Steam – Pierson High School (2011)


Hannah Kaminski and Oree Livni perform in Matthew Frazier’s play, “Steam.” (Photo by Star Black)

Click here to watch “Steam” on YouTube

Voices talk from off stage

Derek: Quick to anger.
Yet always friendly.
Shifting its weight from side to side.
Glowing bright and full of happiness.
Seems to dance, twirl, and even bounce.
Invites you in, but will hurt you if you get too close.
The giver of life, yet…taker of it too.

Ni?cold: Cold…calm…
Chill if you will.
Keeping to itself.
Staying in its box.
Afraid to live…
Afraid to die…
A perfect figure.
The slightest touch will make it shatter…

Ni?cold is sitting on the stage

N: Sigh…. Why must the temperature have to change?… It always complicates things…

Ni?cold shifts around a bit making it look uncomfortably hot

N: Why can’t I just be like Derek? We could be soooo much happier with each other if we could just hug…just kiss…

D: Ni?coooold?? Nii?coooold? *Gasp*! Ni?cold! There you are! I’ve missed you! How have you been? Are you
alright? You seem kinda sad. Can I help you? You know what always helps me? Running! You should try it! It’s great! Ooorrr you could dance! Dancing is great too! It’s sooo much funn?!

Ni?cold stands up

N: I don’t know Derek. Maybe later.

D: But whyyy!?

N: I’m just not in the mood right now.

D: Siggghhh…

N: why can’t you be more like me and “chill”?

D: I can’t. I enjoy moving too much. Haven’t you danced your heart out before?

N: No actually. I haven’t. I enjoy calm activities like reading.

D: Reading?

N: Yes reading.

D: That’s weird.

N: Why is that weird?

D: Never mindddd

N: Sigh…fine. Anyway, how are you?

D: Well, I’m a lot hot right now. I was thinking of hanging out in the freezer for a bit.

N: You can’t Derek. The power is out.

D: Really? Well that explains why you aren’t in the freezer right now.

N: Yeah. I actually came out before the power went out though.

D: Really? Why’s that?

N: I needed to get away. It was becoming too…comfortable in there.

D: How can something be too comfy? I love it when everything is just right. It’s sooo soothing.

N: Well you and I are very different…

D: That’s true, but we are similar too. We both love to be happy and live and talk and hangout!

N: Actually Derek…out of all those…I don’t love to any…I feel numb…

D: You don’t love to live and be happy? That’s ridiculous! You need to be happy all the time! It’s what makes life worth living! I must show you to have fun!

N: I don’t know Derek…D: Pleeeeeaseee Ni?cold. I promiseee it will be worthwhile.

N: How do you know that?

D: I know the value of a good time.

N: I can’t Derek. I can’t risk it.

D: Risk? How could you possibly be risking something??

N: Derek. If you don’t want to listen, then please go away.

Derek becomes angry

D: Fine! I’m gone then. I’ll see you around.

Derek storms off stage, but still dances around

Ni?cold starts to cry softly and covers her face with her hands.

N: Why?…*sniff*…Why can’t… why can’t I just… be more like Derek?….He’s just so…carefree…why couldn’t I just be like him?…His attitude towards life is…wonderful….wonderfully perfect…and…he’s just so inviting…I hate being so cold to him. He doesn’t even know how I truly feel…I think…I might love him…but all my feelings don’t add up correctly… I’ve never felt anything before quite like this… but is it really love…? Like…I have nothing to compare it to I haven’t even had a true friend before… is that all he is?…A friend?…but…I want him to be more….then is it love? But…we can’t even touch… I hate my emotions…please…someone…anyone… help me…

Lights fade

Derek appears alone on stage.

D: Ugh! Why is she being so cold hearted?? I just want to be her friend and have fun. And really. Who doesn’t like dancing?! Its soooooo much fun to twirl around and just let loose! I can’t understand her at all. She really needs to just take a chill pill then…dance!

Derek breaks out in to random dance moves

D: Like honestly. That was so. Much. Fun. Dancing is definitely my favorite thing to do. Much better than
reading. Yuck. Actually…I don’t even remembering ever holding a book odd. Maybe I should try it eventually. But for now, dance!

Derek starts doing some 70s dance moves

Lights fade

Ni?cold on stage alone

N: Sigh…I wish Derek would come back…I should tell him how I feel…maybe then he’ll understand what’s going on. Hopefully….

Ni?cold turns the other way

N: Crap!… I don’t know if I can do this… what if he laughs at me? What if he thinks I’m crazy?…. Maybe I shouldn’t do this… he probably won’t even understand me…

Ni?cold starts to cry again…

N: Why isn’t there an easier way to do this?! – sobs?

N: Please… If there is some kind of god for ice cubes… I need help… ugh… I’m just gonna go look for him…

Fade and switch to Derek

D: Woo! That was greeeaatt dancing. I wish I had someone to dance with. If only Ni?cold would dance with me… maybe I should go find her and apologize. She was kinda mean though. She was upset… I should give her a hug. That always seems to work when someone is sad.

Ni?cold quietly walks on to the stage. Derek quickly turns and almost runs into her. She loose her

balance and falls.

N: Ahhhhh!

D: Oh my! I’m soooooo sorry! Here! Lemme help you up!

N: No! Don’t touch me!

D: Ouch…why so harsh? I was only trying to help…

Ni?cold stands up

N: You don’t get it do you?

D: Get what?

N: Wow. You’re really thick.

D: No need to be so mean…

N: I’m sorry Derek… let me explain…um…

Ni?cold starts acting nervous. Twiddling her fingers, shifting her weight, biting her lip, etc.

N: I…I…I…really like…your dancing…

Ni?cold looks away and hits herself on the head for lying.

D: Why do I feel like you wanted to tell me something else?

N: Um… because I do…

D: Then just say it. I won’t judge you in any way. Just tell me…

N: Derek…

Ni?cold starts to tear up

N: …Derek…

Ni?cold runs off stage.

D: Nii?coooold!!!

Derek chases after her. He does a twirl before leaving the stage.

Ni?cold runs back on stage and stops in the center. She is out of breath. Derek twirls back on stage.

Ni?cold sprints off.

D: Ni?cold!

Derek chases after her again.

Lights fade

Derek twirls onto the stage. Looks around trying to find Ni?cold

D: Ni?cooooold?

Runs and twirls off stage. Ni?cold stands off stage, but sticks her head on stage and looks around.

She then walks on stage and sits in the center, breathing heavily, she quickly looks around again


Ni?cold pauses for a few seconds

N: Okay…now that I feel a little better…

Ni?cold starts to cry

N: Why can’t I just tell him?… I’m being foolish. I just need to tell him and be happy with whatever he says. Yes! That’s what I will do. I am ready for this!

Lights fade and switch to Derek. He’s talking to an off stage voice

D: Really? The power is back?


D: That’s good to know. I’ll go tell Ni?cold.

Fade and switch to Ni?cold.

N: Crap… I’m not ready for this…

Ni?cold starts to act nervous. Derek dances on stage.

D: Ni?cold! There you are! I’ve been looking everywhere for you!

Ni?cold doesn’t speak, but bites her lip nervously.

D: Ni?cold…what’s wrong?… You are really worrying me. Wait. Have you been crying? Now you muusst tell me what’s wrong.

Ni?cold whispers

N: I can do this…I can do this…

D: What? Pleeassee speak up…

Ni?cold exhales deeply. She wipes her eyes and stands up straighter.

N: Okay. Derek, do you understand what’s going on?

D: nope. You haven’t told me yet.

N: Sigh…okay. I’m not completely sure how to explain, but I haven’t been crying Derek.

D: What? But your eyes are all wet.

N: I’m melting Derek…It’s just too hot for me in this place.

D: Then just go…

Ni?cold cuts Derek off

N: No!! Don’t speak. I need to tell you this.

D: Then tell me…

Pause. Ni?cold acts more confident.

N: Derek… The way you re carefree is just soo amazing to me. You are so happy all the time. It’s awesome. I admire you sooo much. I wish I could just dance and be around you allllllll the time! You are absolutely perfect to me Derek.

Derek stands there, amazed.

D: Wow Ni?cold…That’s…great…

Derek smiles

N: Um…aren’t you gonna say something?

D: Well… why didn’t you tell me before?

N: I wasn’t brave enough before. But now that I’m stuck out here, I became confident and you are the one that gave me that confidence Derek. You made me brave.

D: But why now?

N: I’m about to be gone forever Derek. I’m about to melt away. And I’ve decided that if I can’t live, I only want to die with you. So please Derek. Please be with me. I promise that we’ll be okay together. You’re my only friend…

D: Ni?cold…. The power is back on. You can go back to the freezer. You don’t have to die.

Ni?cold stands there, thinking

N: …No. I don’t want to go back. I’ve made my choice. I want to be with you Derek. I… I love you.

Ni?cold quickly hugs Derek and buries her face in his chest. A loud hissing sound occurs as soon as they touch.

D: It’s…It’s…It’s a good thing that… I love you too Ni?cold.

Derek puts his arms around Ni?cold and pulls her closer.
Lights fade.

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