The curtain is the backdrop. A spotlight hits a smartly dressed woman (Erda von Schwantz). She is standing at the top of the steps Stage Right, and she is looking down across the stage with the self-confidence of a successful educator. She has a pair of binoculars and a pad and pen. She lifts the binoculars. A spot hits a school wall Stage Left. A teenage girl is painting on the wall; the painting is an abstract of people entwined sexually in all sorts of imaginative ways. The woman makes a note of what she sees on her pad; her behavior is restrained and professional. She then lifts the binoculars again. A spotlight hits two students running across the stage; a boy is chasing a girl. The boy tackles the girl, Center Stage, and they both collapse to the floor together, wrestling lustfully. ERDA (The spotlight switches to Erda. Her excitement overcomes her reserve. She is jubilant over what she had just witnessed.)
Magnificent. What a perfect example of teenage foreplay.
(She scribbles something on her pad. Afterwards, she lifts her head to address the audience. She is poised and professional.)
If you have any preconceived notions about me, I want you to clear your mind, immediately. I am NOT a pervert nor am I a voyeur with the vice squad. I am Erda von Schwantz, Horace Mann High’s Sex Educationist, and I am collecting material for my magnum opus Perversion and Your Child. Those in the know believe my book will change the way we view teenagers. After my research paper, “The Little Known Secrets Your Child Keeps Buried,” was published several years ago in the prestigious American Public School Journal for the Affirmation of Pedagogic Integrity, everyone, I mean EVERYONE in academia has been begging me to expand my thesis and write a book. In fact, just a few months ago, the Department of Education handed me a fat grant to document my theory about teenage sexuality, which I’m writing from a Freudian perspective., of course. That’s because, like Freud, I too believe the child has succumbed to polymorphous perversity. In Perversion and Your Child, I unequivocally prove it.
(She then admits to the audience, oozing with delight.)
Would you believe during my first six months of my research I uncovered over 50 disorders, including bestiality and necrophilia, prevalent among teenagers with hyperactive libidos?
(She then adds with controlled excitement.)
Isn’t that the juiciest news you’ve ever heard? Wait until the media opens up my Pandora’s Box of goodies. There won’t be a single child anywhere who’ll ever be able to hide his thoughts again behind an innocent smile. I’m going to rip off that mask and expose him for the carnal beast he is. For your benefit, here’s a little tease from my introduction .
(She puts on a pair of glasses and begins to read from her notes.)
“In an unrelenting search for new ways to gratify their polymorphous perversity, adolescents cross over at an early age to what clinical psychologists identify as socially forbidden areas of experimentation. In Perversion and Your child, I offer the perfect solution.”
(She looks up from her notes, removes her glasses, and stares straight at the audience.)
What is this solution, you may wonder? What earth-shattering suggestion do I have to end such unacceptable activity among high-risk teenagers? My answer is quite simple.
(She pauses before responding.)
The spotlight hits a female artist (Mimi Flicop) who is painting on the wall Stage Left. She is a modernly dressed girl on the wild side – tattoos, multi-colored dyed hair, etc. An all-American teenage boy approaches her. He is a straight-looking and handsome adolescent (Roger Murphy) – well-groomed and perfectly saintly in his boyish appearance. ROGER Cigarette, Mimi? Got a two-for-one special today. MIMI (She quickly stops painting and gives her full attention to the handsome teenager. She obviously likes him; he’s indifferent to her. She’s just a customer.)
Sure, Hon. I’ll take four. Your Columbian smokes really gives me a nice buzz. Just what I need to finish this mural. And while I’m thinking about it, toss in a few of those blue pills.
(She buys some hand-rolled cigarettes and several blue tablets; she then puts them into her pocket except for one cigarette.) ROGER (He studies her mural, while she lights her cigarette.) You really put it right out there. This picture is hotter than any porn flick I’ve ever seen. Is this going to be your new theme for your department store window paintings? MIMI No chance, Rog. I’m strictly indoors from now on. No more of those outside jobs for me. I’m going big time after this. My next job will be Harper Stadium. ROGER Get out of here! MIMI No really. They’ve got a wall inside that stadium that screams for one of my murals. ROGER What’ll be the subject? MIMI I’ve been thinking of doing something traditional, but with a cool twist. Maybe a few oversized athletes wrestling in the shower with the coach in drag, snapping his whip. You know, something clean and fun like that. ROGER (He sees Frank Hamme walk toward them.)
Quick. Hide your smoke. Hamme’s coming.
(She puts the cigarette behind her. Roger and Mimi stand in front of the mural, concealing the painting from view, and they smile innocently. Frank is a middle-aged, average-looking teacher, who parades about as though he were an extraordinary male specimen. His clothes are tight and his crotch is noticeably padded. Frank walks past them and acknowledges them with a nod; he sniffs the air. He likes what he smells and smiles. He sniffs again and moves on. Amused, the two students watch him disappear down the hall.) MIMI Is that dork as clueless as he behaves? ROGER Don’t know. But by the way Borlinda is laying into him it won’t take long for us to find out. MIMI (After taking a deep drag from her cigarette, which she thoroughly enjoys, she begins to giggle.)
Is she the weirdo who was kicked out of a convent? ROGER Yeah, that’s the girl. But I heard she dropped out. MIMIBanged up? ROGER (He laughs.)
No way. There isn’t a boy alive who can get near her. MIMI Nor any man for that matter. Take Hamme. She really loves giving it to him with her smart-ass remarks. ROGER (He smiles broadly.)
I know. I'm gonna love watching them go at it in lit class. The spot hits two teenagers, wrestling on the floor, Center Stage. They are behaving with sexual familiarity, moaning and groaning. A stunning-looking teenage girl approaches them (Borlinda Borgia). She is plainly dressed, hiding her physical assets with practical and loose-fitting clothes. She is horrified at what she sees. She begins waving a Bible. BORLINDA
(In a voice filled with fire and brimstone.)
Stop that immediately! Don’t you realize that you are committing an unpardonable sin? Both of you. I beseech you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Repent this minute. BOY (Startled, the couple looks up at her. When they realize who is addressing them, they glare at her annoyed.)
Get lost. BORLINDA
Have you forgotten Romans 6, verse 23?
(She opens her Bible. She reads to them.)
“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
(She looks down at them; they ignore her and resume with their wild petting.)
Did you hear me? I said the wages of sin is death. Do you understand me? You are going to burn in hell if you don’t repent. I command you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ: Repent this instant! BOY (The boy jumps up, annoyed. His girl friend is lying on the stage. She tries to pull him down again, but he breaks away.)
You want my repentance, Borlinda. I’ll give it to you.
(Groping himself, he approaches Borlinda.)
All Seven inches. BORLINDA (She backs away, disgusted.)
Don’t you come near me.
(He leaps toward her; they struggle. She pushes him away)
Keep your hands off me, Satan, or I’ll strike you dead with the Word of God.
(The boy tries to throw her to the ground. She gives him a swift kick in the crotch, and he collapses in agony to the floor. She flips him a tract, then walks off the stage triumphantly, like a saint who just been given her rightful place in heaven.) The spotlight hits Frank Hamme. He is walking across the stage. He stops Stage Left and turns to the audience. FRANK(He speaks proudly, pompously, as though he is addressing his students.)
My name is Frank Hamme. You’ve heard of me, no doubt, through my students. I’m the miracle worker at Horace Mann High who’s turning hopeless seniors into Renaissance men and women with the magic of literature. My students, I’m proud to say, leave my class the smartest young men and women in the country. In one year, I do what all their other teachers combined can’t do in eleven years. I prepare them for life.
My star pupil, is none other than Igor Ivanovich. Thanks to me, this talented young man has soared to stardom almost overnight. At twenty, he is one of the finest Shakespearean porn stars of our time. In his latest movie, The Secret Fantasies of Hamlet, he absolutely redefines Hamlet’s passion for Ophelia. Critics have referred to his stellar performance of the love-sick prince as “oozing with primal energy.”
You would think with my reputation for cultivating students like Igor that this year’s senior class would be devouring my every word. Instead, those dunces completely ignore me and shamelessly amuse themselves with tiresome adolescent activities while I try to fill their minuscule brains with knowledge. They don’t seem to realize that I honor them by being here; that my knowledge acquired at America’s best schools can free them of their mental poverty.
If only they would listen and not slam their minds shut whenever I speak. Some of my wisest remarks, ignored, not even a frown! All I get out of them at best is an empty stare, which only fills with life, when I strut my stuff. It’s a relief to note that at least then it’s possible to communicate with these 17-year-old half-wits.
Yet I continue in hopes that there is another Igors out there, hiding among this year’s seniors, waiting anxiously to be discovered by me. But where are they? I haven’t seen one this semester.
Still, I mustn’t be discouraged. Who knows? Today may be the day when I will find him or her and touch their souls with my quintessential message from Hamlet.