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Promosophy

Promosophy

CHARACTERS (in order of appearance)

RORY [female, 17]⁣
TOPHER [male, 17]⁣
AMBER [female, 17]⁣
JASMINE [female, 18]⁣
BABETTE [female, 18]⁣
WADE [male, 18]⁣
MAYBELLE [female, 17]⁣
ESCORT #1 [male, 18]⁣
ESCORT #2 [male, 18]⁣
FRANKLIN [male, 17]⁣
TERRELL [male, 17]⁣
DICKINSON [male, 17]⁣
SAM [non-binary, 17]

[SCENE: A high school gym festooned with paper-mâché flowers, balloons, streamers, and fairy lights.  A huge sign with “PROM 2015” written on it in glittery gold letters hangs upstage center, directly over a long covered table brimming with all sorts of desserts and hors d’oeuvres. Neat rows of red cups fill both ends of the table. Two large ballot boxes sit downstage left and right, respectively: a blue one that reads “PROM QUEEN,” and a pink one that reads “PROM KING” in the same glittery gold letters as the sign. High schoolers in formal wear mingle while soft violin music plays in the background. After a few beats, they all exit except for RORY, center left, and TOPHER, center right. RORY wears a swishy pink dress; TOPHER looks smart in a classic tuxedo with tails. Each holds a box with prom flowers in their hands. The music swells into a romantic overture as they slowly approach one another, meeting center stage.]

RORY: Topher!

TOPHER: Rory!

[The music quiets a bit as they embrace, giving one another huge smiles.]

RORY: Do you have my flowers?

TOPHER: [Nods] Do you have mine?

[RORY holds out the box, then changes her mind and takes it back.]

RORY: Let’s put them on each other. It’ll look better for the pictures.

TOPHER: Are there any photographers nearby?

[RORY looks around, frowning.]

RORY: I don’t see any. We could’ve done this back at pre-prom! Why’d you have to piss Maybelle off at the last minute? You should’ve known that we’d be uninvited.

TOPHER: She’s an asshole and you know it. Someone had to tell the truth to her face for once.

RORY: True, but … think of all those Facebook photos that could’ve existed.

TOPHER: All those Instagram posts and NipNop stories.

RORY: All those tweets about how good we look …

TOPHER: And all those envious whispers that would follow us wherever we go.

RORY: You ruined it all.

TOPHER: Whatever. We still have a good chance of getting crowned tonight. They’d have to take pictures of us then.

RORY: Who are we up against?

TOPHER: Amber and what’s-her-face. Jessica something?

RORY: Jasmine.

TOPHER: Right, Jasmine. It’s pretty cool that she’s openly running for prom king. I wish I had the courage to come out like that.

[RORY puts her hands on her hips.]

RORY: They literally changed the rules for her so that she could run for prom king as a girl. If that doesn’t make her a shoo-in, I don’t know what does.

TOPHER: Oh, come on. It’s us against them, and Amber hasn’t even shown up yet. We’re fine.

RORY: If you say so.

[She takes the boutonniere from the box and carefully pins it on TOPHER’s lapel.]

RORY: I wish I’d come out during Day of Silence, too! Then maybe we’d really stand a chance.

TOPHER: But you were silent like a good … ally, and now you’ve lost your chance.

RORY: So have you.

[TOPHER smoothly slides the corsage onto RORY’s wrist.]

TOPHER: I’m not worried.

RORY: Oh well, I guess it’s too late now. At least this corsage is pretty. You have an eye for color.

TOPHER: Thanks! It’s a passion of mine. Sometimes I like to go to Home Depot after school and look at the paint samples — 

[RORY, bored of the conversation already, rolls her eyes and takes TOPHER by the arm.]

RORY: Remember, we’re a cute prom couple. Just pretend that we’re as in love as Amber and Jasmine, and we can still have a good shot at winning. [Under her breath] I hope.

[The music swells again. The students come back out: talking, taking food and drinks from the table, etc. RORY and TOPHER disappear amongst them. After a few beats, everyone exits again except for a different couple center stage: AMBER, dressed in a sophisticated black gown and JASMINE, handsomely feminine in a fitted white tuxedo and platform heels. AMBER faces the audience, pouting, while JASMINE tenderly rubs her shoulders.]

AMBER: God, I look ugly right now.

JASMINE: Babe, you know that that’s not true. You’re prettier than all the other girls out there. You know that, I know that, everybody knows that. Cheer up! It’s senior prom.

AMBER: You don’t understand. All you had to do was scrub your face and put on a tux. I woke up this morning, and I had the worst under eye circles ever. Then my mom had to drive my little sister to some dumb playdate at her friend’s house and didn’t leave early enough, so she came in late to the salon and couldn’t give the makeup people the right tips, and I ended up looking like a first-time drag queen so they had to re-do everything, and then my idiot hairdresser let my curls touch my neck before they cooled down enough, so now I’m slightly singed — 

[She shows JASMINE the nonexistent burn mark.

AMBER: — and obviously I started crying then, because at that point I was going to be seriously late for prom, and my makeup ran even though it was supposed to be waterproof, and they had to fix that up too, and by the time they finally finished everything, I had to drive myself to Maybelle’s for pre-prom. [Sniffs] Thanks for your patience, by the way — 

JASMINE: [Still rubbing her shoulders] No problem, babe.

AMBER: — but now my stomach hurts from the stress, and with my luck, I’m going to break out. [Sniffs again] You see? The world hates me.

JASMINE: I think you’re beautiful, warts and all.

AMBER: Warts! My pimples don’t look like warts, do they — 

[BABETTE struts in from stage left in a revealing red gown adorned with gaudy jewels, leading WADE by the hand like a stripper leading a customer to a private room. WADE wears a wide grin and a red suit that matches the shade of BABETTE’s gown, with a tight T-shirt under the jacket that reveals his toned, muscular body. When BABETTE sees AMBER and JASMINE, she immediately drops WADE’s hand and runs toward the couple. When she reaches center stage, she and AMBER hug, screaming, then pull apart to look at one another’s dresses. JASMINE and WADE shake hands and silently begin a conversation in the background.]

BABETTE: Oh. My. God. Darling, you are stunning tonight! I’m so glad you didn’t wear that other one you showed me. I mean, this dress makes you look … like, oh my God!

AMBER: And you look hot, Babette. [Gestures to BABETTE’s dress] Tony Bowls?

BABETTE: Nah, it’s La Femme. I wore the Tony Bowls one to Rosebush prom, remember?

AMBER: How could I forget? I wish I had your figure. You can pull anything off.

BABETTE: But you’re all, like, old glamour and stuff! I’m totally envious of you, too. You’re successful, you’re beautiful, you’ve got a cute girlfriend …

[She peeks around AMBER to wave flirtatiously at JASMINE, who gives a careful wave back.]

BABETTE: Anyways, speaking of Jasmine. Are you guys gonna seal the deal tonight?

AMBER: I don’t know! I mean, I want to, but …

BABETTE: [Loudly] Don’t pussy out again, Ambs! Literally! You guys have dated for almost two months. Enough is enough! The poor girl’s waited forever!

[She is practically shouting by the end, causing JASMINE and WADE to look up from their conversation.]

AMBER: Shh! Babette, we’re in public.

BABETTE: [Giggles] So? Everybody’s thinking about it, I guarantee you. I think about it all the time. Wade and I are definitely going to do it later. [Gasps] Oh, yeah! Have you met Wade yet? WADE!

[BABETTE walks over to JASMINE and WADE, who are talking animatedly, and drags WADE over to AMBER.]

BABETTE: Amber, this is Wade. Wade, Amber. [To AMBER] He’s a junior at Rosebush High. [To WADE] And she’s one of my best friends in the entire world.

[WADE bends down to kiss AMBER’s hand. AMBER giggles, causing JASMINE to look at her suspiciously.]

BABETTE: He’s got abs for days. [Nudges WADE] Show her.

[WADE obligingly whips off his suit jacket along with the T-shirt underneath, revealing a set of washboard abs. Before AMBER can really react, JASMINE comes over and hugs her from behind.]

JASMINE: I think I see Maybelle over there! Let’s go say hi.

BABETTE: We’ll go with you!

[AMBER takes JASMINE’s hand. WADE, who shrugs his jacket back on without the T-shirt, holds onto BABETTE’s arm as if he is a lady on an evening stroll with her beau. All four of them exit stage right, talking as they go.]

AMBER: So, Wade, how’d you and Babette end up at prom together?

WADE: [Starts talking at a normal volume, gradually fading off as he exits the stage] Funny story, actually. I didn’t have a date to the Rosebush prom and she’d ditched hers, so we started dancing. One thing led to another, and the next thing you know, we’re here together …

[At some point, near the end of WADE’s explanation, BABETTE lets out a high-pitched, obnoxious laugh. MAYBELLE enters as they exit, wearing a short, frothy white dress with a corsage on each wrist and ESCORT #1  and ESCORT #2 on either arm. For comedic effect, the two escorts should look either very similar or very different. Despite her feminine appearance, MAYBELLE has a tomboyish air about her. DICKINSON, TERRELL, and FRANKLIN trail behind her, all wearing monkey suits and bow ties of different colors. The group settles at stage center, everyone gathering around MAYBELLE.]

MAYBELLE: Did you see Topher and Rory exchanging flowers in the corner earlier?

TERRELL: Ha! Guess if they couldn’t do it at pre-prom, the second-best thing is to do it at prom.

FRANKLIN: With all eyes on them.

MAYBELLE: I hope they have a great time at post-prom … by themselves.

[Everyone titters at this.]

FRANKLIN: I would’ve paid money to see Topher’s face when you told him that he and Rory were uninvited, Maybelle.

TERRELL: What happened again?

MAYBELLE: Oh, Topher just … said some unkind things to me after I caught him in a compromising position.

TERRELL: Like what?

MAYBELLE: A lady never tells.

FRANKLIN: You know what he tried to tell me the other day during gym class?

MAYBELLE: No, what’d he say?

FRANKLIN: [Syrupy tone] I’m probably not going to drink after prom at all, because it messes with the delicate balance of my system.

[This gets a few laughs. TERRELL steps up next and continues the imitation.]

TERRELL: And I know people are going to do things that I don’t necessarily approve of, but I’m not going to judge them because it’s their choice. Everybody sees things differently.

MAYBELLE: [Guffawing loudly] Man, what a bitch. He should’ve taken a page from Jasmine’s book and petitioned the school to let him run for prom queen.

[More titters amongst the group.]

DICKINSON: Aw, come on, guys. Don’t rag on Topher so much. He can be cool sometimes.

[Everyone instantly turns on him, booing and snorting. The two ESCORTS roll their eyes.]

TERRELL: What, man, are you in love with him? Is that why you’re sticking up for him so much?

FRANKLIN: Yeah, do you guys get together to talk together to talk about color theory?

[He bumps MAYBELLE on the shoulder and they share a mocking laugh.]

DICKINSON: No! It’s not like that. He’s just a nice guy is all. He helps me with calculus homework sometimes.

MAYBELLE: Ooh! Calculus!

[She puts on a faux-deep voice and drops an arm around DICKINSON’s shoulders.]

MAYBELLE: Hey, Dickinson, I can find the tangent to your curves.

[She and FRANKLIN high-five.]

FRANKLIN: Oho! I don’t like my current girlfriend. Wanna do a U-substitution?

[MAYBELLE and FRANKLIN continue laughing while DICKINSON glowers.]

TERRELL: Your love for Topher is like pi … never ending!

[Immediately, FRANKLIN and MAYBELLE stop laughing to look at TERRELL with “really?” expressions on their faces.]

TERRELL: What?

MAYBELLE: Just … no.

DICKINSON: [Loudly] You know what? You’re all a bunch of dicks. I’m going to find my date.

[He storms off stage left. Everyone watches him leave with a mixture of surprise and amusement.]

MAYBELLE: Jeez, what’s got him PMS-ing so hard tonight?

TERRELL: [Yelling after DICKINSON] Your date? You mean Topher? OOooOoooOooOOOooOOO! Haha!

[He looks at MAYBELLE and FRANKLIN, who shake their heads.]

TERRELL: What. Too far?

MAYBELLE: Too far.

[TERRELL visibly wilts. MAYBELLE  puts an arm around him.]

MAYBELLE: S’okay, man. Happens to all of us sometimes. Just let it be. Dickinson’s a big boy. He’ll be okay.

[The music starts up again, and the kids come back out, walking around and talking to one another. MAYBELLE, FRANKLIN, TERRELL, and the two ESCORTS look on with judgmental, holier-than-thou expressions on their faces.]

TERRELL: There’s Robert! He’s wearing a seersucker suit like he’s auditioning for Gone With the Wind.

MAYBELLE: Wow, Harriet’s date is actually kind of attractive. I’m surprised. She had to take some guy from another school because no one here would go with her.

FRANKLIN: [Squinting] Is Babette’s date … shirtless?

MAYBELLE: Honestly, I love the look.

[RORY and TOPHER emerge from the crowd, holding hands and doing their best to appear lovey-dovey. When TOPHER and MAYBELLE spot each other, everyone immediately quiets down. FRANKLIN, TERRELL, and the two ESCORTS straighten their backs defensively. RORY crosses her arms over her chest.]

TOPHER: Maybelle.

MAYBELLE: Topher.

[She turns back toward her friends, who nod in unison.]

MAYBELLE: Come on, guys. Let’s go. I don’t want to be responsible for certain … hostilities tonight.

[She links arms with the ESCORTS and the group begins walking away. TERRELL and FRANKLIN stick out their tongues and make crude gestures at TOPHER, who glowers at them in return. RORY stands silently, watching.]

RORY: What happened between you two, anyway?

TOPHER: I told you. She’s an asshole.

RORY: Darling, don’t keep secrets from your prom date. It’s awfully impolite.

TOPHER: [Sighs] Fine. She caught me making out with her boyfriend in the men’s bathroom at Rosebush prom, and I told her that he was only with her because she needed a convenient beard.

RORY: You did not.

TOPHER: It was true. The poor guy told me the first time we met.

RORY: I didn’t even know that Maybelle had a boyfriend. I always thought that she was one of us.

TOPHER: You can like girls and date a dude at the same time. I don’t even think she was mad about the boyfriend part. She was just upset because I’d bested her in some way. She’s so annoying like that, you know, with her constant need to prove herself better than everyone else.

RORY: We’re kind of doing that too, though.

TOPHER: In a more subtle way! You don’t see me waltzing in here in a poofy little dress with two dates and a gaggle of yes-men backing up everything I say.

RORY: Want to do something expected of us?

TOPHER: What, swap spit under that table? No offense, Rory, but you’re not my type.

[RORY rolls her eyes and gestures to the ballot boxes.]

RORY: No, douche-canoe. I mean peek at the votes.

TOPHER: Ohhhhh! That is expected. Yeah, let’s do it.

[RORY goes straight for the blue box, while TOPHER holds up the pink one. They lift the lids and begin reading the ballots inside.]

RORY: It sucks that they make people write down the names in their own handwriting, so that we can’t sabotage anything.

TOPHER: That’s because rigging votes is so … you know, expected.

[He reaches in and picks up a ballot.]

TOPHER: One for me, one for me, one for Jasmine …

RORY: Amber, Rory, Rory, Rory, Rory, Rory …

[Confusion clouds her features as she picks up the next slip.]

RORY: What the hell?

TOPHER: What does it say?

RORY: Maybelle. I didn’t even know she planned on running for queen.

TOPHER: She wasn’t.

[RORY’s facial expression gets more and more shocked as she paws her way through the remaining ballots.]

RORY: Topher, all of these have Maybelle’s name on them! Amber’s got, like, the other half, and I’m … and I’m …

TOPHER: Let me see those.

[He runs over, grabs the box, and turns it upside down.]

TOPHER: Amber, Amber, Rory, Maybelle, Maybelle, Maybelle, Maybelle … holy shit.

RORY: [Wailing] See?

TOPHER: What kind of game does she think she’s playing?

RORY: One where she beats everybody out in a vicious coup for prom queen?

TOPHER: Jesus. We’ve got to stop this.

RORY: Something has to happen to Maybelle. Something that will keep her from winning.

TOPHER: I propose drugs.

[RORY gives him a look.]

TOPHER: Just kidding.

RORY: Wait, you might actually be onto something. I brought some laxatives in my purse just in case I have, um, emergency stomach issues. We could put some in her drink …

TOPHER: She’ll have to go home! And the rules say that the candidates have to be present at the time of the announcement, or the crown will go to someone else.

RORY: I still think that that’s the stupidest rule.

TOPHER: Yes, but this time it works in our favor.

RORY: Poisoning one of our classmates in the name of an arbitrary title … it’s somewhat stereotypical.

[TOPHER gestures to the prom-queen ballots strewn all over the floor.]

TOPHER: And this wasn’t?

RORY: You have a point. So it’s on, right?

TOPHER: Oh, it’s on. It’s on like Donkey Kong.

[He holds his hand up for a fist bump, but Rory brushes past him, picking up the ballots and stuffing them back into the blue box.]

RORY: Please never say that again.

[TOPHER and RORY put the ballot boxes back in their original places — pink box stage left, blue box stage right — with slightly guilty expressions on their faces. From stage left comes the sound of people talking.]

RORY: Oh, shit! Someone’s coming. Let’s get out of here. I’m a horrible liar.

[She runs to TOPHER and grabs his hand. They run out stage right just as JASMINE and AMBER enter stage left.]

JASMINE: So what’s next? Do you want to get some food?

AMBER: I don’t want my dress to get dirty, but what the hell. I had to starve myself for weeks to fit into this thing. I may as well have some cake.

[She goes over to the table in the back and starts piling up her plate with snacks.]

JASMINE: Can you get me some, too? Those vanilla cupcakes look mighty delicious.

AMBER: Sure, babe.

[She gets even more food and comes back with a heaping plate, which she sets on the floor. A small silence settles over AMBER and JASMINE as they stuff their faces in a most unladylike fashion.]

JASMINE: [Mouth full] Do you think we’ll win prom king and queen?

AMBER: I think we have a pretty good chance. It’s just you, me, Rory … and some other guy.

JASMINE: Topher?

AMBER: Something like that.

JASMINE: Rory’s here with Topher?

AMBER: If they’re both in the running, she probably is. Why does it matter?

AMBER: Nothing, I just heard …

[An awkward silence ensues as they look at one another, but it is quickly broken up with MAYBELLE’s arrival. For once, she is on her own.]

MAYBELLE: Jasmine! Amber!

JASMINE: Maybelle!

MAYBELLE: How you doin’?

[She does a secret handshake with JASMINE and kisses AMBER once on each cheek, French-style.]

JASMINE: You know, just walking around … the usual.

MAYBELLE: Excited to get crowned prom royalty?

[AMBER and JASMINE exchange excited, flushed looks.]

AMBER: Maybe a little nervous.

MAYELLE: Oh yeah, me t — I mean, I would be, too. How badly do you want to be queen?

AMBER: Pretty badly.

JASMINE: It would be a nice end to our senior year.

AMBER: The rainbow sparkles on our ice cream.

JASMINE: The cherry on top of our cupcake.

MAYBELLE: [Smiling] Enough with the cutesy euphemisms, you two! Good luck to you both. I’ll see you at my post-prom.

JASMINE: See you!

[The couple and MAYBELLE exit in opposite directions. Enter RORY and TOPHER stage left with sneaky expressions on their faces. RORY carries a small bottle of liquid laxatives. They make a beeline for the drinks at the furthest end of the table, standing with their backs to the audience.]

RORY: Which one of these should I pour it in?

TOPHER: Maybelle likes Coca-Cola, so maybe in the ones on the other side?

RORY: But what if she decides to switch it up tonight and go for Sprite?

TOPHER: Well, then … put one in the Sprite, too. And the Mountain Dew, and the ginger ale.

RORY: I’ll just pour a little bit in each cup. Half a dose. One little half dose can’t do too much damage.

[She begins to make her way across the drinks, stopping for a few seconds in front of each row.]

TOPHER: Good idea. This’ll potentially get rid of Amber and Jasmine as competition, too. Just remember not to drink anything, and we’ll be good.

RORY: There. It’s done. Now we watch and wait.

TOPHER: While we wait, wanna go dance? The music is pretty good.

RORY: Um, hell yes. Let’s go celebrate our victory.

[TOPHER takes RORY’s arm and they exit stage right. The lights dim down as the music changes into a fast-paced EDM tune. Kids rush onstage, grinding against one another and generally shuffling about. After thirty seconds or so, the song melds into a slow waltz. The spotlight shines between MAYBELLE attempting to dance in a circle with her two escorts downstage right, AMBER and JASMINE swaying back and forth in one another’s arms downstage center, and BABETTE passionately making out with a shirtless WADE downstage left. After a few seconds, WADE and BABETTE break apart, gasping for air. Spotlight opens on the two of them.]

BABETTE: [Wiping brow, smiling wildly] Whew!

WADE: [Flushed] How long do you think we did it for? Five minutes? Ten? Thirty?

BABETTE: At least thirty.

WADE: At least.

BABETTE: You’re terrific. Seriously, you blew my mind over and over. 

[She fans herself.]

BABETTE: I’m thirsty. Wanna grab a drink with me?

[WADE offers her his arm in response. The spotlight follows them as they make their way through the crowd and come back with drinks in their hands.]

BABETTE: Here’s to having a great time at prom, and getting to know each other better … later!

WADE: To us!

BABETTE: To us!

[They raise their cups in a toast and chug down their drinks, making satisfied, suggestive “ahh” noises when finished. Then they put their glasses down at the edge of the stage and continue to make out. The spotlight shifts to MAYBELLE and the escorts, joined by FRANKLIN, DICKINSON, and TERRELL. All six of them look ready to head to post-prom.]

MAYBELLE: [Groaning] How much longer is this song gonna take? I just want to know who’s queen and leave.

DICKINSON: Aren’t you running for prom queen?

MAYBELLE: Yep. A last minute decision for sure, but I think I have a chance of winning.

DICKINSON: Duh. Your parents are the only ones who don’t care if we raid their wine cellar.

MAYBELLE: Bread and circuses, my friend. Bread and circuses.

TERRELL: I’m exhausted. Who wants something to eat?

MAYBELLE: I’ll take something to drink.

FRANKLIN: Me too.

DICKINSON: Me three.

TERRELL: Okay, drinks it is. I’ll be right back.

[He ducks into the crowd, heading back to the drink table. MAYBELLE sighs, rolls her eyes, and goads her friends back into the circle, which starts swaying back and forth again. The spotlight fades on them and shines on JASMINE and AMBER, who have stopped dancing. They stand near the edge of the stage with drinks in their hands.]

JASMINE: They’re announcing soon.

AMBER: Oh God. Oh God oh God oh God oh God oh God.

[She grips on to her empty cup so tightly that it crumples in her hands. JASMINE rubs her arm supportively.]

JASMINE: Shh. It’s okay. No matter whom they pick, we’ll still have this night to remember.

AMBER: Will I even want to remember this night if I don’t leave it as prom queen?

[She takes JASMINE’s drink and nervously sips it, then draws back and gives the cup a suspicious sniff.]

AMBER: Is this spiked? It tastes a little funny.

JASMINE: You’re just anxious. It’s fine.

[She points to center stage, and the spotlight shines on SAM, the class president, impeccable in a traditional black tuxedo top and black tulle skirt that brushes the floor. They hold a bejeweled microphone in their hand. Lights come on the entire stage, showing almost every kid holding a tainted drink.]

SAM: What a night I’ve had the pleasure of participating in! As Class President, I’m honored to announce this year’s prom king and queen.

[The crowd bursts into applause. The two ESCORTS, having left MAYBELLE’s circle a little while ago, take their places on either side of SAM. ESCORT #1 holds two crowns, and ESCORT #2 holds an envelope in his hand.]

SAM: Ladies, gentlemen, and variations thereof, the best part of the night.

[A drumroll plays. The lights stay on, but a spotlight shines on MAYBELLE’s group of friends. TERRELL arrives bearing drinks, handing them off one by one to MAYBELLE, FRANKLIN, and DICKINSON, respectively. The spotlight fades after he is finished. ESCORT #1 hands the envelope off to SAM, who opens it and reads the first name inside.]

SAM: I hereby pronounce as prom king … Jasmine!

[The crowd cheers again. The spotlight focuses on JASMINE and AMBER, hugging and squealing and jumping up and down.]

AMBER: Oh my God! Babe! You won!

JASMINE: Holy shit.

[Suddenly, like a switch has been flipped, JASMINE grunts, lets go of AMBER, and doubles over. AMBER slowly goes from overjoyed to confused to panicked.]

AMBER: Babe?

JASMINE: [Strained] Holy … shit.

AMBER: Jasmine? What’s wrong?

JASMINE: My stomach hurts. Real bad.

AMBER: What —

JASMINE: I … I gotta go.

[Hunched over, she rushes off stage right clutching her belly. SAM watches her run with an inscrutable look on their face. Spotlights on both of them.]

AMBER: [Yelling after him] But you just got crowned prom king! You made history! You can’t just leave!

SAM: All right, never mind. Since JASMINE just ran off, the rules state that a new king has to be crowned. And the only other person who seems to be running — no pun intended — is Topher!

[Spotlight on TOPHER and RORY. This time, there are murmurs mixed in with cheers from the crowd.]

TOPHER: YESSSS!

AMBER: [Wailing] NOOOOOOOOOO!

RORY: [Immediately following her wail] We did it!

[TOPHER high-fives RORY before walking over to SAM. He smiles broadly as ESCORT #2 places the crown on his head.]

SAM: Congratulations, Topher! Now, for prom queen. This year’s queen is …

RORY: [Quietly] Rory. Rory. Please say it’s Rory.

[Before SAM can say a name, WADE gies a cry of anguish, followed by MAYBELLE, BABETTE, DICKINSON, FRANKLIN, TERRELL, and AMBER. All hell breaks loose as the laxatives kick into full effect. Kids start groaning, holding their stomachs and running offstage as fast as they can, tripping on others’ long gowns as they go. Multiple people crash into the table, knocking all the food and drinks to the ground. Someone screams. In the midst of it all, SAM and the ESCORTS look stunned, while RORY and TOPHER stare in wonder at the scene they’ve caused. FRANKLIN runs across the front of the stage.]

FRANKLIN: [Screaming at the top of his lungs] I’m going to shit my pants! I’m going to shit my pants!

BABETTE: Somebody hellllllllllppppppp!

TERRELL: Ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh!

[Speed-walking, he crashes into BABETTE. The two of them fall over, faces falling as they can no longer hold in their bowel movements. BABETTE moans loudly — for once, in a non-sexual way.]

MAYBELLE: Sweet baby Jesus, I think I just crapped myself. This is not good. I’m wearing white.

[FRANKLIN, still running, flails both arms about like a jellyfish thrashing in the sand.]

FRANKLIN: Caca! Caca caca caca cacacacacacacacacaca!

[SAM clears their throat and tries to regain some order.]

SAM: As for this year’s prom queen …

WADE: SATAN HAS INVADED MY DIGESTIVE SYSTEM!

[RORY marches over, grabs the remaining crown from ESCORT #2’s hands, and lowers it onto her own head, Napoleon-style.]

RORY: I hereby proclaim Rory as prom queen!

[She curtsies at the chaotic crowd.]

RORY: [Shouting] Thank you! Thank you very much!

[AMBER comes waddling up to RORY.

AMBER: You! Rory! You did this, didn’t you? Did you poison all of our drinks with … laxatives?

[RORY, caught off guard, exchanges an “oopsies” glance with TOPHER and shrugs.]

RORY: No … maybe … yes. Confucius say man who drop watch in toilet gonna have a shitty time.

[Fury distorts AMBER’s features.]

AMBER: That’s not what he said! And that crown belongs to me!

[She jumps on RORY, tackling her to the ground. The two girls wrestle, breaking the crown in their midst. Eventually, RORY sits up, holding a piece in each hand, screaming obscenities. AMBER pushes her back down, and the fight continues. Meanwhile, jackets are tossed around, gowns continue to be ripped and tripped over, and people cry and groan.]

AMBER: [Half-shouting, half-crying] So tell me, bitch, was all of this worth it? Did you really have to go and screw up everybody’s night just for some crappy little piece of metal?

[She rips the two pieces of the crown from RORY’s hands and hurls them at the girl, unaware of any irony that her speech may contain.]

AMBER: Prom isn’t about winning or losing, or trying to be better than anybody else! It’s a celebration for your clasa and a chance for everybody to get together and have fun one last time! And! You! Ruined! It! All!

[She gets up, dusts herself off, and towers over RORY, glowering.]

AMBER: Answer me! Was it worth it?

[The chaos and music suddenly stop. Everyone freezes in place. The entire stage falls silent — not a single breath can be heard. RORY gathers the pieces of the crown and holds them to her chest, looking slowly at AMBER, then at the audience.]

RORY: [Whispering] Absolutely.

[The curtain falls on the scene.]

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