After three years of intense focus on therapy and personal growth, I'm finally hitting the keys again and will be jumping into NaNoWriMo on November 1st, 2016. Stay tuned for updates!

Tuesday 11 December 2012


This piece was developed in 2008/09 with the Middle Division girls at Branksome Hall.  The play was a collaboration of ideas from workshops with the class and the writing was primarily completed by AJ Laflamme.

Stalled deals with bullying in all its forms.  It shows the troubles that students face at home and at school and in the new world of online media.  Much of the plot was inspired by real life stories of the girls at Branksome Hall.  This play is an all female cast and shows what is under the sugar and spice layer of all little girls.  Quite often, it is the girls that can be crafty and cunning with their bullying.  Using intellect to prey on their victims instead of force; which is often more penetrating and much harder to detect.  This play is meant to teach and inspire; not preach.  The affects of bullying can haunt someone their entire life.  It must be stopped.

AJ has been working on adapting Stalled for TYA companies.  It is still under revision.


Becky enters the washroom being pushed by Maria.
Maria – What do you think you’re doing?  I don’t want to talk with you, I don’t want to hang out with you, and I sure don’t want to be seen eating lunch with you.
Becky – But we’re family now, you can’t keep treating me like I don’t exist.  You didn’t have any problem talking with me this weekend.
Maria – That is because I am forced to hang out with you on the weekends.  Those rules do not apply at school.
Becky – I don’t understand, we had real fun together.  I had a great time.
Maria – Listen, home is home, school is school.  I may be forced to make you a part of my life every other weekend, but it doesn’t work like that here. 
Becky – But we’re sisters.
At this time, Kelly and Sarah enter the washroom unnoticed by Maria.
Maria – We are step-sisters.  Just because my dad decided to re-marry does not make us family and it does not mean I need to hang out with you at school and ruin my reputation.  Yes, we have fun on weekends, but that’s as far as it goes.
Kelly – OMG! Barfy Becky is your new sister!!!! (burst out laughing with Sarah)
Sarah – Eww!  Does that mean you are going start dressing like her?!
Maria – NO! And she is not my sister.  She’s my dad’s new wife’s daughter.  I don’t even live with her.  I had to stay with my dad this weekend and now she thinks we’re best friends.  She’s like, stalking me, or something.
Becky (quietly) – That’s not true.
Kelly – Ewww!!!  She probably made her mom marry your dad just so she could steal your wardrobe.
Maria – I know, she’s totally weird.
Sarah – Let’s go!  She’s creeping me out!  She might get dork cooties on us!
Sarah, Kelly and Maria begin to exit the washroom.  Maria turns back to look at Becky.
Maria (in a whisper) – I’m sorry.
Becky starts to cry and locks herself in a stall.
Wanda who has been in one of the other stalls comes out and knocks on Becky’s stall. Becky can be heard crying silently.
Wanda – Hey Becky, are you okay?
Becky – Leave me alone.
Wanda – Hey Becky, why don’t you come out.  You don’t want to be related to Maria anyway.  She’s a total diva and would only use you.  Come on out.
Becky opens the stall, her eyes are red.
Becky – She is so two-faced.  We had so much fun this weekend, she even said so herself.
Wanda – I know but she was only using you because none of her other friends were around.  I think I know a way that you could teach her a lesson.
Becky – What do you mean?  How?
Wanda – Do you have any silly pictures of you guys hanging out?
Becky – Probably, why?
Wanda – If you bring one in, I can make sure it gets in the next of the High School Times and everyone will see that you are really friends.
Becky – Maria would be so mad at me.
Wanda – What will she do?! Make fun of you in front of all her friends in the washroom and call you a loser?  In case you hadn’t noticed, she does that already.  If that’s what you call a friend, I hate to see your enemies.  Come on!  It will be harmless.  I will just be a small little picture that proves you two know each other.  People probably won’t even notice.
Becky – Okay.
Wanda – So you’ll bring the picture?
Becky – Sure.
Wanda – Awesomeness!!! Remember, the sillier, the better… to be convincing.  Talk to you later!
Wanda leaves the washroom.  Becky takes a look in the mirror, turns to go back in the stall, the bell rings.  Becky sighs and grabs her bag and leaves the washroom.

Wanda is outside of the washroom texting.
Wanda(while typing) – Meet me in the washroom ASAP. 911.
Wanda goes into the washroom to make sure it is empty. Nikki and Penny enter the washroom in a hurry.
Nikki – What is up?  What’s the emerg?
Wanda – OMG!!!  Best gossip in history!!
Penny – What?
Wanda – Total dirt, so, I’m in here at lunch and in comes Maria with Becky –
Nikki – Becky?
Wanda – Becky!! And they are yelling, so no one checked to see if anyone is listening. Total mistake.  So it turns out that Becky is Maria’s new step-sister and they totally hang out on weekends. So then Kelly and Sarah walk in and Maria completely rags on Becky for being a loser and dressing like a dork and they all take off.  So I convince Becky to bring in a picture of her and Maria hanging out for you to run in the next edition of High School Times.
Penny – NO!
Wanda – Yes! And look what she gave to me today! Wanda pulls out a picture of Becky & Maria.
Nikki – OMG!  This is unreal!!!  You are the best!!!  We have to get this up everywhere.  Maria is so yesterday.
Penny – But isn’t Maria going to kill Becky when she finds out.
Wanda – Who cares!  Maria is going to be a nobody just like Becky.  They can hang out in the washroom together.  Really, we’re just giving Becky a friend.
Nikki – This is like the biggest thing to happen in the history of the world.
Wanda – I know! Looks like the Fashionistas will have an opening!
The girls do cliquey thing and exit the washroom giggling.

Down stage left, Becky is scene in a spotlight saying a prayer and then puts a noose around her neck and stands on a chair.  She mimes attaching the noose to something.
Down stage right, Maria runs into a spotlight and mimes knocking on a door. 
Becky closes her eyes.
Maria begins to slowly turn the door handle.
Maria – Becky?
Becky steps off the chair.  Blackout.  Ambulance sirens are heard.

Maria is centre stage at a platform address the audience of an assembly.
Maria – Hello, I would like to thank Ms. Teacher for letting me speak today.  I’m not here to tell you what a bully looks like or how to spot a victim.  I’m here to tell you about my step-sister, because sometimes “I’m sorry” just isn’t enough, you need action to back it up.
They say my sister tried commit suicide… she tried to kill herself.  But that’s not quite true; she had a lot of help.  I helped, my friends helped and so did most of the people in this school.  Her diary was found and I want to share with you her last entry.
(Maria is reading it, but it fades to Becky actually speaking)
Maria - “Dear Maria,
Maria & Becky – “I just want to apologize for the embarrassment that I caused you.
Becky – I never meant for you to lose all your friends like that, but maybe they weren’t very good friends anyway.  I was really angry at the way you were treating me and I guess I wanted to make you hurt too, but not like the way things happened.  I just wanted people to see that maybe someone cool like you could like someone like me.  I’m sorry if I ruined your reputation.  I won’t be around to do it again.  I just hope that you can forgive me.  Maybe in the next life we can hang out.  Maybe I’ll know how not to be so weird.  Anyway, I really did like the weekends that we got to hang out.  It was probably the most fun I’ve ever had.  I hope that your friends will like you again.
(Goes back to Maria talking)
Maria – After that, she tried to hang herself.  I found her.  There was no suicide note, there was no other explanation why.  Bullying is a crime, it’s a crime that often goes unnoticed and unpunished.  Being a bully doesn’t make you a better person, and it certainly doesn’t make you better than the people you hurt.  It doesn’t take much to stop, it only takes someone having enough courage to stand up and say, “NO!  Not with my friends, not at my school, not in my life.” 
Angie walks on stage.
Angie – Bullying has many shapes and forms, it is gossip, it is insults, it is in person, in writing and online.  Not all bullies use their fists, some use words, actions, and just looks.  Sometimes people become bullies without even trying.  Sometimes in trying to defend themselves, they become the same as they bullies.
Emily walks on stage.
Emily – Sometimes bullies don’t know how to be any different.  Sometimes bullies don’t even like being bullies.  Sometimes people need to change the way they think before they can change the way they act.
Sarah – We are asking that everyone here today begins to change the way you think about bullying.
Roxie – Bullying needs to stop.  It hurts.  It hurts everyone.
Penny – We ask that everyone join us in taking a pledge to stop bullying.

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