jordan crosses the street.

JORDAN: Hey Brain.

BRIAN: Oh. Hey.

JORDAN: (to Angela) I gotta get to rehearsal. (he backs away toward his car) I just wanted to say…sorry for not being there.... You know, about your part? Even though Katimski like forced you into it. (he looks at Brian who looks back)

Moved, Angela steps toward him.

ANGELA: No, wait!

He gets into his car, guns it, and goes.

Angela watches him drive off.

BRIAN: Wow. (beat, he produces Our Town from his jacket) So, that Simon Stimson. People like gossip about him all the time.

ANGELA: (irritated) Brian!

BRIAN: (to say something right) So, your parents are like having an argument?

ANGELA: (troubled) Yeah.

BRIAN: Mine disagree on like *everything*.

ANGELA: They do?

BRIAN: Constantly.


ANGELA: Does it bother you?

BRIAN: (looks down and shrugs) I try. To like do more Calculus.

ANGELA: (let down) Oh.

BRIAN: (more serious, talking to the ground) So does he like *know*? I mean...about the letter? About um...who wrote it?

She looks away.


BRIAN: Just so you know? I won't tell him. (beat, he looks at her) So, I've been kinda wondering. Do you...still read it?

ANGELA: (still looking away, barely audible) Yeah.

Brian smiles to the ground.

ANGELA: Brian?

BRIAN: Yeah?


ANGELA: It's really cold outside.

BRIAN: Oh, right.

He starts taking off his jacket.

ANGELA: (cont'd, walking away) I'd better....

He stops with the coat, then:

BRIAN: (calling to her) So, what about? (he holds up Our Town)

She turns to look at him.

BRIAN: You could like...come over. For a little while. So at least you don't have to listen to your parents argue.

She pauses, taking in his offer. Then, to her own surprise, she returns to him. They start toward Brian's house.



JORDAN: I still don't get it...this Our Town stuff.

BRIAN: Let's keep working on it. Angela helped me a little bit last night.

Jordan's surprised but doesn't let that show.

JORDAN: She did?

BRIAN: Yeah, after you left.

He puts his head down like a puppy.

JORDAN: I shouldn't have.

BRIAN: Like you said, you had band rehearsal. I think she understands.

JORDAN: That's not what I mean.

BRIAN: Oh. So, what do you--

JORDAN: Ever since I gave her that letter, I feel like she's been acting... strange.

Brian looks worried - maybe he knows that she knows.

JORDAN: Remember how I messed up that night?

BRIAN: No. I mean, I remember that you told me about it....

JORDAN: That must be why she's been acting strange.


JORDAN: Strange.

BRIAN: Oh, so...why don't you talk to her about it.

Jordan shifts, uneasy.

JORDAN: Cause, I just...wouldn't know what to say.

Brian takes it seriously.

BRIAN: Was it really bad? What you did?

JORDAN: It's complicated... I mean, not really, but.... It's like I did something...something I don't normally do.

BRIAN: If you want to talk...?

Silence. Jordan looks like he might take Brian up on the offer, but he doesn't. Brian registers this.

BRIAN: Alright. So, why don't we take a look at Our Town?



Having taken a perverse fascination with them, Patty and Camille check and water the plants.

CAMILLE: I always have found plants just so relaxing. (wistful sigh)

Camille notices one in particular.

CAMILLE: Well, *this* one's cute.

PATTY: Graham said they need to keep them here for a little while.

CAMILLE: Speaking of, how *are* you and Graham?

PATTY: Oh, well. We had a little argument last night, I suppose.

Camille raises an eyebrow.

PATTY: (off her look) Oh, *you* know. About this whole restaurant business.

CAMILLE: Really.

Patty starts re-arranging a few plants.

PATTY: It turns out the floor plan involves Graham cooking out in the middle - for the *world* to see.

Camille watches her with skepticism. Patty doesn't notice.

PATTY: (cont'd) He's terrified.

CAMILLE: And this Hallie woman, is she still in the picture?

Patty stops.

PATTY: Well yes. She's the one who suggested the whole thing.

CAMILLE: Mmm-hm.

PATTY: (curiosity aroused) What's *that* supposed to mean?

Camille feigns being startled.

CAMILLE: (innocently) Oh, nothing.

Camille begins to check leaves on another plant.

CAMILLE: You know what they say about ye rose buds....

PATTY: (confused) No... What do they say?

Camille stops.

CAMILLE: Come to think of it? Neither do I. But it *seemed* like the thing to say.



Jordan approaches, determined. The crowd practically parts for him as he closes in. He backs Angela up against a locker and leans in all cool.

JORDAN: So, hey. I got rehearsal again tonight. You wanna come listen?

She's blown-away speechless. But:

ANGELA: I'd *love* to. The thing is? I have like the *final* rehearsal. I can't miss it.

He shifts his weight. He's not used to rejection.

JORDAN: Alright, whatever.

ANGELA: (to offer something) I'm starting to remember lines. (beat) Maybe after the show, I can--

JORDAN: (dismissive) Nah.

Jordan pulls away.

JORDAN: I'll see you later.

ANGELA: (concerned) Is everything okay?

For a moment, his gaze lingers on her. Then he heads off.

ANGELA: (calling to him, bordering on desperate) I would really love to! I just...

He vanishes in the crowd.

ANGELA: can't.

An upbeat Brian approaches, unaware of what's happened.

BRIAN: Thanks for the help last night. It really helped alot.

She barely looks at him.

ANGELA: (deadpan) I'm late for class.

He watches her go.

BRIAN: (to no one in particular) What did I do?



An agitated Brian walks up to Ricky.

BRIAN: So, last night? I had Angela Chase over my house.

This gets Ricky's attention.

BRIAN: (cont'd) To like study. She knows much more about Our Town than I thought, and--

RICKY: (skeptical) *You* need help with Our Town?

Brian shakes his head.

BRIAN: No, I like read it last summer.

Ricky tries to process.

RICKY: Woah. You told her? How you feel?

BRIAN: No, why do you think I'd do that?

Ricky looks frustrated for a moment but lets it go.

RICKY: Whatever. Go on.

BRIAN: So I had her. Like in my house last night, and then today? I casually stop by her locker and say, 'Hey thanks for the help.' She *looks* at me like I just killed her cat or something.

RICKY: Hm. Sounds like the mark of Jordan Catalano.

BRIAN: What?

RICKY: (offhand) Oh yeah, this is a regular thing. (beat, Brain doesn't understand) You should really get with the program.

He struggles with it for a moment then lets it go.

BRIAN: *Whatever*. Anyway, I've been able to sell like fifteen tickets.

Ricky acts impressed.

BRIAN: Between tutoring, my triple minor, and...oh right, eating lunch? I managed to sqeeze in some time. *You* know.

Delia passes by.

DELIA: (to Ricky) I''ve sold thirty seven!

She continues on.

Brian bangs his forehead against a locker.

RICKY: Don't feel too bad. She has a...talent about her.

Brian registers a hint of admiration and lifts his head.

BRIAN: Wait. You're not like...

RICKY: (assuring) Oh, no. We're just friends. (beat, Brian nods) But if I did? You know...I'd probably....

BRIAN: (awkward) Right. Sure. (beat, he thinks this over)

RICKY: But don't worry, Brian. No pressure to like her. I know she hates your guts.

BRIAN: (exhale, not sarcastic) Oh, that's good. I feel better now.



From memory, Angela recites her lines, punctuating some for emphasis. Her arms hang limp; her performance is unconvincing.

ANGELA: Now you know! That's what it was to be alive. To move about in a cloud of ignorance; to go up and down trampling. To be always at the mercy of one self- centered--

KATIMSKI: Ok! (he gets up, speaking half to himself) Ah, Angela. (he paces) Gee wiz, this *is* tough. (to Angela) *This*, what you're doing now is the climax for Simon. After a lifetime of clouded thinking and inappropriate behavior, he expresses, at last, feeling for the life he now knows he wasted. (beat) He *knows* he can't fix it. He's angry. He's helpless.

Angela nods.

KATIMSKI: Okay. Let's try again.


RAYANNE'S VOICE: Oh my gosh. I am like *so* sorry.



Rayanne has just accidentally bumped into Corey. Finished rehearsing for the night, students socialize in the background.

RAYANNE: I should really watch where I'm going.

She puts a hand to her mouth.

COREY: No foul.

He slides a tube of paint into a nylon pouch.

COREY: Your Emily is great by the way.

RAYANNE: (flattered) Thank you. I, uh, have Amber to thank. At home? She loves to play George and my mother. Well you know, since she actually *is* my mother.

COREY: You call your mother by her first name?

RAYANNE: Yeah! (bashful) It's uh, kind of a long story.

COREY: Maybe you can tell me about it sometime.

RAYANNE: Ah...*sure*. Sometime....

Beat. They avoid eye contact.

COREY: Well, I'd better get going.

He grabs his jacket.

COREY: (cont'd) See you tomorrow.

He starts to head off.

RAYANNE: *See* you.

As Corey exits, Angela wanders over, reading her copy of Our Town, trying to emote her character.

RAYANNE: Angela!

Angela looks up from the book.

ANGELA: Oh, hi, Rayanne.

RAYANNE: (with tremendous enthusiasm) Aren't you SO EXCITED? I mean, we open. TOMORROW! Amber *totally* can't wait.

ANGELA: (apathetic) I don't know. The thing is? This character...I just can't *find* him. You know?

RAYANNE: (trying to share her enthusiasm) Don't worry, hun. I'm sure you'll nail it.

Rayanne drifts off, moving melodramatically as Emily. Angela follows.

ANGELA: (sullen) Maybe. I, I just don't get him. I mean, he *is* a drunk after all.

Rayanne's smile fades.

RAYANNE: Wha, what do you mean?

Angela searches for a response.

ANGELA: Like...your Emily? Is really great. You two like *mesh*.

Rayanne pulls back like Angela dripped acid.

RAYANNE: You don't like him... because he drinks?

ANGELA: No... It's the whole package.

Rayanne's angle dawns on her.

ANGELA: Rayanne, I'm really talking about *my* personal experience.

ANGELA V.O.: Or was I?

RAYANNE: (emotional) You can't bring yourself to understand someone who's not like you? Someone whose life isn't...perfect?

ANGELA: (a bit defensive) My life isn't--

RAYANNE: (upset) I *like* playing Emily. For a lot of reasons. One of them? I thought it might help me understand *you*. And help me be…be a better friend. (beat, she becomes vulnerable) I sorta hoped you'd do the same.

Moved by Rayanne's vulnerability, Angela steps closer.

ANGELA: (pleading) You've *seen* me. I don't even know what I'm doing with this (re: her Our Town copy). I'd have this trouble with any character.

ANGELA V.O.: Perhaps that wasn't true, and Rayanne...was onto something.

Silent beat. Rayanne wipes a tear.

RAYANNE: Yeah, right.

AMBER: (from somewhere in the auditorium) RAINEY!

RAYANNE: Amber's taking me out to dinner. To celebrate.

KATIMSKI: (also somewhere in the auditorium, to Amber) And you are...? *Oh*, let me guess. You must be Emily, eh...Rayanne's mom.

Rayanne wipes more tears. So does Angela.

RAYANNE: I have to go.

As Rayanne starts off, Amber collides into her with a huge hug.

AMBER: *There* you are! My little Jane Fonda.

Amber plants a giant kiss on her cheek and turns her head to see Angela.

AMBER: Angela, baby! Come.

A teary Angela glances at Rayanne and hesitates. Amber motions for her to come. She goes, and Amber envelopes them both in a massive hug.

AMBER: There. My babies, together.

Amber pulls her head back to look at Angela.

AMBER: (more serious) Now, Anglea. I have to take Rainey away, but I promise to bring her back, okay?

Angela, still teary, nods.

ANGELA: (very quiet) Okay. That’s okay, Mrs. Gra--

AMBER: Please, honey. Call me Amber. (louder) I mean, come *on*, I’m just Amber to my other daughter, aren’t I?

She looks to a teary Rayanne, who nods. Teary Angela looks on, stunned by the daughter remark.

AMBER: (noticing their tears) Look at you two! (beat) That man must work you darlings to the *bone*. Although if you ask me? (conspiring whisper) He doesn’t seem like the alpha-male type, if you know what I mean.

Neither Angela nor Rayanne quite know how to react.

AMBER: (cont’d) Come Rainey. (Amber extends her hand) we have to leave Angela for just a little bit.

She takes the hand, and they go. Angela's impulse is to go after her, but she holds herself back.



He stops the car, top up, in the schoolyard and tilts his seat way back to lounge. Angela sits in the front seat, working on lines with an intensity.

JORDAN: So, hey.

Angela doesn't look up from her Our Town.

JORDAN: (cont'd) I was wondering. Do you think you could help me get Our Town? Like you helped Brain? I mean, since you're working on it with him anyway.

ANGELA: (without looking up) Oh, gee...I'd like to?

JORDAN: Cause it seems, you know. Important...or whatever.

ANGELA: No, it is. But I *really* have to make sure I know this.

Reacting with guilt, she looks up from her script.

ANGELA: Look, I'm sorry. I just...

Bam, he kisses her. Hard. She doesn't fight it, but doesn't feed it.

It loses steam.

JORDAN: (intimately) You were saying?

ANGELA: (totally thrown) Huh?

He moves to kiss again, but she turns her cheek, stopping him.

JORDAN: (bothered) What?

ANGELA: (with genuine curiosity) Have you ever tried to like *get* in someone's head?

He leans back in the driver's seat.


She shifts to look at him.

ANGELA: You've never wondered? What it's like to be...someone else?

Jordan isn't sure what to say, but he's growing impatient.

JORDAN: *No*. Why?

ANGELA: (with dampened curiosity) Just wondering.

JORDAN: Look, do we have to talk so much? Maybe we can just....

She rolls her eyes.

JORDAN: (off her eye-rolling) I just don't understand why you...why things have to be...complicated.

ANGELA: Oh, no. Not *this* again. (she turns to him) *What* things? What things do I make complicated?

He's trying to think, but he can’t concentrate, which is making him frustrated.

JORDAN: *Things*.

ANGELA: (with more sarcasm than she intends) Yeah, I know, thank you. Can you be more specific?


ANGELA: (genuine) I'm sorry.

JORDAN: Maybe you should go.

Angela double-takes.

ANGELA: Don't *tell* me that I'm too complicated and then--

JORDAN: (cutting in) *Maybe*… you should go.

The rejection sinks in. She shoves the door open and leaves.



Delia and Sharon walk together through the crowd.

DELIA: I've sold like forty-five tickets.

SHARON: Delia, that's great!

DELIA: I know, I think Mr. Katimski's gonna be *so* happy with the turnout.

Through the crowd, she spots Ricky standing with Rayanne.

DELIA: Mind if I brag to Ricky for a sec?

SHARON: (happy to indulge Delia) Sure.

They head toward the pair.

DELIA: I just hope he's not getting sick of me updating him evey day.




Angela wets a paper towel and wipes tears from her face. She glances at herself in the mirror then turns off the faucet and exits. ANGELA'S POV: Through the crowd, we see Ricky and co. Her impulse is to join them, but she hesitates and decides to covertly observe instead.

DELIA: (to Ricky) Hi.

Ricky turns.

RICKY: Oh, hi. What's up?

Sharon and Rayanne exchange a guarded smile.

DELIA: I just wanted to update you on my ticket-selling accomplishments. Again. (bubbly) I hope you don't mind.

RICKY: Not at all. How goes the conquest?

DELIA: (happily) Forty-five.

Ricky's impressed. Delia turns to Rayanne.

DELIA: So how's Emily doing?

RAYANNE: *Cool*. (gesturing to her hair) Taking out these braids every evening? Pain in the butt.

Delia chuckles.

SHARON: (stroking her hair, with a subtle wink) I suppose not *everyone's* hair can be smoothed straight.

Rayanne smiles.

DELIA: So how's Angela doing? As Simon?

Rayanne's humor fades.

RAYANNE: How's Angela? Good *question*.

Ricky spots Angela. She registers that she's been made.

RICKY: Why don't you ask her?

Angela puts on a happy face and joins them:

ANGELA: Hey guys.

Rayanne turns her head away. Delia registers this and keeps silent.

RICKY: Uh...we were just talking about Our Town and wondering how it's going for you. With such short notice from Katimski and all.

Angela looks to Rayanne as she considers her response.

ANGELA:'s tough. I mean, to like *get* in someone's head....

The concept registers with Sharon.

SHARON: Tell me about it. Like, the other day? Kyle asked me out for Valentine's Day. I was like, *hello*? We're not even technically *together* anymore. (beat, it falls flat) Or whatever.


SHARON: So, I should like go. To class.

She backs away and vanishes into the crowd. Sensing this party's over:

RICKY: And I have umm English or something.

He goes and Delia with him, leaving Angela and Rayanne. Neither want to risk breaking the silence, and neither want to leave. Rayanne ventures:

RAYANNE: So, I guess tonight's the big night.

ANGELA: I guess.

Neither knows what to say.



Angela's lip trembles.

RAYANNE: So...I guess I'll see you...tonight.

ANGELA (VO): I wanted to hug her. Really tight. But, I couldn't.

ANGELA: (fighting tears) I'll see you....

With an abruptness, she breaks away from Rayanne and becomes lost in the thinning crowd. We stay with her as new tears come.




Angela wets a paper towel and wipes tears from her face. She glances at herself in the mirror then turns off the faucet and exits. ANGELA'S POV: the hall is empty. She walks alone toward class.



The cast has been rehearsing. Katimski gets up from his front-row seat and climbs onto the stage.

KATIMSKI: Ok, let's bring it in, folks.

Cast and crew gather downstage. Rayanne and Angela eye each other but keep their distance.

KATIMSKI: You have all put in a lot of work, and it has been? My pleasure. Tonight, don't be afraid if you mess up a line. Don't *try* to act just because your parents are watching. And? Remember to breathe.

A few exhales ripple through the group.

KATIMSKI: Break for a little while, and be here by five-thirty for hair, costume - all that jazz.



An unhappy Danielle pauses halfway down the stairs and speaks to a plant-filled living room.

DANIELLE: *Mom*! Do I *have* to wear this dress?

Patty, putting on her earrings, enters briskly from the KITCHEN. She glances at Danielle.

PATTY: You look fine, dear.

DANIELLE: (to no one in particualr) Some day, I'm going to start dressing myself *and* wearing makeup.

She starts to return upstairs but stops when there is a knock at the door. Patty rushes to open it. It's Brian.

PATTY: Oh, Brian. It's just you.

He sees the plants, and his eyes go wide. Patty maneuvers around the plants to the living room mirror and checks her earings and hair. Brian remains in the doorway, mesmerized.

BRIAN: Um, is someone like taking up Botany?

PATTY: (attention on her reflection) They're for Graham and his restaurant.

DANIELLE: (to Brian) Are you like going to the play?

BRIAN: I have to for English.

DANIELLE: Are you going alone? (suggestive) No one should see Our Town alone.

PATTY: Danielle, that's rude.

DANIELLE: (to Patty, not sincere) Sorry. (to Brian) Are you?

BRIAN: (a bit uncomfortable) Um, no. I'm going with a...a friend.

DANIELLE: (disappointed) Oh.

She goes upstairs.

PATTY: Angela's at one last rehearsal. (she turns to him) But I'll be sure to let her know you stopped by.

Registering his cue to leave, he turns and almost collides with an incoming Graham.

GRAHAM: *Woah* there.

Graham maneuvers inside.

BRIAN: I was just uh leaving. (containing chuckles) Nice plants, by the way.

He exits. Graham glances at Brian and turns to Patty.

GRAHAM: Did he just insult my plants?

He takes off his coat.

PATTY: Brian stopped by to wish Angela luck. You know, though. I didn't think there'd be so (she pauses to take them all in) many.

GRAHAM: (a bit embarrassed) I know. Hallie said she'll stop by this Saturday, so we can decide what we both like. They'll be out of here by Sunday.

PATTY: (critical) Saturday?

GRAHAM: Yeah, problem?

PATTY: (like he forgot they were getting married tomorrow) It's Friday NIGHT, Graham. Could you have told me any later?

GRAHAM: Is there some reason she can't come by?

PATTY: (fighting to stay angry) No, but that's not the *issue* here.

GRAHAM: Then, what *is* the issue?

PATTY: The issue...the *issue* is...

GRAHAM: (on the offensive) *What*? I didn't get your permission?

PATTY: (warning) This isn't about me. This is about you. Taking... *responsibility*.

GRAHAM: How am I not taking responsibility? (beat, Patty searches for words) Hm? Cause from what *I've* been told, *you're* behind me on this one. (sarcastic) Right?

PATTY: (has to agree) Yes. I *am* behind you, but you *need* to embrace certain...

GRAHAM: Oh, so this is *conditional* support.

Beat, she takes this in.

PATTY: (less angry) Maybe some times? I do place conditions. Maybe sometimes? I *have* to.

GRAHAM: (stunned) I can't believe I'm hearing this from you. (beat) Have you been talking to your father lately?

PATTY: (stormy) This has NOTHING to do with my father.

That's it. In haste, he puts his coat on.

GRAHAM: You go to the thing with Danielle. I'll meet you there later. (under his breath) I need some air.

PATTY: What was that?

GRAHAM: (loud) *I* need some air.

He exits, slamming the door.



We join Our Town in the midst of ACT I. Abyssinia as the STAGE MANAGER speaks to the audience. The place is packed.

ABYSSINIA:: Y'know - Babylon once had two million people in it, and all we know about 'em is the names of the kings and some copies of wheat contracts... and contracts for the sale of slaves. Yet every night all those families sat down to supper, and the father came home from his work, and the smoke went up from the chimney, - same as here. And even in Greece and Rome, all we know about the *real* life of the people is what we can piece together out of the joking poems and the comedies they wrote for the theatre back then. So, I'm going to have a copy of this play put in the cornerstone and the people a thousand years from now'll know a few simple facts about us - more than the Treaty of Versailles and the Lindberg flight. See what I mean? So - people a thousand years from now - this is the way we were in the provinces north of New York at the beginning of the twentieth century. This is the way we were: in our growing up and in our marrying and in our living and in our dying.



GRAHAM: (anxious and determined) No, I want to. Out in the open, so that everyone can see. I mean, if I don't do things now? Wh- what if I miss out on something...really big. (beat, he considers the possibility) I just don't want to have any regrets. (beat, chuckles) I guess I'll need that new wardrobe. (beat) Oh you will? (humored) I can pick out clothes by myself thank you very much. (short beat) Yeah I gotta go. We'll talk on Saturday, Hallie. Sounds good.

He hangs up.



ANGELA: You're Stage Manager is gosh...really good.

ABYSSINIA:: Thanks. You're good, too.

ANGELA: Did you...have any trouble getting into the role?

ABYSSINIA: Well, I found it easy enough to learn the lines, but to really get into the character? That was harder for me.

ANGELA: (relieved) Me too. I was hoping it wasn't *only* me.

ABYSSINIA:: Then again, I always find it hard to get in someone else's head. But that's theatre for you.

ANGELA: (thoughtful) Yeah, that's theatre.



We join the cast in the midst of ACT II.

TROY: Emily.

RAYANNE: Y-yes, George.

TROY: Emily, if I *do* improve and make a big change... would you be... I mean: *could* you be...

RAYANNE: I... I am now; I always have been.

TROY: (pause) So I guess this is an important talk we've been having.

RAYANNE: Yes... yes.


Abyssinia, as the Stage Manager, speaks to the audience as George and Emily are married:

ABYSSINIA: I've married over two hundred couples in my day. Do I believe in it? I don't know. M...marries N...millions of them. The cottage, the go-cart, the Sunday-afternoon drives in the Ford, the first rheumatism, the grandchildren, the second rheumatism, the deathbed, the reading of the will. (warm smile, without cynicism) Once in a thousand times it's interesting.



The show is using this room as a makeshift green room. It is littered by makeup supplies, costumes, bookbags, and other items. A few actors socialize as they wait for their turn in makeup.

Angela holds still as Corey makes her up as dead Simon. It's nothing much. Just a coating to grey out her cheeks, lips, and the area surrounding her eyes.

As he finishes, Jordan enters and leans inside the doorway. Angela sees him.

ANGELA: Thanks Corey.

Jordan's gaze flits everywhere but at her. Angela registers this but can't help the pull. She goes to him.

JORDAN: (lacking enthusiasm) I just thought I should wish you luck...or whatever.

She gives him points for showing up, but she just can't take his indifference.

ANGELA: The show is like half over.

He doesn't respond.

ANGELA: (irritated with him) What is the *matter* with you lately? (beat, he doesn't respond) Look, I can't do this now. (beat, he stands there) I'll see you later?

JORDAN: Yeah, I guess.

She spots Graham in the hall, looking around for someone. She catches his eye. He sees her and nods.

ANGELA: (to Jordan) I *think* that's my dad.

Graham approaches, and Jordan leaves.

ANGELA: What are you *doing* here?

He holds her shoulders, happy to see her.

GRAHAM: Hey. Sorry I'm late. Really sorry. I had to take care of something.

ANGELA: Is everything alright?

GRAHAM: Yeah, everything's fine. I'm going to do the cooking thing. Out in the open.

Angela smiles.

ANGELA: That's great.

GRAHAM: It, ah, feels pretty good. (gesturing toward the hallway) I'd better find a seat.


Graham goes.



We join ACT III in progress.

RAYANNE: (with mounting urgency) Oh, Mama, just look at me one minute as though you really saw me.

Angela as dead Simon stares blankly at the audience.

ANGELA (VO): It's so hard to *really* get in someone's head.

RAYANNE: ...for a moment now we're all together. Mama, just for a moment we're happy. *Let's look at one another*.

ANGELA'S POV: We see Patty with Danielle. Graham sits seperate from them.

Angela sits among the dead. They are, and she is unsentimental, still, and silent.

ANGELA (VO): I mean, do we *really* know people?

Angela's POV: Her empty stare happens to find Brian sitting with Gina.

ANGELA (VO): And if not, can we even say we know ourselves?

She stares in troubled thought, letting almost nothing show.

RAYANNE: Oh, Mr. Stimson, I should have listened to them.

Dead Angela reacts to Rayanne's voice with hostility, with a sharpness.

ANGELA: Yes, now you know. Now you know! That's what it was to be alive. To move about in a cloud of ignorance; to go up and down trampling on the feelings of those...of those about you.

The anger fades, replaced by an empty, weary tone.

ANGELA: (cont'd) To spend and waste time as though you had a million years. To always be at the mercy of one self-centered passion, or another. Now you know -- that's the happy existence you wanted to go back to. Ignorance and blindness.


Troy, as George, sinks to his knees and then falls full length at Rayanne's feet.

ONE OF THE DEAD: Goodness! That ain't no way to behave!

RAYANNE: Mother Gibbs?

CHI-QUON: Yes, Emily?

RAYANNE: They don't understand, do they?

CHI-QUON: No, dear. They don't understand.



The Our Town cast and crew, now out of costume, socialize and congratulate one another on their performance. A few parents are in the mix. Angela waits and watches as Troy and Rayanne offer praise to each other. When they finish, Angela cautiously approaches Rayanne.

ANGELA: How was dinner last night? With Amber?

RAYANNE: Oh, it was fine, you know. She ah, decided to bring Rusty along.

ANGELA: (sympathetic) Oh...

RAYANNE: So, it wasn't as cool as I'd hoped.

Rayanne forces a smile.

ANGELA: (sincere) I didn't mean to insult you last night.

Rayanne takes it in.

RAYANNE: If you can't relate to my life? I guess I can't hold it against you. Lots of the time, *I* don't even understand myself. (beat, thoughtful) I guess I just wanted you there for me.

ANGELA: (tearing up) That makes sense.

RAYANNE: (almost silent) Yeah.

Graham enters the room, alone. Rayanne happens to spot him.

RAYANNE: (indicating with a nod) There's your dad.

Angela turns to look. Taking this his cue, he walks over.

ANGELA: Where's mom and Danielle?

GRAHAM: Ah, they're outside waiting for you to come out. (beat, genuine) You girls were great. Really. It seemed got the characters. (beat, he has a thought) Hey, I was going to get some ice cream even though it's like *way* cold outside.

The girls crack a smile.

GRAHAM: (encouraged) If it's okay with your mothers, you two want to join me?

RAYANNE: (enthused) Oh yeah. I'm sure that's totally cool with Amber. I'm surprised she hasn't trampled somebody to get back here yet.

She looks to Angela as if to ask if she wants to go.

Angela nods and smiles:


As they exit the room, we:



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Episode No. 22 - Valentine's Day by Mike B
Published: 14 Mar 2008 | Size: 64 KB (8449 words) | Language: english english | Rating: PG-13
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Read this story now: Episode No. 22 - Valentine's Day

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Reviews for this story

Rating Distribution:
Average: 4.4/5   4.4/5 (7 votes)
  • MonnyUK gave this story a 4.0/5 4.0/5 rating and commented on 13 Feb 2008:
    This is another very good fanfiction. You really have captured the true essence of the characters. I thought the way you gave Angela the part of the person who is like Rayanne in 'Our Town' was brilliant as Angela I felt never fully understood where Rayanne was coming from. Angela has led a sheltered life and this would have helped to open her eyes. I also like the way you have developed Angela's and Brian's relationship. I look forward to reading the next story.
  • Elaine gave this story a 5.0/5 5.0/5 rating and commented on 16 Feb 2008:
    Great story...I really love all the metephores and double meanings for things through out the storyline. I'm very interested to see where you are going to take all this now that it's starting to take shape.
  • anon gave this story a 4.0/5 4.0/5 rating and commented on 05 Mar 2008:
    jordan needs angela... i don't think that she would choose or be as interested in brian. you do a really good job getting them to be them though.
  • Shelley gave this story a 5.0/5 5.0/5 rating and commented on 06 Mar 2008:
    Very good. Your additions are very believable.
  • Kimmeh gave this story a 5.0/5 5.0/5 rating and commented on 16 Mar 2008:
    Admittedly when I started reading I your continuations Mike B I wondered whether they were original scripts for cancelled episodes-to-be. Phenomenal!
  • Taylor gave this story a 5.0/5 5.0/5 rating and commented on 28 Dec 2008:
    Truly excellent.

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“Do we have to keep talking about religion? It's Christmas.”

Danielle Chase, Episode 15: "So-Called Angels"