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Announcer: There are two families in this story, one black and one white. They both live in New York City and the two seventeen year olds, Romeo and Juliet, go to the same high school.
Scene one (with books in hand, Juliet and her friend Mary enter.)
Juliet: I am so going to join drama club this year. They are doing Romeo and Juliet, and I, of course will get the part of Juliet.
Mary: Yeah, you got the right name. I'll probably get stuck playing that dumb old maid.
Juliet: You always have played the maid. why break the tradition. (bells ring) Gotta go to class, bah bye.
Mary: See ya (glumly)
(head in opposite directions)
Scene two ( Gym class, Romeo and his friend Brad enter)
Romeo: Can you believe it? My mom is making me do drama club this year. She says it will "build character." Sounds pretty geeky to me.
Brad: Hey, they're doing Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you'll be you'll be your namesake and get to kiss a girl. That'll be a first.
Romeo: Stuff it, Johnson. (passes him basketball)
Brad: (shoots and misses) Hey, all I'm saying is if Juliet plays Juliet, I'd be her Romeo for anything!
Romeo: Yeah, she is hot. Maybe there is an upside to all this.
Brad: That's the spirit!
(coach blows whistle)
Scene three (after school, all students and teenagers in seats, teacher behind podium)
Teacher: All right, today are the tryouts for the school play, Romeo and Juliet. Please turn in your applications to me and recite a small poem or verse. (everyone stands in a line, papers in hand, low mumbling)
Brad: Hey Romeo, Juliet and her hot friend Mary are both trying out. This is to good to be true.
Romeo: Don't count your chickens before they're hatched. Who said you'll be Romeo? (they arrive at the front of the line, muffled voices, begin to leave)
Juliet: Hi Romeo! Brad.
Brad and Romeo: Hell-oooo!
Juliet: So, did you try out for Romeo, Romeo?
Brad: We both are.
Juliet: Did I ask you? (pauses) Didn't think so.
Romeo: Are you going to try out for Juliet?
Juliet: Of course, it's my name isn't it?
Mary and Brad: (sarcastically) HA HA
scene four (Juliet's house, her mom, dad, and her at table)
Mom: So, honey, what did you do today?
Juliet: I tried out for drama club and met a new guy...
Dad: Is he white?
Juliet: Dad, no, and that is racist.
Dad: Juliet, you know that blacks are not the same as us. I do not want you mixing with them!
Juliet: Oh, but I will! I don't care what you think! He is nice! (storms off stage)
(Dad starts to follow)
Mom: No. Leave her be. She will come to her senses soon.
scene five (Romeo's home, Ma, Pa, and Romeo doing the laundry)
Pa: So, how was your day?
Ma: Did you try out for Drama club?
Romeo: Yes, and not only do I think I might have a part, I think I got a new girl too.
Ma: I hope she isn't white...
Romeo: She is and I don't care!
Ma: Whites captured your grandparents and took them as slaves. They are all evil!
Romeo: Not all. Ma, you are narrow-minded and cruel! I am going to practice. (storms off with fists clenched)
scene one (late at night, outdoor basketball court, Romeo shooting baskets)
Romeo: Ma is wrong. Juliet is different.
Juliet: (enters) Different from what?
Romeo: She thinks you are as evil as your ancestors who owned my grandparents. I am not allowed to see you any longer.
Juliet: My dad is not allowing me to see you any longer. No need to worry, though. I have a plan. We will meet in secret until we have packed all of our belongings. Then we will run away and live in Pennsylvania. We can get a job soon, because we're seniors.
Romeo: (hesitantly) All right.
Juliet: We will meet again tomorrow, same time, same place!
scene three (hallways, Romeo and Juliet)
Romeo: Will you come to homecoming with me?
Juliet: Of course, but I think we should run that night. If my dad finds out I went with you, he'll put a gun to your head.
Romeo: And my ma will put a knife through your heart.
Juliet: So tomorrow after homecoming, we will leave. But we must go in costume. You must paint your face white for my dad to accept you.
Romeo: If that's what it takes. I will stop and paint it on the way so my ma won't know.
scene four (Juliet's house, getting ready for homecoming)
Dad: You aren't going with that black boy, are you?
Juliet: No, in fact, you can see for yourself when he gets here.
(knock on the door)
Juliet: That must be him. (opens the door, Romeo standing there with a white face and hands)
Romeo: Hello, sir. And these are for you, Juliet (holds out a bouquet of roses)
Dad: Goodbye, Juliet and you, fine young gentleman.
(Juliet and Romeo exit)
scene one (outside)
Romeo: Juliet, go get your suitcase. We must be prepared to flee afterwards.
Juliet: Yes, Romeo. But after I get my suitcase, we must act like normal teenagers. We must not show what we will do. (Juliet exits)
Romeo: Oh lord, I hope I am not caught. I hope I make it. (Juliet reenters with suitcase)
Juliet: Romeo, let's go before we change our minds.
Romeo: All right.
scene two (all students at dance)
Romeo: (scared) Isn't that your dad?
Juliet: Yes, but he won't recognize you. You're painted... Uh Oh
Juliet: Your paint is coming off!
Romeo: Oh NO
(Juliet's dad grabs Romeo and pulls him offstage. A gun shot is heard.)
Juliet: Oh, oh, oh. It is all my fault. I cannot go on. (She grabs a cake knife and stabs herself)
Announcer: The events in this play may or may not have happened in the real play. This is NOT a substitute for Shakespeare.