I Solemnly Swear That I Am Up To No Good – The Ross School (2014)


Georgia Briere and Emily Austopchuk in Nina Damiecki’s play “I Solemnly Swear That I Am Up To No Good.” Photo by Star Black.

I Solemnly Swear That I Am Up To No Good by Nina Damiecki

Click here to watch “I Solemnly Swear That I Am Up To No Good” on YouTube


(Lights up on Serena and Rain. Serena is rocking out in her head.)

Serena: Rain, guess what?

Rain: Do I want to know?

Serena: It’s great news!

Rain: You were the one who hoisted Sabrina by the belt loop from the flag post.

Serena: You know me so well.

Rain: You could get expelled.

Serena: Half the things I do could get me expelled.

Rain: You are so awful.

Serena: I know. Guess what else happened today?

Rain: You and Jackie pelted a bunch of nerds with water balloons.

Serena: Trust me, it wasn’t me. The nerds worship me so I don’t go hurting them. I pelted the principal with water balloons.

Rain: You threw water balloons at the PRINCIPAL?

Serena:Hell yes.

Rain: She’s going to kick you out.

Serena: She loves me.

Rain: Sure she does.

Serena: She only gave me 15 detentions today when I deserve 20.

Rain: She lets you off easy because she is scared of you.

Serena: Maybe because Jackie took the keys to her office and locked her out.

Rain: She STOLE the keys to her office.

Serena: Jackie got a detention for the rest of the month except on volleyball days.

Rain: Well, I’m hall monitor. Drew and I are going to be around the hall and he won’t let you go so easy.

Serena: He is going to catch me then kill me then resurrect me and kill me again.

Rain: He isn’t that bad if you’re on his good side.

Serena: He is probably putting up wanted signs with Jackie and my faces on it.

Rain: Probably.

Serena: We’ve got to take him down and show him who is boss here.

Rain: Well he IS on your tail.

Serena: Not to mention he is a close friend of Smelly’s.

Rain: “Smelly’s” name is Sabrina.

Serena: Yeah, but boy does she stink.

Rain: Okay, maybe she uses a bit too much perfume and stinks after gym but it isn’t her fault.

Serena: There is a thing called deodorant. Next Christmas I’m going to buy her a stick just to give her a hint that she SMELLS.

Rain: That would be really mean.

Serena: Well her odor is really killing me. Speaking of smells, remember when we set off thirty smoke bombs in the school and we all had to evacuate? Those were good times.

Rain: That was yesterday.

Serena: Yeah, like I said, good day. It was a day of less detention for more things we did.

Rain: You are incorrigible. This is the kind of behavior my parents don’t approve of and why I might quit the band.

Serena: You are no fun.

Rain: I don’t want to get kicked out of school for being associated with you and Jackie. My parents think I’m spending way too much time on guitar as it is. They already didn’t like the idea but now they’re over the edge.

Serena: Chill, they won’t find out. As long as you get your homework done. Tell them you’re doing homework with me and everything will be fine.

Rain: I am so done with lying to my parents.

Serena: You can’t quit now. We have battle of the bands next weekend.

Rain: You can probably find a better guitarist.

Serena: We have no time! Your parents should be proud of you.

Rain: No, they would be disappointed.

Serena: You are under their control. Break free and have fun! You have so much life to live. This is the time to make life worth living. You can’t work and stress for the rest of your life.

Rain: I know, but my parents expect so much and I can’t throw away my chance at pleasing them.

Serena: That’s your problem, Rain. You are a people pleaser.

Rain: There’s nothing wrong with being a people pleaser! You shouldn’t be judging me– Your life is perfect!

Serena: My life is far from perfect. I like to think so but it really isn’t.

Rain: What is wrong with your life?

Serena: My parents. They’re getting divorced. My mother kicked my father out of the house.

Rain: That’s harsh. Why didn’t you tell me?

Serena: I don’t like appearing weak to all my friends.

Rain: Everyone has feelings. You don’t always have to put on a brave face.

Serena: Of course I do. All of you depend on me to be happy. I cheer you up when you’re down.

Rain: I never knew this was going on.

Serena: The only person I told was Jackie. Jackie understands. I knew you wouldn’t Rain.

Rain: Now why wouldn’t I understand?

Serena: ‘Cause your life is so freaking perfect!

Rain: You really think so?

Serena: You are their angel. Your parents treat you like a princess.

Rain: It is not perfect. I’m the quiet shadow of Jackie and Serena.

Serena: It isn’t like that. People really like you.

Rain: You really think so?

Serena: I know so.

Rain: It’s so hard to find myself when your best friends are so unique and popular. Audrey is the funny, perky cheerleader. You are the gorgeous rebel. Jackie is the funny, sporty hipster. What am I? The nerdy follower of those three amazing people is what I seem to be.

Serena: That is so wrong. You are the pretty, goody two-shoes.

Rain: I guess that’s pretty good.

Serena: Tons of people like you.

Rain: Sure.

Serena: I can’t even name them all.

Rain: I’m starting to see what you mean. Thanks for making me feel better.

Serena: Yeah, no problem.

Rain: Now to get onto YOUR issue.

Serena: I’d rather not talk about it.

Rain: You have to talk about it, Serena.


Serena: I can’t hear you!!!!!

Rain: You can’t run away from your fear!

Serena: Sure as hell I can.


Serena: I hate to see them like this because they’re my family. It hurts me because everything was so great but now it’s all gone. I feel so empty. The music and pranks help me.

Rain: You have to talk Serena. Promise me not to be so reckless just because you’re upset.

Serena: Talking has never helped me.

Rain: Have you ever talked to your mom?

Serena: No. I’m too strong for it. I don’t need her help. I’m going to make it in the music business and I’m not ever coming back here.

Rain: You can’t leave.

Serena: I am not going to take another chance at getting hurt.

Rain: How would your mom feel?

Serena: She’ll be fine. She has my sister. I need to be free.

Rain: You can be free but you can’t abandon them. It wouldn’t be right.

Serena: I need to leave. Like now, tomorrow.

Rain: You need to stay.

Serena: Not when I can have a better life. I need to fly, Rain. With my wings clipped I won’t be able to fly.

Rain: You can and you will.

Serena: It hurts so much inside, Rain. Dad thinks everything is fine. He thinks he can just leave my mom. He has a girlfriend. He wants to rebuild our family with her as my new mom!

Rain: That’s horrible.

Serena: Not to mention she has a kid. I’m never going to change my family. I love my mom but I can’t stay here.

Rain: Have you tried to get to know his girlfriend?

Serena: No, of course not. I’ve got my band and school. His girlfriend’s daughter is awful.

Rain: You don’t even know the daughter.

Serena: Of course I do. It’s Smelly.

Rain: Sabrina’s your dad’s girlfriend’s daughter?!

Serena: Yeah. I’m not making a new family. I’d rather move in with Jackie.

Rain: What you’re going through is like a battle. You need to SHOW your scars.

Serena: No, I don’t. If anything I’m rising from the dust, Rain. I’m rising from the dust of war. Like in the song “The World Will Never Take My Heart.” I will never stop fighting.

Rain: Now I know why you love “Welcome to the Black Parade.”

Serena: Yeah, it’s my battle song. It gets me through the days at school. It keeps me fighting. I won’t lose.

Rain: You can’t battle alone.

Serena: Yes I can and I am.

Rain: I’m not kidding, you need to tell someone.

Serena: For the last time NO. I am not going to talk to someone just to be told that I need to change how I feel. NO. I’m not going to be told I need to forgive.

Rain: Just talk to your mom.

Serena: She won’t understand.

Rain: Sure she will. She is going through exactly what you’re going through.

Serena: She isn’t going through what I’m dealing with.

Rain: What about your sister?

Serena: She can’t see me like this. I need to take care of her. I need to stay strong for her.

Rain: What about us? What about The Therianthropy?

Serena: I’d do the battle of the bands, don’t get me wrong. I just can’t stay here.

Rain: You wouldn’t break up the band. This is your band! If anyone would leave it would be me.

Serena: You can’t leave the band.

Rain: My parents are on my case. They will find out and when they do it will be horrible. They want Jackie and you not to hang around me anymore. You guys are my friends and I’ve tried my best but I can’t keep on doing this.

Serena: I understand. You should just tell your parents that you can’t quit. You are an important part of the band, this is what you want and you need a little freedom. If you make it sound good they will probably say yes. Just take the professional side of it.

Rain: The professional side?

Serena: Yeah, like how playing the guitar and performing in the battle of the bands will help you in the future with your career. You know, like talking to a person in the music business.

Rain: I guess that would work.

Serena: Of course it will.

Rain: So now that we have talked you have to promise me one thing.

Serena: What?

Rain: Not to be so reckless and to talk to someone.

Serena: And you need to talk to your parents and ask for a little freedom.



The cast and playwright of “I Solemnly Swear That I Am Up To No Good.” From L to R: Emily Austopchuk, Nina Demiecki and Georgia Briere. Photo by Star Black.

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