The Wonderwall – The Ross School (2014)


Hannah Baker and Tristan Griffin in Emily Costello’s play “The Wonderwall.” Photo by Star Black.

The Wonderwall by Emily Costello

Click here to watch “The Wonderwall” on YouTube


(Sitting down, Hazel on her bed, and the ghost sitting at the end of the bed)

 Hazel: She’s talking to herself again. (Looks down at her hands)

Ghost: I know Hazel, I know.

Hazel: But I just don’t understand. Why does she act like this? Why does she lock herself up in her room all day? Why does she hate her life? Why does she hate Dad?…Why does she hate me?

Ghost: She doesn’t hate you; she’s just going through a lot right now.

Hazel: But, I just don’t understand.

Ghost: I know. I never understood why my parents were so distant either.

Hazel: Can I ask you something? (Looks up hopefully)

Ghost: Uh, yeah. What is it?

Hazel: How did you die?

Ghost: Well…. (Looks a little worried)

Hazel: I’m sorry. You don’t have to tell me if you aren’t ready. (Trying to relax him)

Ghost: Oh no, its alright, I think I can handle it. (Takes deep breath)

Hazel: All right then, whenever you’re ready.

Ghost: It was a fairly normal day. I left my house to go to school, because my parents couldn’t drive me. My father had to leave early for work, and the anti-depressants my mother took wouldn’t allow her to drive.

Hazel: That sounds just like my mom and dad.

Ghost: Yeah. Anyway, the school day was normal. Being excluded from everyone else, sitting alone at lunch, the usual. When the last bell rang I grabbed my backpack and rushed out to the sidewalk to begin walking home.

Hazel: It doesn’t seem like a day that you died. (Looks questioningly at him)

Ghost: I know. It was all ordinary, but suddenly I was just…gone. (Looks down)

Hazel: But, how did you die?

Ghost: Well, maybe if someone would stop interrupting me, I would finish the story. (Looks critically at her)

Hazel: Sorry. (Smiles sheepishly)

Ghost: The stoplight turned red, so I waited at the sidewalk. I looked up from my worn shoes to see a white figure underneath a tree watching me. I stared wide-eyed as it mouthed two words, I’m sorry. The white figure had turned to mist and drifted upwards.

Hazel: (excitedly, like a new discovery) Do you think that was a ghost? Who was it? Maybe it was a relative, or maybe even an angel.

Ghost: It was an angel, my guardian angel. I saw her when I went to heaven. She was saying how she was sorry that this had to happen, but it was for the best. But now I feel cheated, like I was too weak to handle life, like I needed to die because I wouldn’t survive. (Started getting angry)

Hazel: Maybe you were able to make it in life, but they found me, and thought it would be best for both of us to meet and help each other.

Ghost: Yeah, you’re probably right. But should I finish my story?

Hazel: Oh, yeah. Please do. (Waved to have her go on)

Ghost: The stoplight turned green and, distracted, I took a step forward. A flash appeared in the corner of my eye as a few beeps echoed in my mind. The wind was knocked out of me as my body scraped against the rough asphalt. My breath was jagged as my chest screamed for air. My eyes were blacking out, but I could barely hear the shuffling of feet and screams of brakes and voices. There were sirens in the distance, but they were too late, because I had taken my last breath, and my fluttering heartbeat had come to a stop. (Took in a sharp breath in)

Hazel: Wow. I’m so sorry. That’s a horrible death. Do you know how your parents took it?

Ghost: As a ghost, I was able to visit them, but they just couldn’t see me. My mother took more anti-depressants, and started getting sick from them. My father sometimes never came home, and I think he started drinking. They started falling apart even more. When they first heard the news that I had died, they had cried.

Hazel: So your parents really loved you? (Looked surprised)

Ghost: I suppose so.

Hazel: That must be nice… (Looked sad again)

Ghost: Hazel, I’m sure your parents love you. It may not seem like it, but they have a lot on their plate right now.

Hazel: They shouldn’t have had me. (Looks unusually calm)

Ghost: No, don’t say th-. (Was cut off)

Hazel: They weren’t ready for a child, and they shouldn’t have had me. Maybe it would best if I weren’t here. (Glances up at him still with a calm face)

Ghost: Don’t you ever say that. You are supposed to be here, and you were born for a reason. Just wait, something amazing will happen.

Hazel: …But I just don’t understand. (hugs knees)

Ghost: You aren’t supposed to.

Hazel: But you don’t understand the pain I go through.

Ghost: I think I do. (gets up and walks to the window. Leans on edge and looks out)

Hazel: No, you don’t. Not everything is about my parents you know. It’s not always their problems and their lives. (Gets angry)

Ghost: I never said-.

Hazel: Just…stop. I know you’re my friend and all, and I think you’re the best friend I could ever have, but… I just can’t deal with all of these expectations.

Ghost: I know Hazel… (walks away from window towards the closet. Goes through the clothes.)

Hazel: Just shut up! You and I both know that you have no idea what runs through my head. I hate this pain and I hate how I’m always complaining about my parents and always in my own problems.

Ghost: Maybe if you talk it out, I could have a better understanding of everything you’re going through. (leans against wall with crossed arms)

Hazel: Well, I want to be a normal girl with a normal life. (Looks down at hands) To be accepted and wanted and loved. But I know that’s never going to happen. I mean, whenever I see everyone else, like the Populars, I just feel stabbed. They are always so perfect, with their (in a mocking tone) humor and money and looks and friends and politeness…I just don’t understand how that can’t be me. I try all the time to be at least remotely normal, but it’s hopeless. I don’t even know why I ever try. (Clenches jaw and fist)

Ghost: (stands up and walks to dresser) But let me guess, you need your parents’ support to help you get where you need, but you don’t have it. (looks back at her with a raised eyebrow while holding a book)

Hazel: Well, yeah. But I don’t like having to complain about my parents all the time, saying it’s their fault, and they are this and they are that. (Uses hand gestures) I need to keep reminding myself that they have problems, and I have to deal with the facts. (Shrugs it off)

Ghost: It’s not that easy… (sets down book)

Hazel: (leans back) I know. (Quotes with fingers) ‘Its not that easy’. But I want it to be. I want everything to just go away, and everything that’s burdening me to leave. I want to be liked, and I want support. But I know, ‘its not that easy.’

Ghost: But nothing’s impossible…

Hazel: Ugh! I know the drill. (quote with fingers) ‘Keep trying’, but I don’t even know why I do keep trying. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I don’t understand why I even feel so many…feelings. They’re stupid. They always want to be felt.

Ghost: Go on…

Hazel: It’s even harder when, because I’m so terrified, I can’t show anyone who I really am. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I feel stuck.

Ghost: I would think so…

Hazel: The thing is, if I ever do get the courage to talk to someone, I don’t think I could ever fully trust them enough to get to know me. Plus, if I somehow get a friend, against all odds, how could they deal with everything happening in my life? I would have to hide you from them. But they would probably just want someone who’s easy and smiling and laughing.

Ghost: I bet they would still be there for you, they would understand. (walks over to bed again)

Hazel: But why is everything so confusing? Why is my life so weird and mixed up? I’m like the only one with problems at that school.

Ghost: I know it seems confusing for you to be through all of this, but everything has a reason and a time. Just wait, and it will play itself out.

Hazel: But I don’t want to wait. I’m an impatient and shallow teenager. I can’t just ‘wait’.

Ghost: You know what might help?

Hazel: What could possibly help me?

Ghost: Maybe you could find something that you love, like drawing, or acting, or music, or dancing, anything at all. Maybe you can write, like an autobiography, or anything to help you while you wait. Just try something that makes you happy, and that takes the hurt away.

Hazel: (pause) I have a question.

Ghost: Yes?

Hazel: Why are you still here? I am such a mess and have so many problems, and yet you are still here. Why?

Ghost: I only stay where there is hope.


The cast and playwright of “The Wonderwall.” From L to R: Hannah Baker, Emily Costello and Tristan Griffin. Photo by Star Black.

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