You’ll Never Learn – The Ross School (8B) (2010)

Ali Schade and Destin Oliveira in Bryant Yunker's play, "You'll Never Learn." Photo by Jessica Adamowicz.

“You’ll Never Learn”

by Bryant Yunker

The Ross School (8B), East Hampton, NY.

(Lindsey is standing on stage impatiently waiting for someone; there are two chairs around a table with cereal. Steph very swiftly enters the stage and stands exactly behind Lindsey)

Steph: You rang?

Lindsey: I have an idea.

(They both sit down in their pajamas and start eating breakfast)

Steph: (annoyed) Oh not this again.

Lindsey: Yes, it is THIS again.

Steph: (sarcastic) ok so what’s your plan.

Lindsey: Drop the sarcasm. (Steph puts on a very fake smile and pretends to be over interested) So you know how you’re having that party this weekend.

Steph: Yes.

Lindsey: And you know how my parents probably won’t let me go.

Steph: Probably? Don’t you mean definitely.

Lindsey: Yeah, so I came up with a plan to get my parents to let me sleep over your house the night of the party.

Steph: And exactly how is this supposed to work?

Lindsey: My parents won’t know about the party.

Steph: Oh. I see. One little problem. If your mom calls my mom to make sure that your sleeping over, my mom will say that there’s going to be a party.

Lindsey: We’ll have my mom call someone else.

Steph: How?

Lindsey: We can give her a fake phone number.

(Black out, the lights go back on and they are in street clothes with no table)

Lindsey: Okay let’s run through this one more time, pretend to be my mom

Steph: I’m having second thoughts.

Lindsey: well don’t.

Steph: no, I don’t want to do this. You always get me into trouble with your crazy ideas.

Lindsey: But don’t you want me to come to the party.

Steph: See that’s what I mean you always think about yourself just for once can’t you think about someone else.

Lindsey: that’s not true.

Steph: oh please when was the last time you did anything for anybody else.

Lindsey: what about the time that I took you to the movies.

Steph: That’s cause you thought the popcorn guy was hot.

Lindsey: Well what about the time I stayed home from the beach to come visit you when you had your tonsils removed.

Steph: That’s cause my cousin Felipe was visiting from Spain.

(Lindsey looks towards the ceiling with a grin upon her face)

Lindsey: (in a happy tone) Oh I remember him.

Steph: wipe that smirk off your face.

(Lindsey looks annoyed and returns her gaze to Steph)

Lindsey: so does that mean you won’t help me.

Steph: Have you been listening to this conversation?

(Lindsey is looking at her nails)

Lindsey: excuse me what were you saying? Didn’t catch that.

Steph: oh my god!

Lindsey: I’m sorry; I’ll never ask you to do anything for me again. Just please help me do this last thing.

(Gigantic pause)

Steph: We just better not get caught.

Lindsey: we won’t, I’ve got it all planned out.

Lindsey: Ok now pretend to be my mom.

(They both freeze. Steph turns towards the audience)

Steph: before we begin I’d like to point out that there are major flaws in Lindsey’s plans. But, Lindsey is too proud to admit it.

(They both unfreeze and Steph faces Lindsey again.  Steph puts her hair in a ponytail and stands up perfectly straight.)

Steph: (In a lower voice) Lindsey dahling, I just received an e-mail from Steph’s parents.

(They both freeze, slowly; Lindsey turns towards the audience)

Lindsey: What my mom won’t know is that Steph will send the e-mail from her mom’s computer.

(They both unfreeze and Lindsey faces Steph again)

Steph: (In a lower voice) And she said that you wanted to sleep over on Friday night.

(They both freeze. Lindsey turns towards the audience)

Lindsey: This is plan A

(They both unfreeze and Lindsey faces Steph again)

Lindsey: Is that okay with you?

Steph: (In a lower voice) yes it is.

(They both freeze. While Lindsey is frozen Steph walks to the front of the stage and hangs her feet over the edge. She very casually starts to speak to the audience.)

Steph: So I was thinking that her mom could ask so many questions that we’re not prepared to answer. Scratch that, That LINDSEY isn’t prepared to answer. As she’ll explain we have three plans. Realistically we should have an infinite amount of plans. I’m not gonna sit here and explain to you every flaw in the three plans. Instead I’ll just tell you the major flaw that occurs in all the plans. THEY’RE ALL SCRIPTED. If her mom doesn’t say something similar to what we have planned, it could all fall apart right there. Lindsey can’t improvise for her life. And now I’ll let Lindsey tell you her great ideas.

(Steph returns to face Lindsey. They both freeze. Lindsey turns towards the audience)

Lindsey: So just incase my mom does or says something that I’m not prepared for, Steph and I have come up with three different plans. Plan A, Plan B, and of course my last resort, Plan C. Now we’re moving onto plan B.

(They both unfreeze and Lindsey faces Steph again)

Steph: (In a lower voice) So I decided to call her

(They both freeze. Lindsey turns towards the audience)

Lindsey: We’re actually going to send her Steph’s cell phone number in the e-mail, saying its Stephs moms cell phone number.

(They both unfreeze and Lindsey faces Steph again)

Steph: (In a lower voice) She said that it was perfectly fine if you slept over.

Lindsey: Thanks mom

(They both freeze. Lindsey turns towards the audience)

Lindsey: And now we are going to show you plan C

(Lindsey faces Steph again. Without unfreezing, Steph’s turns towards the audience)

Steph: I really hope that we don’t have to use plan C. It’s not like I don’t think Lindsey’s smart, it’s just… this is definitely not going to work.  Her mother would have to be an idiot to fall for it.

(Steph turns back towards Lindsey. Now Lindsey’s turns to the audience again)

Lindsey: I don’t think that plan C will work. This really is a last resort, and I know exactly what Steph is thinking. She’s thinking that my mom would have to be an idiot to fall for this.

(They both unfreeze and Lindsey faces Steph again)

Steph: (In a lower voice) When I was in the supermarket today I ran into Stephs’ mom. And I thanked her for letting you sleep over. But, the strangest thing happened.

Lindsey: What?

Steph: (In a lower voice) She said that she didn’t know what I was talking about, and said that they were going away this weekend.

(They both freeze. Lindsey turns towards the audience)

Lindsey: So, Stephs’ parents are going away this weekend. But, just like my mom, they don’t know that Steph’s having a party either.  Just in case my mom does speak to Stephs’ mom, we wrote an e-mail saying that she had mixed up the dates saying that they were not going away this weekend, but next weekend.

(They both unfreeze and Lindsey faces Steph again. Steph looks at her phone as if she had just received an email)

Steph: Oh well, it looks like Stephs mom just made a mistake.

Lindsey: Oh.

Steph: (In a lower voice) So have fun with Steph.  (In normal voice) Can I be myself now?

Lindsey: Sure.

(Just then Lindsey’s phone rings)

Lindsey: Hello? (Steph gets close to the phone to listen in on the conversation)

(Her REAL mother’s voice is heard from the phone as a voice-over)

Real mother: Lindsey dahling, I was just calling to see what time you wanted to be picked up from Stephs?

Lindsey: How about five?

Real mother: Sure. Oh, and don’t forget that we’re leaving on Friday to go to Fl for your brothers graduation.

(There is no answer from Lindsey; who stands there silently with her mouth open)

Lindsey: Ok mom.

(Lindsey faces Steph, and with a sheepish smile says)

Lindsey: at least we didn’t get caught.

The End.

The Company of "You'll Never Learn" – L to R. Destin Oliveira, Bryant Yunker (playwright), Caitlin Cummings (assistant director), Ali Schade


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