Artistic Discoveries in European Schoolyards

Plays Database

The Mystery of Jack and the Clones of Chaos

A time-traveller from the future journeys back to 2010 to investigate the strange case of Jack, a thirteen year old boy who believes his life is being taken over by alien clones of himself. The clones look and sound just like him, but behave in ways he never would. They are messy, dirty, rude, destructive, obsessed with girls, clothes and music, sometimes childish, sometimes violent and frightening and get him into all sorts of trouble with his mother, his friends and teachers. When they invade his bedroom, Jack teams up with a famous female pop singer in a final battle to regain control of his life. The time-traveller is revealed as Jack, now grown up, revisiting his own adolescence and coming face-to-face with his younger self. A comedy-drama play about the confusions and battles of growing up, it runs for 45 minutes and is performed by one adult male actor and one teenage male actor with multi-role playing.

Before the Bell

The Secondary school-student Janus, lives with his mum in an apartment block in a suburb somewhere. He is not the coolest guy in the class, but nor is he one of the nerds. Actually, he is quite average. But he has a crush on someone. He has a crush on Dina. A distance crush. Dina started in his class last fall (autumn), and she has the most beautiful neck he has ever seen. Today it’s Dinas birthday, and Janus has bought her a gift. He has planned in detail how he’s going to surprise her with it, behind the gym after school. All this he’s thinking about, as he is standing by the window eating his breakfast this particular morning. Then he looks over to the neighbour block, and in the windows to Leos flat. That bastard Leo. The bully in his class, always picking on someone. On people like Janus. He can see that Leo is smiling. Why is he in such a good mood? Has he got a new dog or something? He can see him stretching out his arm to someone. And then, in the window he can see Dina. In Leos room…
Nothing turns out the way Janus planned this day.
Everything changes, everybody can change. Noone is just the way they are, they are also the one they can be.

NOW 55 31 13 me - The boundary path of realities. One day in the life of adolescents

The script contains the entire text of the production. The actors for the most part play themselves, sometimes becoming fictitious characters.
NOW 55 31 13 me is not a theatre play in the true sense of the word, but is literally a theatre script. This is because it was created during the rehearsal process and is based on the testimonies of particular people. It is composed of both fictitious and documentary parts. The authors of the texts used in the script are writers Bára Gregorová and Blanka Josephová-Lu?áková, with use also being made of conversations and discussions between the actors in the production. Last but not least, it is important to mention that the play draws on the contributions of teenagers studying at a Pilsen grammar school. The fictitious part of NOW 55 31 13 me takes place over the course of a single day. The students get up in the morning and drag themselves into the classroom, going on to spend the afternoon on the internet. Their day is composed of images of mundanity and stereotype, but one thing about it is out of the ordinary. One of their fellow students has committed suicide by jumping off a roof. What form and likeness is taken by this magical NOW, in which children become adults?
Most of Petra Tejnorová’s auteur-style productions are created with no text to begin with, by means of improvisation, and it is thus relatively difficult to provide precise information ”about the author”. The authors of the script are the actual actors in NOW 55 31 13 Me, plus second-year students at the František K?ižík grammar school in Pilsen, playwright Blanka Josephová-Lu?áková and writer Bára Gregorová. The script contains the entire text of the production. The actors for the most part play themselves, sometimes becoming fictitious characters. This script is fulfilled only on stage, when acted in front of an audience, since it is closely interconnected with the action on stage.

Paperclip Belt

A 16-year-old girl Kati is dead but her spirit is now reminiscing about the times preceding her death.
She used to wake up every morning loathing her alarm clock and going to school where she was not the most popular girl in class. Kati smoked and drank alcohol quite often. She had a couple of best friends. She found one boy, Juhan, strangely attractive. All that Kati had wanted was to be attractive and different. She had never dreamed of fitting into the normal everyday world.
Kati’s younger sister is having a birthday party, Kati invites Juhan to her place to help her keep an eye on the youngsters, not wanting to do this on her own. That night Kati and Juhan make love for the first time.

Soon summer begins. Kati and Juhan have a huge fight and do not speak to each other for a month. Kati decides to go to a party in another city. She eats a strange pill given to her by a boy she does not really know. A little while later, Kati gets raped by the same boy. She stumbles out of the house in total confusion only to see Juhan together with another girl. She runs into the nearby forest and tries to slash her wrists.
Juhan arrives in time to save Kati and drives with her to his summer holiday house. They have a long talk and suddenly find themself enjoying some of the nicest days of the summer.

As autumn approaches, Kati and Juhan start getting ready for school. Markus, the boy who raped Kati, contacts her out of the blue. He announces that he’s HIV positive and suggests that Kati should get tested. A while later, Kati receives the horrible news as well.
Kati starts to push Juhan away, since she is too afraid to talk about her condition. On a rainy autumn day, Kati finally confesses.
A while later, she climbs to the top of a tall parking house, thinking about her bygone freedom. She slips and not having enough strength to hang on to the railing, falls down.

Her sister is standing right there and sees Kati’s body smashing onto the cold ground.

Schoolyard Stories

“Schoolyard Stories” takes place in a classroom. Four students, around 13-16 years old, are working on a task left for them by the teacher, who, for various reasons, is absent. Their task is to write about their own everyday life. For some, it is easy, for some hard. Through this simple situation, the play goes into their stories, their thoughts and feelings about life at school and home: taking care of little sisters, enjoying candy, going to school, coming home from school, playing computer-games, listening to mother’s sermons. Dreams, everyday frustrations and boredom, perfect moments and not-so-perfect moments fill the stage as the youngsters try to find their stories and put them on paper. The final story is about the end of the spring term at school, coming of summer and most importantly, about finding peace and harmony. “Schoolyard Stories” is not a play centered on a problem or problems. Its main goal has been to give the young audiences a possibility to recognize themselves on stage. If the play has a point other than this, it could be that the lives of today’s youngsters are full of things to do and to think about – maybe a little too full. The play ends with the school bell.

The Webshop

Two 14 years old girl Martina and Mercella meet by chance in an empty playground at night. It becomes clear from their discussion that both are lonely, their schoolmates don’t accept them moreover they are excluded from the company of the schoolmates.

Marcella is a very smart girl, perhaps this could be the problem with her. She competes in school competitions and she wins. She wants to be a mathematician, a space researcher, an astronomer, a brain surgeon etc., this changes every week, however she is talented indeed. Adults are fascinated because of her knowledge and maturity and it seems every way and possibility is open to her.

Her classmates look at her suspiciously, she looks down on them and thinks they are stupid. She communicates only with adults and thinks of herself as an adult in every respect.
She doesn’t have siblings, her mother, a family doctor secretary, has no partner.

Martina is different. She is inhibited though she would be naturally pretty but she tries to deface herself in every possible way, she often changes styles – dark, emo, gothic – in her clothing and attitude.

She is the middle child from three siblings, her parents are workers, common people with little money and even less free time. Her sister has been very sick for years and her parents had to concentrate their energies on this. She hangs out a lot with different people here and there.

Marcella and Martina are very different but they do have one thing in common: boys are not interested in them. Martina is overtly unworried by this. Marcella is secretly very annoyed about this. Both of them regard school as an unnecessary shit.
They discover soon how they can attract attention and win the recognition of their mates: by starting business with medicine, at first with trendy prescribed slimming drugs then with sedatives, stimulants, antidepressants, hallucinogenics.

At first they get the prescriptions easily with the help of stolen prescription pads. They have no idea of the trouble they are getting themselves into. The girls become very popular amongst their mates and they are considered very cool. Their behaviour has changed, they are becoming confident. Marcella discovers the financial part of the business too. She starts to enjoy money and, by using forged signatures, she makes investments.

Their activity attracts the attention of the drug dealers of the neighbourhood and the police as well but for the present non of them can find the girls.

Their business booms so much so that the girls decide to establish a webshop in order to circulate the goods. Dorina, Martina’s sick sister who is disabled and lives her life in front of the computer is involved in the informatics part of the development.

Among their costumers are strangers and adults as well. The clientele starts to become more and more bizarre in the ballet school (Martina takes ballet lessons), in the schoolyard, in the playground.

The two girls are already business-women who realise that they are addicted to their own goods financially but not just financially. For instance Martina makes much more money than her father who is a bus driver.

In the meantime they have problems with purchasing drugs, because the pharmacists have become suspicious. The prescriptions are obtained in a very refined way: they appear in emergency medical centres just before closing time if possible, between two crying infants. They never go to the same doctor, they lose their prescriptions, steal health insurance cards, make business with the prescriptions of their family members and eventually start forging.
Martina doesn’t lie to herself that she hasn’t become addicted to her own drugs, but the smart Martina is the emperor of life until the first sickness which forces to her to end up in hospital…

Cyber Cyrano

Based on a true story, with devastating consequences. An isolated schoolgirl (Zsuzsi) is secretly in love with one of her classmates (Máté), who treats her quite badly. When a new girl (Heni) joins the class, Máté soon falls for her, making Zsuzsi’s case even more hopeless. In response, Zsuzsi creates some characters on a social networking site, which her classmates believe to be real. First she creates a boy, “Viktor”, the son of a diplomat, who lives abroad, spending his time sailing and horse-riding. She introduces Heni to Viktor (virtually, of course) and Heni falls in love with this glamorous boy who always tells Heni what Heni wants to hear.

Instead of Máté losing interest in Heni (as Zsuzsi had intended), he becomes very jealous of Viktor. So Zsuzsi creates another character, this time an exotic girl – Viktor’s “sister”, Moira. Máté immediately shifts his attentions to Moira. From that moment on, Zsuzsi is in control of both Máté and Heni’s love relationships, a puppeteer pulling the strings, influencing their feelings.

Months pass, and it is no longer possible to avoid a real meeting between the lovers. Operating behind her two characters, Zsuzsi creates the illusion of a grand ball – Viktor’s 18th birthday party – for which Heni and Máté will have to learn to waltz and wear fine clothes. The evening of the party finally arrives. The three – Zsuzsi, Heni and Máté – wait outside for the limousine which will take them to the castle. Of course, the limousine never comes.

Trapped now in a fiction of her own creation, Zsuzsi tries to finish it by “killing off” Viktor in a tragic horse-riding accident. Máté begins to suspect something, and confronts Zsuzsi. The realization that it was Zsuzsi all along devastates Heni, who cannot come to terms with the fact that the boy she was so in love with never existed. She has a nervous breakdown and tries to commit suicide. Zsuzsi is expelled and starts in a new school where she observes her new classmates. The play finishes with Zsuzsi thinking about which new characters she might now create…

The Man on the Horse

In the yard of a secondary school there is a statue: a man on a horse. A king, maybe, or more probably a general… who knows? The plaque with information about the statue is illegible – it says – “and he doesn’t remember anymore who he represents.” Trying to discover it is his favourite occupation, when the lively routine of the institute gives him the time to do it.
But he remembers a lot of other things, and he is surely able to introduce us to the life of that school, of which he has been an attentive and passionate witness since some decades. Everybody loves him and his horse, and someone even opens his heart to the statue: for instance, a teacher, who comes in and tells him there is something strange going on in IIIA. Unusual behaviour, whispered sentences among the kids… what can be behind this? The lone hero is ready to help discovering it.

The story comes from a real fact happened in a school in Milan, where some kids created a role game, a sort of Monopoly based on the image of feudalism and fiefs, but a teacher forced them to stop with it. The play speaks about the creativity of young people, the need we all have to create, and about the difficulties that sometimes occur in the relationship between kids and teachers. But it’s also provides the opportunity to think about the experience of going to school, which in a way is different for each generation, but in another way is always the same.

Somebody’s move, Nobody’s move

Ray is coming back to school. The teacher said so.
Four children in the schoolyard- Willy, Menk, Iris and Hanna- are awaiting his arrival, nervous and worked up. He’ll be in a wheelchair. Who is to blame?
In a reconstruction the four children go back in time. They take turns playing the absent Ray. Ray is stubborn, he looks for caterpillars in the bushes, stands up for fall guys and dares to oppose Menk (the king of the schoolyard). Even though he doesn’t belong to any group, everybody respects him. Iris is Menk’s right hand, she is stirring up trouble and waiting for something sensational to happen. Her friend Hanna doesn’t respond to Willy’s clumsy overtures, she is more occupied with the ever elusive Ray.
In a series of short scenes with dialogues, stories, songs and seemingly innocent schoolyard games like : skipping and “Ferryman, can you take us across?” the relationships slowly become clear, who stands up for others, who bullies, who has butterflies in their stomachs and who is a bystander?
The boys fight for their rank in the hierarchy, they score points off each other or look for protection. The girls join in with the boys, giggling and whispering. They are sly and eventually come up with the most dangerous plans. The children’s social backgrounds also play a role. The father of one of them is a doctor, another child has an alcoholic mother and one has a father at sea.
Meanwhile some events from post war history make an appearance. Willy’s uncle betrayed Jews during the war and is despised by the villagers. The dikes in Zeeland burst and everybody has to hand in toys for the victims. The sixties present themselves with their music and the “American kiss”. Jet planes fly across the schoolyard to end the Moluccan train hijack. Against the background of these events, tension rises among the children in the schoolyard. Betrayal between friends, the struggle for power, badgering, being ignored, unrequited love and pent up frustrations finally have a fatal outcome.
On Ray’s initiative the children plaster the van that belongs to Willy’s collaborator uncle. Consequently the teacher puts pressure on the class by cancelling the school trip as long as the perpetrators refuse to give themselves up. Ray confesses and betrays his fellow perpetrators. They are furious and come up with a punishment: Ray must climb the roof along the rain pipe. When that turns out a little too easy, somebody suggests a more severe punishment: he must jump across the gap between the two school buildings. “Across the gap” the children chant, “Ray must pay”. Little can go wrong, as Willy is supposed to hold the rope that secures Ray. And Willy is Ray’s friend. But Willy is also in love….
In the heat of the game, during the compelling developments in the schoolyard hours fly. Or maybe years. And sometimes time seems to stand still.

In this schoolyard there is no time
In this schoolyard there is all the time in the world
Outside the gate the time moves forward, tick-tock
Hour after hour
Day after day
Month after month
But here
Time plays with us

Once it hit me

The play takes place amongst the fourteen year old classmates in year 9,at a secondary school. The characters meet up at school, after school on the estate, or at home. The play opens with a scene of a school poetry recital, a long standing tradition at Slovakian schools. Students recite their texts, and their individual attitudes expose the nature of the characters, who try to survive puberty. Hippie environmentalist Sasha, who wants to rescue the world, is in love with Eman, a hip-hop clown. Dirt acts as though he’s a sexually experienced adult, he is in love with Sasha. The gloomy poet Eman loves Bela. Bela, a model, loves herself. All of these characters are talking about their everyday life, problems with love, parents and growing up. On Emans 15th birthday they are all planning to explore the adult world- the pub world. When they are kicked out of a bar because they are not yet 18, they decide to go to the pub at the train station. There, they make a video which shows how drunk they are and then run away without paying. The girls split up from the guys and stay the night at a disco, where older guys are buying them drinks. Sasha hates the attention they pay to Bela and runs away leaving Bela alone. The school teacher discovers the video from the previous night on youtube and that Sasha and Dirt are not at school. They are hanging out at Dirt’s apartment. The friendships between guys are marked by jealousy, love and lies.
“The word has tempted me” was first staged as a site-specific production in a regular secondary school classroom. The audience, pupils, get involved in the story by literally following the actors around the school, stopping at different places according to the plot (classroom, cloakroom, hallway). They have a unique chance to peek into spaces they would normally not be allowed (e.g.: boiler room, the toilets belonging to the opposite sex…) but above all, they get to see how their daily school environment can change into a theatre site and how the space opens up to new meanings.
Actors do not have any specific props and have to prepare different stage design made specifically for each school.

School Ties

Come with us on a journey into the deep, dark, dusty corridors of your memory. Inhale the stale stench of floor polish, click open your Barbie lunchbox, tuck in that shirt and straighten your tie! You’re back at School.
School Ties begins with the first day back after the holidays: it is a site-specific work designed to be performed in a school, from the playground and hall, to classrooms and dusty storerooms. The audience gathers in the playground amidst the pupils, joining with their games, their arguments and their celebrations. We hear the bell calling us to Assembly where we wait nervously to meet the three-headed Headmaster.
After the usual preaching, beseeching and admonishments from this giant of a man we are sent on our way to explore the school grounds and the characters which inhabit them. In class–sized tour groups we meet the teachers: the deaf and drunken Mr Humpledink, who fails to contain us with the classics of English literature; the delightfully dippy Miss Hunniford who barely bothers to attend; and the passionate Mrs Harris whose teaching enthrals and inspires.
In the classrooms, corridors and storerooms we find the students: from Geeks and Barbie dolls to Rude Boys and Gossips, you’ll meet them all and perhaps recognize something of yourself. They let us in to the real life of the school and remind us just who really is in charge. Have you done your homework? Did you bring your lunch money? Whose side are you on? And just how cool are you?
In every school there are students entrusted with higher responsibility; the Prefects. They guide, educate, inspire confidence and occasionally mislead us. As the tour comes to an end they bring us together to witness the bizarre life of the playground: a place where pack mentality rules and strength, scent and allegiance are king.
The school year has been squeezed into a single day. There is a hint of celebration in the air, a whiff of freedom heightened by expectation and tempered by memory. The laughter, the tears, the lessons learnt and the experiences shared.
The bell rings.

I don't want to be Che Guevara

In the bathroom of a private school, Martin, dressed in a strict uniform, calmly smokes a cigarette during the break, while in the other toilet, his mates are beating and kicking a younger boy, Alan, “to teach” him the proper behavior at school. Martin, an Arnold Schwarzenegger fan is the leader of the group and while we hear the shouts of the young boy, Martin reflects, in a monologue, about violence, about deception, lack of future and likens life at school to a forest in which one has to survive. He thinks also about what to do with his life. Martin wants to leave school. He wonders whether school is good for anything at all. He thinks that it would be better to work with his father, a political officer who carried out illegal activities in a neighbourhood.
So Martin decides to give the final kick to Alan. Maybe then the school will finally expel him.

In technical training schools, the creativity of students is usually very limited, almost replaced by a universe of scientific knowledge related mainly to the hard sciences. In this context, the possibility that students could express their view on the representation that they have in the break and the schoolyard served as a good opportunity to express the uniqueness of their voices.
The initiative was made by simple first-person testimonies, poems of which they were the authors, songs that they thought were representative of their views and thoughts. Under these conditions, creativity blossomed, and the voices of the students became meaningful and significant.

1. Bonny Boy & Drangonfly 2. Selma

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

30 Schoolyard Nano-Plays

Written for the PLATFORM 11+ Final production FACE ME Time of Transition


“It all started with Gyuri Lakos, who came to our class because he’s flunked” says Boti, an 8th grader in an ordinary Hungarian elementary school. The structure of the class immediately changes when this “new guy” appears on the scene. The girls all adore him, the boys either take his side and follow his example (smoking weed and being rebellious) or hate him, like Boti does.
The truth is, nobody really knows anything about him, like why his eyes were bruised for a while, or where he goes after school, or why he had to leave his previous school. Even his ethnicity is dubious (he might be a Roma guy), and students whisper strange things about his family. In the play we can follow the way the feelings and emotions of four students (Boti, Csabesz, Dóri and Ancsa), whirl, change and float amidst love, confusion, anger and humiliation, as they try to figure out who this boy really is.
Things seem to speed up a bit when Dóri (the straight A student, who is preparing to be European Champion in Gymnastics) writes a love letter to Lakos, who decides to post it on Facebook, and lets the others distribute copies of it in school.
The unexpected suicide of Gyuri Lakos brings all of these emotions to a halt. Students have to try and put together piece by piece what has happened to their classmate, as they give their testimonies to an invisible police officer. Even these testimonies lack cohesion, although some of them mention “violence within the family” referring to Lakos Gyuri’s dad. In the end, the students are still left with the burden of not knowing why he decided to delete himself from the list of humanity. Finally, Boti concludes everything by saying: “This was the end of the era of not being responsable for each other. This was the end of our childhood, really.”