SCENE THREE

(The classroom is SL, the car is SR, and the museum is CS. CHARLIE, MARIE, and BETH are in the classroom when the lights come up.)

CHARLIE
So, does anyone remember what we're doing today? (Beat) Um…you all handed in your permission slips…

JEN
We're going to the museum, right?

CHARLIE
(brightening)
Yes, yes we are. So do you three want to get your stuff and bring it out to my car?

MARIE / BETH / JEN
(simultaneously)

Fine. / Okay. / Yeah, sure.

(CHARLIE walks to SR where four chairs are set like a car. MARIE and BETH follow with their school things and sit in the back two chairs.)

JEN
What exactly are we doing?

CHARLIE
At the museum? A bit of an observational assignment, really. It's fun, thought provoking—

MARIE
Yeah, but what is it?

CHARLIE
Oh, right. We'll be looking for paintings that speak to us. (Beat) Visually, not physically, of course. (Nervous laugh)

BETH
That sounds cool.

MARIE
(muttering)

It sounds stupid.

CHARLIE
Sorry?

MARIE
(quickly)
Never mind.

CHARLIE
Oh. Well, we're here anyway. It's a small place…just look around. Write down everything you like about your painting. Make sure you've seen all of them…I find my favorites are near the end of the hallway. Think about what emotions you feel, what colors the artist used and why you think they were a good choice, and what makes it an original piece. Those are the three main questions. We have about an hour to work here, I think, so you can get started.

(CHARLIE exits SL. MARIE and BETH look at each other. MARIE turns away to walk with JEN. BETH stares after her and then walks the opposite direction. All three walk in circles and finally reach CS. They face the audience, looking at a painting the audience cannot see.)

MARIE
Wow.

BETH
It's beautiful.

JEN
Yeah. If I hadn't written about that other one back there, this would be mine in a sec.

BETH
What do you like about this one?

MARIE
It's happy. All the other ones were so depressing. This one is very bright.

BETH
The colors remind me of the clothes you'd find in Gap Kids.

MARIE
Hey, that's good.

(MARIE sits on the floor to write down the comment.)

BETH
Wait, Marie—

MARIE
What? You've got tons to choose from.

JEN
Yeah, your notebook's full of other notes. Take one of those. Marie and I were here first, anyway.

BETH
(ignoring JEN)
I don't see why you can have it.

MARIE
I don't see why I can't…

BETH
(with quiet anger)
It always was about you.

MARIE
Me? Who flipped out in fifth grade, huh?

BETH
Who spread rumors about my family?

MARIE
Do you really think I'd lie about that?

JEN
("compassionately")
Beth, everyone already knew your mom ditched you. It wasn't news to any of us.

(BETH steps away from JEN and MARIE. They fade into the darkness; a light is left on BETH.)

Fade to black