Artistic Discoveries in European Schoolyards

Plays Database

The Mystery of Jack and the Clones of Chaos

A time-traveller from the future journeys back to 2010 to investigate the strange case of Jack, a thirteen year old boy who believes his life is being taken over by alien clones of himself. The clones look and sound just like him, but behave in ways he never would. They are messy, dirty, rude, destructive, obsessed with girls, clothes and music, sometimes childish, sometimes violent and frightening and get him into all sorts of trouble with his mother, his friends and teachers. When they invade his bedroom, Jack teams up with a famous female pop singer in a final battle to regain control of his life. The time-traveller is revealed as Jack, now grown up, revisiting his own adolescence and coming face-to-face with his younger self. A comedy-drama play about the confusions and battles of growing up, it runs for 45 minutes and is performed by one adult male actor and one teenage male actor with multi-role playing.

Before the Bell

The Secondary school-student Janus, lives with his mum in an apartment block in a suburb somewhere. He is not the coolest guy in the class, but nor is he one of the nerds. Actually, he is quite average. But he has a crush on someone. He has a crush on Dina. A distance crush. Dina started in his class last fall (autumn), and she has the most beautiful neck he has ever seen. Today it’s Dinas birthday, and Janus has bought her a gift. He has planned in detail how he’s going to surprise her with it, behind the gym after school. All this he’s thinking about, as he is standing by the window eating his breakfast this particular morning. Then he looks over to the neighbour block, and in the windows to Leos flat. That bastard Leo. The bully in his class, always picking on someone. On people like Janus. He can see that Leo is smiling. Why is he in such a good mood? Has he got a new dog or something? He can see him stretching out his arm to someone. And then, in the window he can see Dina. In Leos room…
Nothing turns out the way Janus planned this day.
Everything changes, everybody can change. Noone is just the way they are, they are also the one they can be.

Paperclip Belt

A 16-year-old girl Kati is dead but her spirit is now reminiscing about the times preceding her death.
She used to wake up every morning loathing her alarm clock and going to school where she was not the most popular girl in class. Kati smoked and drank alcohol quite often. She had a couple of best friends. She found one boy, Juhan, strangely attractive. All that Kati had wanted was to be attractive and different. She had never dreamed of fitting into the normal everyday world.
Kati’s younger sister is having a birthday party, Kati invites Juhan to her place to help her keep an eye on the youngsters, not wanting to do this on her own. That night Kati and Juhan make love for the first time.

Soon summer begins. Kati and Juhan have a huge fight and do not speak to each other for a month. Kati decides to go to a party in another city. She eats a strange pill given to her by a boy she does not really know. A little while later, Kati gets raped by the same boy. She stumbles out of the house in total confusion only to see Juhan together with another girl. She runs into the nearby forest and tries to slash her wrists.
Juhan arrives in time to save Kati and drives with her to his summer holiday house. They have a long talk and suddenly find themself enjoying some of the nicest days of the summer.

As autumn approaches, Kati and Juhan start getting ready for school. Markus, the boy who raped Kati, contacts her out of the blue. He announces that he’s HIV positive and suggests that Kati should get tested. A while later, Kati receives the horrible news as well.
Kati starts to push Juhan away, since she is too afraid to talk about her condition. On a rainy autumn day, Kati finally confesses.
A while later, she climbs to the top of a tall parking house, thinking about her bygone freedom. She slips and not having enough strength to hang on to the railing, falls down.

Her sister is standing right there and sees Kati’s body smashing onto the cold ground.

The Webshop

Two 14 years old girl Martina and Mercella meet by chance in an empty playground at night. It becomes clear from their discussion that both are lonely, their schoolmates don’t accept them moreover they are excluded from the company of the schoolmates.

Marcella is a very smart girl, perhaps this could be the problem with her. She competes in school competitions and she wins. She wants to be a mathematician, a space researcher, an astronomer, a brain surgeon etc., this changes every week, however she is talented indeed. Adults are fascinated because of her knowledge and maturity and it seems every way and possibility is open to her.

Her classmates look at her suspiciously, she looks down on them and thinks they are stupid. She communicates only with adults and thinks of herself as an adult in every respect.
She doesn’t have siblings, her mother, a family doctor secretary, has no partner.

Martina is different. She is inhibited though she would be naturally pretty but she tries to deface herself in every possible way, she often changes styles – dark, emo, gothic – in her clothing and attitude.

She is the middle child from three siblings, her parents are workers, common people with little money and even less free time. Her sister has been very sick for years and her parents had to concentrate their energies on this. She hangs out a lot with different people here and there.

Marcella and Martina are very different but they do have one thing in common: boys are not interested in them. Martina is overtly unworried by this. Marcella is secretly very annoyed about this. Both of them regard school as an unnecessary shit.
They discover soon how they can attract attention and win the recognition of their mates: by starting business with medicine, at first with trendy prescribed slimming drugs then with sedatives, stimulants, antidepressants, hallucinogenics.

At first they get the prescriptions easily with the help of stolen prescription pads. They have no idea of the trouble they are getting themselves into. The girls become very popular amongst their mates and they are considered very cool. Their behaviour has changed, they are becoming confident. Marcella discovers the financial part of the business too. She starts to enjoy money and, by using forged signatures, she makes investments.

Their activity attracts the attention of the drug dealers of the neighbourhood and the police as well but for the present non of them can find the girls.

Their business booms so much so that the girls decide to establish a webshop in order to circulate the goods. Dorina, Martina’s sick sister who is disabled and lives her life in front of the computer is involved in the informatics part of the development.

Among their costumers are strangers and adults as well. The clientele starts to become more and more bizarre in the ballet school (Martina takes ballet lessons), in the schoolyard, in the playground.

The two girls are already business-women who realise that they are addicted to their own goods financially but not just financially. For instance Martina makes much more money than her father who is a bus driver.

In the meantime they have problems with purchasing drugs, because the pharmacists have become suspicious. The prescriptions are obtained in a very refined way: they appear in emergency medical centres just before closing time if possible, between two crying infants. They never go to the same doctor, they lose their prescriptions, steal health insurance cards, make business with the prescriptions of their family members and eventually start forging.
Martina doesn’t lie to herself that she hasn’t become addicted to her own drugs, but the smart Martina is the emperor of life until the first sickness which forces to her to end up in hospital…

Cyber Cyrano

Based on a true story, with devastating consequences. An isolated schoolgirl (Zsuzsi) is secretly in love with one of her classmates (Máté), who treats her quite badly. When a new girl (Heni) joins the class, Máté soon falls for her, making Zsuzsi’s case even more hopeless. In response, Zsuzsi creates some characters on a social networking site, which her classmates believe to be real. First she creates a boy, “Viktor”, the son of a diplomat, who lives abroad, spending his time sailing and horse-riding. She introduces Heni to Viktor (virtually, of course) and Heni falls in love with this glamorous boy who always tells Heni what Heni wants to hear.

Instead of Máté losing interest in Heni (as Zsuzsi had intended), he becomes very jealous of Viktor. So Zsuzsi creates another character, this time an exotic girl – Viktor’s “sister”, Moira. Máté immediately shifts his attentions to Moira. From that moment on, Zsuzsi is in control of both Máté and Heni’s love relationships, a puppeteer pulling the strings, influencing their feelings.

Months pass, and it is no longer possible to avoid a real meeting between the lovers. Operating behind her two characters, Zsuzsi creates the illusion of a grand ball – Viktor’s 18th birthday party – for which Heni and Máté will have to learn to waltz and wear fine clothes. The evening of the party finally arrives. The three – Zsuzsi, Heni and Máté – wait outside for the limousine which will take them to the castle. Of course, the limousine never comes.

Trapped now in a fiction of her own creation, Zsuzsi tries to finish it by “killing off” Viktor in a tragic horse-riding accident. Máté begins to suspect something, and confronts Zsuzsi. The realization that it was Zsuzsi all along devastates Heni, who cannot come to terms with the fact that the boy she was so in love with never existed. She has a nervous breakdown and tries to commit suicide. Zsuzsi is expelled and starts in a new school where she observes her new classmates. The play finishes with Zsuzsi thinking about which new characters she might now create…

Somebody’s move, Nobody’s move

Ray is coming back to school. The teacher said so.
Four children in the schoolyard- Willy, Menk, Iris and Hanna- are awaiting his arrival, nervous and worked up. He’ll be in a wheelchair. Who is to blame?
In a reconstruction the four children go back in time. They take turns playing the absent Ray. Ray is stubborn, he looks for caterpillars in the bushes, stands up for fall guys and dares to oppose Menk (the king of the schoolyard). Even though he doesn’t belong to any group, everybody respects him. Iris is Menk’s right hand, she is stirring up trouble and waiting for something sensational to happen. Her friend Hanna doesn’t respond to Willy’s clumsy overtures, she is more occupied with the ever elusive Ray.
In a series of short scenes with dialogues, stories, songs and seemingly innocent schoolyard games like : skipping and “Ferryman, can you take us across?” the relationships slowly become clear, who stands up for others, who bullies, who has butterflies in their stomachs and who is a bystander?
The boys fight for their rank in the hierarchy, they score points off each other or look for protection. The girls join in with the boys, giggling and whispering. They are sly and eventually come up with the most dangerous plans. The children’s social backgrounds also play a role. The father of one of them is a doctor, another child has an alcoholic mother and one has a father at sea.
Meanwhile some events from post war history make an appearance. Willy’s uncle betrayed Jews during the war and is despised by the villagers. The dikes in Zeeland burst and everybody has to hand in toys for the victims. The sixties present themselves with their music and the “American kiss”. Jet planes fly across the schoolyard to end the Moluccan train hijack. Against the background of these events, tension rises among the children in the schoolyard. Betrayal between friends, the struggle for power, badgering, being ignored, unrequited love and pent up frustrations finally have a fatal outcome.
On Ray’s initiative the children plaster the van that belongs to Willy’s collaborator uncle. Consequently the teacher puts pressure on the class by cancelling the school trip as long as the perpetrators refuse to give themselves up. Ray confesses and betrays his fellow perpetrators. They are furious and come up with a punishment: Ray must climb the roof along the rain pipe. When that turns out a little too easy, somebody suggests a more severe punishment: he must jump across the gap between the two school buildings. “Across the gap” the children chant, “Ray must pay”. Little can go wrong, as Willy is supposed to hold the rope that secures Ray. And Willy is Ray’s friend. But Willy is also in love….
In the heat of the game, during the compelling developments in the schoolyard hours fly. Or maybe years. And sometimes time seems to stand still.

In this schoolyard there is no time
In this schoolyard there is all the time in the world
Outside the gate the time moves forward, tick-tock
Hour after hour
Day after day
Month after month
But here
Time plays with us

Jump out of Skin

Making decisions is always hard, even if you feel so sorrowful that you can´t tell your best friends. In the case of Kika and Ika, the main girl´s question is: How come some problems get sorted out on their own and the others don’t get sorted neither by 84 kilos of WAITANDSEE, nor by TIMEHEALSEVERYTHING or EVERYTHINGWILLBETHEWAYITSHOULDBE?
The girl is ALMOSTFOURTEEN , pregnant and she doesn’t know, what to do. She can´t have a baby but she also can´t make a decision to terminate her pregnancy. Because she doesn’t want to kill her foetus without knowing what WILLBEAFTER. Even if she is pretending to do a survey, no one can answer her question. So she takes the courage to feel the touch of death on her own skin and find out, what kind of life is THERE. In the world of ALMOSTFOURTEENS you don’t ask the adults, you try to solve everything on your own. While hanging out of school the girl meets a boy, who is alive only because his mum ran away from the abortion table in her POLKADOTPAJAMAS. The girl doesn’t have a mother and even though the boy has one, he hates her. As he says: Mother is like a tattoo you’re stuck with till the end of your life, that’s hard core. The boy agrees to help the girl to die just a little bit. The practical boy´s question is – how to do it? Finally they find a way, but it is really hard to try to kill your friend. Even harder if you’ve just fallen in love with her. The time is rushing – the girl had just 84DAYS to decide and now it’s the last one. In the same time Kika and Ika solve the equally important question – what to wear if you know you are going to the other world?
And one more thing: If you HAVEAPROBLEM, you shouldn´t give the PROBLEM a name. LEM-PROB. Is that a name?

Once it hit me

The play takes place amongst the fourteen year old classmates in year 9,at a secondary school. The characters meet up at school, after school on the estate, or at home. The play opens with a scene of a school poetry recital, a long standing tradition at Slovakian schools. Students recite their texts, and their individual attitudes expose the nature of the characters, who try to survive puberty. Hippie environmentalist Sasha, who wants to rescue the world, is in love with Eman, a hip-hop clown. Dirt acts as though he’s a sexually experienced adult, he is in love with Sasha. The gloomy poet Eman loves Bela. Bela, a model, loves herself. All of these characters are talking about their everyday life, problems with love, parents and growing up. On Emans 15th birthday they are all planning to explore the adult world- the pub world. When they are kicked out of a bar because they are not yet 18, they decide to go to the pub at the train station. There, they make a video which shows how drunk they are and then run away without paying. The girls split up from the guys and stay the night at a disco, where older guys are buying them drinks. Sasha hates the attention they pay to Bela and runs away leaving Bela alone. The school teacher discovers the video from the previous night on youtube and that Sasha and Dirt are not at school. They are hanging out at Dirt’s apartment. The friendships between guys are marked by jealousy, love and lies.
“The word has tempted me” was first staged as a site-specific production in a regular secondary school classroom. The audience, pupils, get involved in the story by literally following the actors around the school, stopping at different places according to the plot (classroom, cloakroom, hallway). They have a unique chance to peek into spaces they would normally not be allowed (e.g.: boiler room, the toilets belonging to the opposite sex…) but above all, they get to see how their daily school environment can change into a theatre site and how the space opens up to new meanings.
Actors do not have any specific props and have to prepare different stage design made specifically for each school.

Bluer than usual

Finn likes Jules and Jules likes Finn. And life becomes complicated. Expectations, desires and anxieties get all mixed up – for the very first time, and turn their worlds upside down. Together they are searching for an island where their love can grow, but hostilities, envy and the inquisitiveness of others, get in their way. Finn relys on betrayal to save the relationship from sinking. His father risks a new start in life and is somewhat surprised to accidentally meet his early love. The kiosk owner packs up her life in endless, strange stories and has to face the fact, that certain feelings never die, no matter how old one is.
A play about the quest to find one’s own pace as a young human being in the storm of outside influences, about sex, love and the questions that one doesn’t dare to ask.

Thinking Time

Nina’s and Hilde’s flat: Nina (15) has a date, she is standing in her room considering what to wear. A phone rings, her mother Hilde answers. She is told that Ruth, Nina´s great-grandmother is about to die. Nina is eager to keep her appointment, but Hilde insists; they should both go to Ruth´s deathbed.

In the car: Nina considers running away when the car stops at a red traffic light. She doesn´t, however.

Ruth´s flat: Ruth dozes and dreams; during the evening she experiences her first meetings with the man she later married. The meetings take place within a few days of each other in Norway 1941: Norwegian Ruth meets the German soldier Werner. They are infatuated – they fall in love – during their third meeting, Werner proposes, Ruth accepts. With her answer, her life changes totally and for ever. She moves to Germany.
Hilde doesn´t get in contact with dying Ruth. Nina doesn´t reach the boy she´s supposed to contact by mobile phone.
Hilde is worried about the seriousness of Nina´s appointment; who is she seeing?
Nina recalls the three meetings she had with the itinerant Romanian boy Moreno. The meetings have taken place outside the building where Nina is having piano lessons.
She lies to Hilde, she says: his name is Martin, he is German and that he plays the violin.
Ruth dies. Hilde calls a doctor.
Although the time for the appointment has passed, Nina wants to go to the meeting point to see if Moreno is still there. Hilde lets Nina go.

The bus: Nina travels through town. At the building with the piano lessons, Nina´s piano-teacher enters the bus. She tells her that she experienced a robbery attempt recently. Just as Nina is about to leave the bus, her teacher recognizes Moreno at the bus-stop and tells her; he is the robber. She warns Nina not to leave the bus. Nina has to choose – should she belive in her teacher or in Moreno?

Salto Mortale (Kombat) : One Plot - Two Plays

The story takes place in a travelling fun fair which is owned by two families. The first family consists of two parents and two kids – Valter, aged 14 and Anna, aged 12. The second family consists of a mother and her son Oskar, aged 14. The kids go to one particular school during the winter period and travel around with the fun fair for the rest of the year. When they’re travelling, they have to change schools almost once a week and they also have to work after school, selling tickets and helping out around the fun fair.

Valter has reached the stage where he feels like rebelling against his parents. He is not happy with the idea of becoming the owner of the fun fair when he grows up, and there is a lot of tension between himself, his sister and his parents. Valter and Oskar are best friends, but their relationship is ruled by Valter’s dominance. Oskar wants to be like Valter, because there are social differences between the two families. While Valter’s family can afford the most expensive carousels, Oskar’s mom owns only a few small ones.

Valter is jealous of his sister Anna, who is just becoming a teenager and they are both fighting for the attention of their parents. Anna is a good student and a “perfect daughter” Valter, on the other hand is not doing very well at school and is also causing some trouble, so the parents openly prefer Anna to Valter. Oskar is secretly in love with Anna but is not showing it because of Valter. Instead, he joins in with Valter to tease and bully her.

The funfair needs some seasonal help and so a 21 year old guy is hired (called either Tristan or Bear) for the summer. He has a great influence on all three kids: for Anna, he is her first big crush, for Oskar, he is the father figure he never had, and for Valter, he represents the free soul outside the “prison of the funfair”. When Anna becomes the favourite of Tristan/Bear and a little sparkle begins between Oskar and Anna, Valter feels more restricted than ever. His actions have always been a bit over the edge but this time they lead to much more serious consequences…

pirat07&QueenOfLove - A Comic Style Story

A comics-style story about one fateful meeting that had to take place twice.

Karel, or Kájínek as his mother calls him, likes to draw maps. However, they are the sort of maps you won’t find in an atlas. They are charts that can only be used for navigating in one place, the virtual world of the internet. Karel lives alone with his mother. Since his mother isn’t at home very often, she doesn’t even notice that Karel is already thirteen. She treats him like a child, or else she isn’t there. And to cap it all, Karel’s girlfriend starts going out with his arch enemy….All of which makes it better to stay on the internet, in a virtual identity.

T. or Teresa, on the other hand, lives alone with her father. That is not good, since he is a dinosaur who has no idea what unhappiness T. suffers in the name of love. Her unrequited love for an ideal man named Zeca can only be cured by another, much stronger passion. One that she can experience with someone who is a real pirate. And so pirat07 and QueenOfLove meet somewhere in the virtual world, although he is Czech and she is Portuguese.

They spend a nice time in their virtual indentities. Conquering new worlds, dance in the air, even virtual wedding, so they could be man and wife. And they had Cote d`Azur, the place which they made new home. The colors are different in this fantasy world compared to the reality with which one has to live every day. In time their existence became virtual and their bodies walked in reality without life.

Luckily, one day a chance comes up to go to the real Cote d`Azur. It was in the holiday catalogue and Karel`s mother agreed to go. Also Teresa convinced her father, so the dream journey came true. And it was really a journey for change, although nobody may have noticed. But after thousands of kilometers there is something new between children and parents.

The meeting in France was… not successful. Without their virtual identities, there was no big love. It`s a pity, that you have to travel thousand of kilometers just to find out. But the parents apparently found themselves liking each other. And Karel`s dream of steering a catamaran became true. And Teresa learned a big portion of the French language with the beach boys. So, in the end, it wasn`t so unsuccessful. And Karel and Teresa have become good friends since then.

This story of love in a virtual world is inspired by comics, and tries to find a narrative form that brings this literary genre into the theatre. The result is not only comics-style poetics, but art design that rustles with paper drawings.

The Last Day of School

Text written for the PLATFORM 11+ Final production FACE ME Time of Transition

Black Stone

Short play written for the PLATFORM 11+ Final production FACE ME Time of Transition

Jack & Daniel’s Spectacular Comedy Guide to Girls

Short play written for the PLATFORM 11+ Final production FACE ME Time of Transition