Blankitude

Singapore

난 괜찮아♔ Fingertips tracing patterns across the canvas of the sky♕ 忙着追逐天空中的流星♙

Message to Readers

SYPNOSIS

“After all, only in the darkness, can you see the stars.”

Sara Lee Jia Xin is an ideal student, seemingly perfect to all on the outside. Yet, with the increasing expectations placed on her by society, she develops an alter ego - her negative and imperfect side. Hating this side of herself, she often covers it up with a mask, until she hurts herself doing so. In this play, Sara explores her own darkness, and learns to forgive it.

The audience is provided an alternating perspective between Sara and her alter ego throughout the story, allowing them to “change lenses” and view this play, about two girls, so different, yet so similar.

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

Main characters
SARA
JIA XIN
NARRATOR
FRIEND A
FRIEND B

Side Characters
TEACHER
DANCE TEACHER
MAN AT THE COUNTER

Groups
CLASSMATES
CCA MATES
PEOPLE ON THE MRT

Of Two Girls (Play)

May 22, 2018

FREE WRITING

2
Play

1.
We are in a classroom. There are 2 rows of tables arranged diagonally across the stage.

The spotlight shines on SARA who seats in the row closest to the audience, in the stage centre, with her hand raised up proudly in the air. She is dressed impeccably, the pleats of her navy blue skirt evidently ironed down, unruffled and free from wrinkles; her white blouse crisp and adorned with a glossy badge with the “PREFECT” imprinted on it; her tie drawn securely to her collar. On the bridge of her nose, a beautiful white mask with speckled gold is delicately balanced.

NARRATOR. (sitting behind Sara, hidden in the darkness; the audience do not know she is speaking) She was insanely perfect, with her flawless beauty and never-ending grace. Her charming smiles with perfect pearl white teeth and moon-shaped eyes, overflowing with charisma. Her straight 4.0 gpa grades that was destined to land her in a prestigious university. Since young, Sara had demonstrated astonishing IQ and EQ surpassing many others of her age. Nobody doubted that she would have a bright and promising future. Like a celestial supernova in the night sky, she was something everyone admired and desired to be. A prodigy was what she was and what she was destined to become.

SARA. Teacher, the answer is -

TEACHER. (interrupting) Yes, Sara, I know you’ll be able to solve it. How about you give some of your other classmates a chance?

SARA  flashes a genuinely sweet smile and nods, picking up her black pen and her calculator. The sound of her fingers punching the calculator fills the room, as the TEACHER  continues to teach through hand gestures. The other students raise their hands one by one randomly, showing the passing of time.

The school recess bell plays loudly, interrupting the noise. The other students stand up and start to move, but SARA stays in her seat. Students start moving towards her table, positioning themselves casually around her.

NARRATOR. (still hidden in the darkness) Charismatic as she is, Sara is extremely popular amongst her classmates.

FRIEND A. Hey Sara, do you want to catch a bite with us at Mcdonalds after school? We’re planning to head to the mall afterwards.

SARA shakes her head, declining the offer politely.

FRIEND B. Oh please?

SARA. I’m so sorry, I have something on.

SARA stands and leaves the stage.

FRIEND A. (quietly) I wonder why she never goes out with us.

The stage lights slowly dim.

FRIEND B. (even quieter) Oh, it’s probably because she’s such a bore.

2.
We are in an MRT. Everyone is sitting in a row, facing the audience. They take different postures looking stressed.The public announcements play noisily in the background.  JIA XIN seats, slumped, near the right, between a sleeping woman and a businessman busy typing on his computer. She wears a plain black mask.

JIA XIN. (expressionless) No one really empathizes with the way I feel. The stuffy feeling I go through every single day, threatening to suffocate me. Just like now - in this moving vehicle, though possibly worse - the people surrounding me are judging me constantly for the way I do things. Every action I make, every emotion I experience needs to be aligned with what society has preconceived for me. I am alone, me against the world, too exhausted to face it, too exhausted to face myself.

The stage light dims and the scene changes. People exit the stage. We are now in a Starbucks. Sara approaches the man at the counter at the downstage right. The spotlight shines on them

JIA XIN. A medium-sized caramel ice-blended please.

MAN AT THE COUNTER. All right, that’s seven-twenty and also, may I have your name to be printed on the receipt?

JIA XIN. Jia Xin.

JIA XIN heads over to the stage centre where the spotlight is now shining on. She seats down on the chair. A smartly dressed young man rushes into the scene, buys a cup of espresso, and slides into the second chair, taking his laptop out of his briefcase and proceeding to type frantically.

JIA XIN. (watching the man) I wonder, is this how my life will eventually become?

The stage lights dim.

3.
We are in a dance studio. Students are scattered around the stage, taking various positions of dancing. SARA is wearing a t-shirt that says “DANCE LEADER” printed on on it in a striking neon green typeface. The song “Titanium“ starts playing. The dance starts and ends. It was a good performance. SARA beams. Silence ensues.

DANCE TEACHER. That isn’t enough. How do you expect to get through the competition with this kind of performance? I’m disappointed, especially in you, Sara; I expected better. Now, let’s try again.

It is the end of CCA. The dancers and teacher exit the stage. SARA stays behind. The song starts playing again, but much quieter. SARA dances, giving it her all.

“You shoot me down”

SARA drops to her knees on the ground as part of the choreography, but she doesn’t get up. She claws at her hair, fingernails digging into her scalp, her face contorting in pain.

“But I won’t fall”

SARA sobs. The music stops and the lights dim. She collapses onto the ground.

4.
We are back in the classroom. The lights are dim, but it is noisy, with the incessant chattering of students. SARA’s seat is empty. The background quietens down. The spotlight focuses on SARA’s friends, who are having a conversation.

FRIEND A. She didn’t come to school today. She never skips school.

FRIEND B. I heard from her CCA mates that they found her unconscious in their studio this morning. They said she looked pale like a ghost.

FRIEND A. But that- that is so unlike her! It is impossible for her to get sick!

FRIEND B. Who knows, maybe she is different from the Sara we know. After all, she is human, just like us. She can get tired, she can get hurt. It is something people forget often, because she seems just too perfect. Listen, that day she rejected our offer to eat with us at Mcdonalds, they say someone saw her taking the MRT to Starbucks. After that, they saw her enter the pharmacy to buy painkillers. Sara, this could be a side of her that we have never seen, or have ignored and denied. The side of her who is about as vulnerable as any of us, hidden away behind a mask, a play of emotions. The side of her that wants to cry, even when she smiles.

The lights go dark.

NARRATOR. (still hidden from the audience, sitting in the same seat as before)
Paper shields that hide the pain
Balanced delicately on the bridge of your nose
Glassy eyes peering out
Not giving anything away

The mask is a shroud of smoke around your heart
They can’t see who you are
Behind the intricate persona
They think they know you
But really they don’t
For society's a masquerade

The mask is a maze of mirages
You are lost in a delusion
Impossible to escape from
You try to rip off the mask
Only to find your skin tearing away along with it

5.
We are in SARA’s dream. The scene is set in Starbucks, with gentle music playing in the background. SARA buys a drink and seats down across JIA XIN. They look at each other.

SARA. Who are you?

JIA XIN. I am you. I am all of your imperfections, your negativity. You pretend to be happy when I am sad. You pretend to be strong when I am hurt. I know you don’t want me, but we are one. There is no need for you to be perfect, to be ashamed of your weaknesses. Only when you learn to accept me, you will finally be whole. It would be us, together, against the world. After all, only in the darkness, can you see the stars.

SARA. Then I accept you.

SARA and JIA XIN stand up together and remove their masks, throwing it aside. There is a sound of two masks breaking. As they embrace each other, the chorus of “Titanium” starts playing softly. The two start to dance. SARA attempts the dance move again. This time, when she falls, JIA XIN grabs her hand and pulls her up. The stage goes dark.
When the lights turn on, SARA is back in the dance studio, surrounded by her CCA mates.

CCA MATE. Sara Lee Jia Xin! Are you okay?

SARA. Yes, I’m okay. I’m fine now.

Lights down.

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  • May 22, 2018 - 5:29am (Now Viewing)

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