Alright, well I said I would show you my script adaptation of my short story, A Storm in a Teacup. I've headed the post up so you can find what you need. First of all, make sure to read the SYNOPSIS, as it gives the outline of the entire play, of which my assignment is only an excerpt.
Scene One opens with young sisters, Kathy, and Amelia, sitting in their living room on a thunder storming afternoon in February, 2010. The ceiling is leaking and there are various pots, pans and cups scattered about the floor, catching the drips. There is one last teacup in a tall display cupboard behind them, which Amelia goes to use when another leak begins above her head. Kathy protests, however, that the teacup is too special to use for such a vulgar purpose, and she goes on to tell the story behind its value.
The teacup, part of a china teaset, was given to their grandmother, Lucy, as a girl by her own grandmother. After her grandmother’s death, she would invite her best-friend, Paul, from next door to her tea-parties.
Scene Two depicts Paul’s marriage proposal to Lucy, their wedding and their move into a suburban house with a wattle tree in the backyard. Lucy continues to hold tea-parties, now under the wattle tree.
Scene Three portrays the 1974 floods that ravaged Ipswich after Lucy’s first year of marriage. Lucy rides the flood waters on a raft, and manages to save the teacup as it drifts past her. When the waters have subsided, she finds Paul and learns that their home has been destroyed, and that the teacup is all she has left of her belongings.
Scene Four illustrates a conversation that takes place between Lucy and her friend, Peggy, several months after the floods. At this time, both have been able to buy new houses due to their insurance and are resuming their everyday lives. Lucy, however, still grieves the loss of her belongings, in particular the memories associated with them. Peggy does not experience this connection with her own belongings and so is at odds with her.
In the ensuing blackout, there is a knock at the door. The lights come on, and Grandma steps in to see what they’re up to. Amelia tenderly offers her the teacup. Grandma thanks her and comments on how much care Amelia is showing it. Amelia responds by stating that it is special, and the three sit together on the couch while the leaks drip and the rain continues outside.
I chose to structure my script as non-linear. As Kathy’s story of their grandmother’s past unfolds, I use the convention of blackouts and split screen to transition into an enactment of the story. The plot allows for interaction between the past and present towards the beginning and end of the script, when first Kathy and then Amelia rejects the split screen convention to first pass the teacup into the past and finally reclaim it. Besides this, there will also be frequent jumps back and forth between past and present when Amelia interrupts Kathy’s story to ask a question. I felt that it was necessary to structure the script in this way so the audience can ‘see’ the story as well as hear it.
I decided to include the first half of Scene One, Scene Three, and the first half of Scene Four, as these excerpts give a clear idea of my intentions for the split screen convention, and contain the most significant events in the plot.
KATHY Eleven-year-old sister of Amelia
AMELIA Nine-year-old sister of Kathy
GRANDMA a.k.a Lucy; Kathy and Amelia’s grandmother, Paul’s wife
PAUL Kathy and Amelia’s grandfather, Lucy’s husband
GREAT-GREAT GRANDMA Kathy and Amelia’s great-great grandmother, Lucy’s grandmother
PEGGY Lucy’s friend
A thunder storming afternoon in February 2010. A living room. KATHY and AMELIA sit on a couch in the u.s.c, playing ‘Go fish’. Pots, bowls and cups are scattered about the floor, collecting drips from the leaky roof. Tall display cupboard with one teacup on the shelf stands u.s.r. Door u.s.l. ‘Rain’ soundtrack plays. A new leak starts dripping directly onto AMELIA’s head.
AMELIA: Kathy, there’s another leak! (getting up to fetch the last teacup in the cupboard)
KATHY: We used all the cups. Do you have any... fives?
AMELIA: (picking up teacup) There’s one left.
KATHY: One what? Five?
AMELIA: No, there’s one cup left.
KATHY looks around, and seeing AMELIA with the teacup, leaps up on the couch.
KATHY: Put it back, Amelia!
AMELIA: No, I need it for the drip!
KATHY goes to snatch it from AMELIA, and she drops it. KATHY catches it.
KATHY: See what you almost did?
AMELIA: (quiet) You’re a bully.
KATHY: It’s too special.
AMELIA: How is it special?
KATHY: It’s Grandma’s special teacup. It’s very old and... there’s a long story behind it.
AMELIA: Could you tell me the story?
If you do, I might forgive you for being a bully. Depends if it’s a good story.
KATHY: It is. (leading AMELIA back to couch where they sit) It begins when Grandma was a little girl as old as you. She and her grandma, our great... great (counting off on finger) grandma, used to have tea-parties-.
AMELIA: It will be a boring story, because there’s nothing to look at.
KATHY: Close your eyes and imagine it then.
Blackout. Front of stage is lit. GRANDMA and GREAT-GREAT GRANDMA sit together at a table laid with a china teaset. GREAT-GREAT GRANDMA looks around.
GREAT-GREAT GRANDMA: There should be another teacup.
KATHY walks into light, gives her the teacup, and leaves.
GREAT-GREAT GRANDMA: Mmm, there we are. A complete set. You know, Lucy, I’m getting very old. Before I forget, I must make sure that my favourite, most beautiful teaset has a home. I was hoping that you would look after it.
GRANDMA: Really? I would love to look after it for you.
GREAT-GREAT GRANDMA: I thought you would. You are the perfect person to own a beautiful teaset. You must promise me, though, that when I can no longer come to your tea-parties, you won’t stop hosting them. Because that would make me terribly sad.
GRANDMA: I won’t make you sad. I’ll invite Paul from next-door, who’s my friend.
KATHY: And then came the ’74 floods.
Blackout. “Floods” video plays. At end of clip, light washes front of stage. GRANDMA lies on a raft, supported by two people all in black so as to be invisible. They gently ‘drift’ and rock the raft as on flood waters. She half rises, surveying destruction.
GRANDMA: Paul? Paul! ... Someone?!
Another invisible person enters s.l. ‘floating’ the teacup. GRANDMA paddles the raft with her hands towards it and grabs it. People gradually lower raft as water goes does. She steps off and walks as though wading in shallows. PAUL enters.
PAUL: Lucy! Thank god! Are you alright? Are you injured?!
GRANDMA: (going to him and embracing him) Paul! I’m alright!
PAUL: Thank god.
GRANDMA: Are you OK?
PAUL: I’m fine. I’m fine. (they freeze)
AMELIA: What happened to the house?
Blackout front of stage. Back of stage lit.
AMELIA: I want to know what happened to the house and the wattle tree that Grandma loved.
KATHY: If you listen, you’ll find out.
Blackout back of stage. Front of stage lit.
PAUL: Lucy, the house is ruined. The water came up to the ceiling. And... the wattle was uprooted. I’m so sorry my darling.
GRANDMA: What will we do?
PAUL: We’re going to be OK. The thing to think about right now is getting somewhere safe and then warm and dry. (Starting to lead her off)
GRANDMA: (in reference to the teacup) This is the only thing we can save? (Paul nods. Both exit s.l.)
END OF SCENE
Front half of stage lit. GRANDMA and PEGGY sit at table d.s.c. There are new tea things but GRANDMA uses her same teacup.
PEGGY: Your new place is just lovely. I don’t like to say “I told you so” but wasn’t I right? It certainly paid off to the have the flood cover on your insurance. It feels as though you were passed over by the entire thing.
GRANDMA: Ha, it doesn’t feel like that at all. Is that what you feel like?
PEGGY: Yes, I do, actually. We like our new place, the new neighbourhood. It was a scramble, but I’m back into life, and it’s as good as ever... I don’t feel like much has changed. We were lucky.
GRANDMA: Lucky? I don’t understand how you can bounce back so quickly. I couldn’t help grieving for the thousands who lost everything, but I could ease the suffering by volunteering my time and care to make a family’s hardship just that little bit lighter... But even after time, my own loss is still so heavy.
PEGGY: Your loss? What are you on about? You got it all back.
GRANDMA: The material things are replaceable. But what... what about the memories, Peggy? The house, the tree, everything Paul and I said and did... Reminders of my thoughts and feelings, hopes, regrets...
PEGGY: Regrets. (ever cheerful) Well, then, perhaps you can enjoy this fresh start.
GRANDMA: But I would like to remember the past. (Taking a sip from teacup)
AMELIA steps into the light, gently takes the teacup from GRANDMA as she offers it to her, and leaves. Blackout....