Sisters – Bridgehampton High School (2011)

Ali Koral and Anika Hochstedler perform in Ciena Quinn’s play, “Sisters.” Photo by Star Black.

Click to watch a video of this performance.

Sisters By Ciena Quinn, Bridgehampton


LOCATION OF SCENE: inside a hospital room

TIME OF DAY: present day, evening time 

(Sitting in hospital room, Rosie in bed, Emily staring out the window)

R: Hey Em, hand me my water.

(No response, Emily is in a daze staring out the window)

R: EMMMMM! You okay?

E: Huh? What? (rushes over to Rosie, and gently hands her water)

R: Calm down, Em, no need to treat me any differently.

E: But I do. Look at you, Rosie. ( She pauses and looks in her eyes, then quickly turns away and walks back to window) What I mean is that I haven’t been here for you and I need to be…

R: How’s Dad?

E: Hah, you know Dad…always working, always bringing home a new girl.

R: Remember when he brought home Ms. Miller…those next few days in English class were awkward.

E: (laughs, then slowly becomes serious) How’s Kathy?

R: You mean Mom…? She’s just Mom. (pause) She really does miss you, Em.

E: She isn’t coming to the hospital tonight, is she?

R: Probably not, she was here this morning and thats all the time she’ll spend here in one day.

E: And how are YOU, Rosie?

R: Well, I’m stuck in this 15X15 white room, can’t dance, just thinking about what I’m gonna miss in life, but other than that I’m great!

E: ( rushes over to Rosie, and holds her hand) Please don’t think that way, Rosie, you’re gonna have an amazing life, and join an AMAZING dance company, c’mon you know that.

R: No, it’s okay… I’ve accepted I’m just not supposed to be like everyone else, this is my life and I have to just deal, but I’m tired of everyone babying me… telling me I’m gonna be okay. Like I’m not gonna be fine! (gets frustrated)

E: And although that MAY be true, you need to think positively. I bet people who think more positive are more likely to beat their cancer!

R: ‘K, Em… whatever you say.

E: (Emily clears her throat, and thinks about if she should say her next statement) They really miss you at dance.

R: Oh, cool. (trying to seem uninterested)

E: Yeah… Rosie, it is cool. You’re one of the most talented dancers they had!

R: Notice how that statement’s past tense… HAD.

E: Okay, you still are! You’re just taking a little time off.

R: You’re the best now, Em, you’re finally getting your spotlight, best dancer at the studio, and I’m saying this out of the kindness of my heart. I’m actually happy for you, you deserve it.

E: I’m sorry, I can’t stay here if you’re gonna continue to be like this. This isn’t you, Rosie, you’re never like this, and I don’t want to be the best if it’s just ’cause you’re gone. Thats not right, it shouldn’t be that way.

R: Why? That’s what you’ve always wanted.

E: (sits down) Obviously because it was you, perfect Rosie. Amazing grades, good relationship with Mom, amazing technique at ballet, and a stage presence that could blow you away. To be honest, Rose, when you first got sick.. I almost was relieved. Relieved I wouldn’t always have someone to compare myself with or someone that Mom and Dad would always love more, but now all I want is you to be happy.

R: Wow… (silence) I guess I never knew you felt that way. I’m..sorry?

E: ( Emily leaves her chair and walks over to Rosie, takes her hand) Never say sorry to me, this isn’t your fault. It’s not your fault I’m a jealous, worthless, disappointing person and it’s definitely not your fault that you’re sick.

R: That’s another thing, Emily, I’m not just sick, I’m dying.. This isn’t a little cold I can just take some medicine for and be all better in a couple days. We can’t do anything about this.

E: (Emily loses her temper) NO ROSIE, just please…(calms down but sounds frustrated) Please stop saying that, you’re not leaving me.

(Emily is slightly crying and Rosie looks like she’s disappointed someone. Both girls are at a loss for words)

E: So, um… Miss Paloma made you a video of all your performances with the company.

R: Oh.

E: Let’s watch? Where’s the DVD player in this room? (Emily stands, wipes her eyes, and tries to compose herself)

R: No… I don’t want to see. You want to torture me or something?

E: Oh my god, Rosie! You’re beautiful though, c’mon let’s watch…do it for me!

R: And you know what I want you to do for me, stop making me feel bad…how do you think it’s gonna make me feel to see myself dance, and now I have so many wires and tubes attached to me I cant even stand up.. and maybe talk to Mom, Emily, so what if she’s made mistakes… Jesus, you cant even call her Mom. Stop being so Goddamn stubborn.

E: I’M STUBBORN? You’re the one who’s so fucking miserable you won’t just watch how good of a dancer you are, shit, Rosie, I’m just trying to cheer you up. And how dare you ask me to talk to Mom, think about all the crap she put us through, countless nights of her drunk with the cops showing up at the house…..

R: But she’s different now, Emily! So what she messed up but she’s trying so hard, give her a chance!

E: And now you’re just being a hypocrite, if you can’t even watch a harmless DVD then I’m not saying shit to Mom.

(Both girls stay silent for a couple seconds, stubbornly not making a compromise)

R: Sorry.

E: Hah… no, I’m sorry, God, you’re the one who has cancer and I’m acting like a bitch.

R: But you’re the one who’s just trying to cheer me up.

E: By forcing you to watch something that you know you might never be able to do again..

R: I guess I should watch…I loved ballet so much, I should see what made me so happy before I pass.

(Emily starts to tear, every time Rosie says she’ll die, pass, etc., she is crushed inside)

E: You sure?

R: If I watch this, promise me you’ll talk to Mom. I know you miss her.

E: I do miss her, more than anything, she’s my mom. With Dad always working, you here, and Mom nonexistent in my life, I’ve been so lonely.

R: So please, please talk to Mom, there’s nothing more I want than for you to do that.

R: For me. C’mon.

E: We’ll see.

R: I’m so tired, I love you and thanks for coming to see me and doing your best to make me feel better.

E: Love you, Rosie.

(The lights go down on Rosie, and Emily stands up and begins to leave. She takes out her cell phone)

R: Hi Mom, it’s Emily.


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