Artistic Discoveries in European Schoolyards

Anna Papst (Switzerland)

What happens during the break

Text Extract

Different characters can be played by the same people. To play the scenes it needs at least 5 persons: 2 boys, 2 girls and 1 teacher.

An empty classroom.

A girl enters the room. She sits down. She takes out a lunchbox from a bag. She opens the lunchbox. She takes out a salami sandwich. She places the sandwich in front of her. She takes off the upper half of the sandwich and places it next to the bottom half. She takes the salami off the sandwich. Then she takes a tissue and scrapes off the butter from the sandwich. She takes the tissue and the salami and looks for a garbage bin. As she doesn’t find one, she puts the salami and the tissue in a corner. She takes one half of the sandwich, that is now basically bread and eats it. She puts the other half back in her lunchbox. She sucks in her belly, puts her hands around her waist, in a way that the fingers from her left hand and the fingers from her right hand almost touch. She smiles, contentedly. She leaves the room.

A boy enters the room. He’s out of breath, looking for a place to hide. He can not find one. He hears footsteps. He panics and goes to the very back of the room. He lies down on the floor and covers himself up with other childrens’ schoolbags. Another boy stands in the door. His eyes wander through the room. He turns his head. „He’s not in here“, he shouts down the hall, where, apparently, his accomplices are waiting. Then he turns around and leaves. The boy under the schoolbags waits. Then he slowly gets up. Suddenly, there are steps again, coming closer to the room. The boy becomes frightened and hides under the school bags again.

A teacher enters the room. He/She sits down and puts his/her feet on the table. He/she wants to relax, closes his/her eyes and sighs. All of a sudden, his/her cell phone rings. It’s his/her mother who keeps asking him/her about his/her unsuccessful love life. The teacher tries to change the subject, but the mother keeps on asking and making suggestions. The teacher is not able to react against his/her mother. He/she gives in to whatever the mother suggests. When he/she hangs up the phone, he/she is completely exhausted.
He/She leaves the room.

A boy and a girl enter the room. They look to see if anyone is there. They close the door. They are giggling with excitement. They lean at the door to make sure it stays closed and make out.

The boy underneath the schoolbags is sneezing. The boy and the girl, leaning at the door, kissing, are startled and look around to see where the sneezing is coming from. The boy underneath the schoolbags sneezes a second time. The couple finds him. They yell at him, „what are you doing here, you freak“ the girl says. They make him promise not to tell. He swears not to tell anybody. „Thank you“, says the girl, kisses him on the cheek, laughs and runs away with her boyfriend. The boy is left alone in the room. He touches his cheek, where she kissed him. He smiles. He leaves the room.

Another boy enters the room. He writes a message on the blackboard. He looks at it. Then, as if he isn’t sure anymore, he takes the sponge and wipes the message off. He leaves the room.

Two girls enter the room. They’re studying for today’s test. Girl1 is coaching girl2 through the vocabulary, which they should learn for that day. Obviously, girl2 isn’t very well prepared. She can hardly translate any of the words correctly. Girl1 is eager to help girl2 but girl2 tells her, that there’s no use, as she is too stupid for school anyway. She stares at the wall. She is close to crying. Girl1 draws closer to girl2 and wraps the arm around her. Girl1 takes out a pen. Girl1 takes the arm of girl2 and writes something on it. Then girl1 covers up gir2’s arm with her sleeve. They squeeze each other’s hand, knowing they are allies forever.

The teacher enters. He looks at the two girls. He asks them, why they are in the classroom already, reminds them that they are supposed to go outside during the break. They shrug their shoulders. One girl says, that the whole room smells like salami. The teacher sniffs. He/she smells it, too. He/She looks, where the smell is coming from. When he/she finds the salami in the corner, he/she shakes his/her head. His/her phone is ringing again. The two girls look at the teacher, but he/she doesn’t want to pick it up. Instead he/she opens a window and throws the salami out of the window. The girls stare at him/her in disbelief. Then, noticing that he/she has done something completely unusual, he/she starts to laugh. The girls soon laugh, too. The bell rings.


Short scenes written for the PLATFORM 11+ Final production FACE ME Time of Transition



M: 2
F: 2