Writing 12
In The Game Of Love
Home | Path | Table of Contents | In The Game Of Love | The Diary | Creepy Monologue | Tell Me | Reality of the Mind | Jail | Blink | Impersonal Conversation | Attempted Absurdist Theatre

The stage setting for this play is very much up to the director. Props and back round settings should be limited so there will not be a need for set changes in between scenes. All the male parts will be played by one male actor and all the female parts will be played by one female, our protagonist. Sudden costume pieces should be used to show certain ages and personalities.

(The scene opens with Anastasia, a girl who is just about to turn 20, on the stage, reading her diary. Lights come up.)


Anastasia: Many things happen when you turn 20. By then, you should be out of the house, living either on your own or with some friends. You should be able to drive, because nobody can fail the test that many times. You may be part way through college or university by then, as well. You have a general sense of freedom, but a lot more responsibility. Youve lived through some of the toughest years of your life- the Teen years. Lots of new emotions and feelings and one of the biggest games youll ever play- Love. Of course, this game starts as soon as we are born. Moreover, we have to play; its not like be have a choice in the matter. There are many obstacles in our way, but somehow we can get by. Im living proof. This game has been hard on me, but Ive managed. Ive been in and out of love, lust and infatuation. I guess the first was Chris, my next-door neighbour since I was six years old. (Lights fade; Anastasia and Chris are in a park when lights come back. They are six years old again. Lights come back up.)


Chris: Hi. Who are you?

Anastasia: Hi. Im Anastasia Susanne Wilde. Me and my mommy and daddy just moved into that house over there. (Points out her new house with pride.) My room is green and pretty and mommy told me to come play in the park so Im not in the way of the movers.

Chris: (Also proud.) I live in the red brick house next to that one.

Anastasia: What is your name?

Chris: Chris.... (Pause) Do you want to come play on the swings with me? My mom wont let me play on them without a friend.

Anastasia: The swings are my favourite! (Lights fade; Anastasia returns to her monologue position were her diary is and Chris exits. Lights come back up.)


Anastasia: Of course, over the years, Chris and I became best friends. I always had a voice in the back of my head that told me how wonderful he was. We had funny nicknames for each other too. I had many names, ranging from Asia to Anna to Tash. When we were eleven, he tried something really bold on a dare, something I never expected him to ever do. (Lights fade; Anastasia and Chris are now eleven years old, again in the park. Lights come back up.)


Anastasia: Hi Chris-cross. Wanna play some catch? (Holds up her baseball glove and ball.)

Chris: Sure Anna. But I wanna ask you something first.

Anastasia: No questions. Catch. (Throws the ball to Chris.)

Chris: Youve been practicing. (They throw the ball back and forth a few times, each time Chris getting closer. he finally makes it to about four feet in front of Anastasia before speaking again.) About that question....

Anastasia: Oh yeah, what did you want to ask me?

Chris: Well, what would you do if there was this, ummm, guy that you really liked?

Anastasia: What do you mean? Like those older kids that are always hanging out on the other end of the park?

Chris: Yeah, if you wanted to, you know, ask them out?

Anastasia: Do you have a crush on someone, Chris? (Trying to embarrass him in a friendly way.)

Chris: Well, I.... (Turning red with embarrassment.)

Anastasia: I bet its that new girl, Laura. Shes really nice.

Chris: No, its not Laura....

Anastasia: Well, I dare you to go up to the girl you like and kiss her. Kiss her right on the lips. (Tom-girlish playing.)

Chris: (Hesitant.) Right now?

Anastasia: Yeah, go find her. I dare you! (Challenging.)

Chris: Well, since its a dare... (It looks like hes going to walk right by her, but he stops and plants a kiss right on Anastasias lips. This should be a short kiss, since neither of these characters has kissed someone before. Chris stands back, hoping for the best. Lights fade; Chris exits, Anastasia comes back to the present. Lights come back up.)


Anastasia: My first kiss. It may not have been the best first kiss in the world, but it was mine. And it had been from my best friend, which made it that much better. Chris and I became even better friends after that. We did more things together and had many more laughs. We were always together and people talked about both of us, never just one of us. We were dubbed That Cute Couple. Then, one day, we stopped laughing because the only topic we could think about wasnt funny. (Lights fade; Anastasia and Chris are in the park again, either eleven or twelve years old. Lights come back up.)


Chris: (Sad but trying hard to hide it.) Hey Annes.

Anastasia: Just the guy I was- (Sees hes not happy.) Whats wrong?

Chris: My dad just got a call from my grandpa.... (Pause. Anastasia waits for the rest of the story.) My granny is really sick. My dad is her only child... and he wants to move over there to be closer to her. We are moving away at the end of the month.

Anastasia: (The shock is setting in.) You mean that you.... you are leaving?

Chris: Yeah. My granny and grandpa need us. They live really far away too, so my dad says I cant come back to visit very much. He told me that I have to say goodbye to you and move on. He thinks its best if I just say goodbye now and we forget about us. Itll be too hard to communicate and my dad doesnt want us to tie up the phone lines with what he calls our puppy love infatuation. Whatever thats supposed to mean.

Anastasia: (Near tears. Long pause.) Then I guess this is goodbye. (Pause.) This isnt fair. Its as if Im loosing two people; one my best friend, the other my boyfriend.

Chris: Im sorry Anastasia. (Gives her a hug. Lights fade; Anastasia returns to her monologue place. Lights come back up.)


Anastasia: All good things come to an end. Thats one of those famous quotes that are supposed to make life all better. Time heals all wounds. Dont worry, be happy. Besides, as my friends pointed out, I was just about to get into junior high. Id meet many more boys and forget all about Chris. Well, not completely. Ill never forget Chris. No one ever forgets his or her first love. On the contrary, after a while you do start to feel better. Your mind is free to wonder and explore new options. Of course, things are really different in junior high. The classes get harder, the people get smarter and there are more and more people who are engulfed in hormones. I guess Im somewhat lucky, in some respects. Im not the prettiest girl in town, but not far from it. So, I had a lot of offers for dates. Im not sure how many of them were real, and Im not sure how many I turned down, but there was a fair amount of them. And with that came one of the most annoying things in the world- pick-up lines. (Lights fade; enter Ben. Both actors are now twelve years old. Anastasia is walking home, perhaps carrying her backpack. Lights come back up.)


Ben: Hey gorgeous, if you were a booger, Im sure any guy would pick you first.

Anastasia: Get a life, Ben.

Ben: Are those astronaut pants, because your butt is outta this world. (Anastasia just gives him a look.) Your daddy must be a thief because he stole the stars and put them in your eyes.

Anastasia: Cant you take a hint?

Ben: I cant take anything because you have stolen my heart. (Still not working.) Do you believe in love at first sight, or should I walk by again?

Anastasia: Id be much happier if you just walked away and left me alone.

Ben: I dont know what idiot put the alphabet together but if I were him, Id but U and I together. (Still no reaction.) Can I borrow a quarter? I told my mom Id call her when I found the woman of my dreams.

Anastasia: (Flipping a quarter at him.) There you go, now get lost.

Ben: Im already lost inside your smile.

Anastasia: And I thought brushing and flossing got annoying scum out of my teeth. (Lights fade; Return to monologue positions. Lights come back up.)


Anastasia: See what I mean? Some guys are just really annoying. They dont even know you and they come up to you with this stupid macho act. I dont imagine that many girls find it attractive. If those guys would just talk normally, they would have a better chance of keeping my attention instead of bothering me and coming off as jerks. I went on a hand full of dates during junior high before realizing that it was really to early to be dating. Guys had no idea what they were doing and it just came out as a waste of time. On the other hand, maybe its just because I didnt find the right guy. Either way, my romances in junior high were sometimes comical and sometimes just stupid. I can think of a few memorable events...(Lights fade; Anastasia returns to being a junior high student. Our male actor is now onstage with Anastasia. Lights come back up.)


Anastasia: (Aside, consulting her diary to make sure she gets the order right.) First, there was Logan...

Logan: Anastasia, I hope you dont mind that my dad is coming with us to the movies. He hasnt seen a movie in a long time; but hes not going to sit with us. He promised hed sit in the back with binoculars. To see the show better, he says...

Anastasia: (Aside.) Then, there was Cryton...(Waiting.) Well, eventually there was Cryton...

Cryton: (Late as usual.) Sorry Im late Anastasia, (Putting on a sad face.) my dog was hit by a car.

Anastasia: Thats what you said last time. (Bored.)

Cryton: I mean, (Putting on a sadder face.) my grandpa died.

Anastasia: That would be about your fifth grandpa this year. (Annoyance.)

Cryton: Did I mention that my cat ate my keys?

Anastasia: You dont have a cat. (Pushes Cryton away from her. Aside.) I decided to try one more time before giving up. This time it was Jamie.

Jamie: (With date book in hand.) Lets see, I have tutoring on Mondays, soccer on Wednesday and band every Thursday. I have Chess Club on Saturday and papers on Sunday. Well, Anne, I can pencil you in for either Tuesday from 3:45 to 4:15 or Friday from 7:05 to 7:30. And then the next two months are completely packed. Which works better for you, Tuesday or Friday? (Anastasia slams her diary shut; Jamie exits.)


Anastasia: You can understand why I was discouraged. I decided to stick with my friends and focus on my schoolwork until high school. What a difference high school is to junior high. Thats when I met Xander. It was tenth grade, we were the new kids to the high school, but we made our mark. It was refreshing to be around people that had more personality than a brick wall. (Lights fade; Anastasia is carrying a backpack and books. Lights come back up. Xander enters and sees Anastasia as she is very confused as to where she has to go for her next class.)


Xander: Excuse me, do you need some help?

Anastasia: (Startled by Xanders presence, drops her books.) Oh! (Retrieving her fallen papers.) You scared me.

Xander: Yeah, high school is like that sometimes. (Helps Anastasia pick up her books. Their hands meet on the last paper. They look at each other.) Hi, Im Xander Martin. (Extends hand to shake hers.)

Anastasia: Hi. (Nearly drops her books again. Xander takes them from her, still extending his hand. She shakes it.) Anastasia Wilde.

Xander: You must be new.

Anastasia: Its my first year of high school.

Xander: That would explain why you are lost. This place can be quite confusing. Let me show you around. (Freeze.)

Anastasia: (Aside.) I couldnt believe my luck. Here I was, my first day of high school and I met this amazingly cute and sweet guy. He didnt even seem to care that I was a tenth grader and he was in grade eleven. It wasnt long before one of the most exciting things in my life happened-

Xander: (Unfrozen.) So, Anastasia, I was wondering if you were busy Saturday night?

Anastasia: No plans so far.

Xander: Well, would you like to go to the movies with me?

Anastasia: Do you mean as a couple?

Xander: Yeah, unless you would be uncomfortable with that-

Anastasia: Pick me up at six. (Lights fade; Xander exits, putting props off stage. Anastasia is getting ready for her date. Lights come back up.) I have never been on a high school date before; especially not with someone a whole year older than me. There were many things to think about: what to wear, how to act, what to do. I dont think Id ever been so nervous. I was playing in the big leagues now. (Knock at the door.) Coming! (Lights fade; Xander and Anastasia are now in the movie theatre, watching a horror movie. Lights come back up. Anastasia and Xander react to what they are watching on the screen. Xander pulls the old yawn-and-put-your-arm-around-the-girl-you-are-with type of thing. To audience.) Wow, I never thought guys actually tried that. (Puts her head on his shoulder, still reacting to the gruesome images on the movie screen. Movie ends, they stand up and start walking towards the aisle and the, presumably, to her house.)

Xander: So what did you think of the movie? (Stretching.)

Anastasia: Well, the plot was all right, but not the best, although I did like the special effects.

Xander: I really do enjoy that film style. That company should hire better writers and then they would get much better ratings. (Holds Anastasias hand as they walk.)

Anastasia: (Aside.) I dont know what it is about Xander. It may be something in the way he walks, or, more likely in the way he talks, but I seem so comfortable around him. Dont get me wrong, Im still as nervous as before, but now I know that hes a little different from Jamie, Ben, Logan and Cryton. Oh, boy, is that a good thing.

Xander: What are you thinking right now?

Anastasia: (Aside.) Wow, I really hope hes not telepathic, or this could be a little embarrassing. (To Xander.) Im thinking about what a good time Im having with you tonight. (Aside.) Good save, huh?

Xander: (Smiling.) Then there must be something funny in air because I was thinking the exact same thing.

Anastasia: (Notices that she is home.) Well, this is my stop. (Looking in a window.) It looks like my folks have already gone to bed.

Xander: That means we are all alone in our own little world. (Still holding her hand.)

Anastasia: You could say that...(Pause.)

Xander: Well, (Trying to break the ice. Drops her hand.) I guess I should get going... I have a ton of homework to do this weekend... Ill see you Monday, then?

Anastasia: (Kind of disappointed that Xander didnt try to kiss her good night but trying to keep looking as happy as before.) I guess so. (They both turn to go in opposite directions. Anastasia turns back, taps Xander on the shoulder. He turns around and she slowly and gently kisses him.) Talk to you then. (Blushing, she goes into her house smiling. Xander stands looking in her direction for a moment, then a big smile grows on his face as he exits. Fade lights; Anastasia is back in her monologue place. Lights come back up.)


Anastasia: (Aside.) I was bewitched. I had never felt so alive. The rest of the weekend passed too slowly for me because I knew Id see Xander on Monday. Time seemed to fly by. Before I knew it, it was the first day of Christmas vacation. Both Xander and I got jobs that holiday, at the local movie theatre. It reminded us of our first date and was kind of one of our inside jokes that we laughed at every time we went to work. Our boss was a lady who didnt really care what we did at work, as long as we got the placed cleaned up before the next show. We sat in the back of the theatre of every movie that holiday, and if we had already seen the show, we werent exactly watching it anymore. (Shy smile and blushing.) Dont get me wrong, we didnt do anything more than kiss whilst working because, well, for one thing, I was too shy, but it was still exciting. At least, it was exciting for me. Xander always seemed a little overly disappointed when the theatre lights came on and we had to get back to work. There wasnt anything I could do about that, though. According to a magazine I read once, males think about sex every 5.3 seconds or so. Me, Id rather not think about it because I find it a little scary. You hear such horror stories, like having unprotected sex and then getting pregnant or about being forced to put out. I was sure that would never happen to me. (Lights fade; Anastasia and Xander are just getting off work. Lights come back up.)


Xander: Hey sweetheart, what are you up to tonight?

Anastasia: Nothing planned, so far.

Xander: Did you want to come over tonight? Maybe watch a movie or listen to some music?

Anastasia: How about the latter choice? I think weve seen plenty of movies recently.

Xander: Well, heard them at least. (Anastasia puts her finger to her lips and looks around, hoping no one heard that comment.) Dont worry, everyones gone. No way I can embarrass you now.

Anastasia: (Smiles.) Well, Gina and Steve have the later show so lets get outta here. (Lights fade; Anastasia and Xander are now at Xanders house. They are laying on a couch, listening to soft music. Lights come back up.) This is so relaxing after all that work.

Xander: That was work? I thought it was play.

Anastasia: You know what I mean. (Giggles.)

Xander: (Taking that as an invitation to start kissing her on the neck.) Yeah, I think I do... (Freeze.)

Anastasia: (Aside.) This relationship thing was still really new to me. I should have known by the way that Xander knew what to do that he had done it before. Im not saying that its a crime, but it just seemed really soon for him to try to run the bases. (Xander unfreezes. Anastasia pushes him away a little, just enough that he has to stop kissing her.)

Xander: Whats wrong? (Starts kissing her neck again.)

Anastasia: Nothings wrong. (Pushes his away again, this time sitting up.)

Xander: If nothings wrong, why dont you lie back down and relax? (Lays Anastasia back down gently, his hand around her waist. He starts kissing her neck again, but this time his hand is straying down her side, something that is new and scary to Anastasia. She is startled and stands up, walking a couple steps away from the couch.)

Anastasia: So, what did you think of this song? (Trying to get Xanders mind away from wanting to kiss her.)

Xander: (Getting a little annoyed. He stands up and goes up behind Anastasia, putting his arms around her waist a little to firmly and his head on hers.) I think that you should relax. (Starts kissing her shoulder. She breaks free when his hands start to go a little too high.) Look, what the hell is your problem? Why do you always have to be so up tight all the time?

Anastasia: Xander, Im sorry, its just that things are going a little to fast-

Xander: Too fast? Thats a joke. You have got to be the most uptight and slow girl I have ever dated. If you were like any of my other girlfriends, we would have hit third base or home by now!

Anastasia: (Shocked by his tone and anger.) Any of your others? Whats that supposed to mean? How many girls have you been with?

Xander: Thats none of your business. Now come back here. (Xander grabs Anastasia around the waist again. She struggles a little, mostly in shock that he is being so forceful. She gets away, turns back and looks at him.)

Anastasia: What right do you have to do that?

Xander: What right do I have? Ive been dating you for months now, I think I should get something out of it. (Anastasia looks shocked at this, not believing what she is hearing.)

Anastasia: Well, you can stop trying so hard to keep being my boyfriend now because you can consider yourself dumped!

Xander: You can go to hell, no one dumps me! (Makes a grab for her but she screams and runs away. Lights fade; Anastasia is back in her monologue place. Lights come back up.)


Anastasia: That was one of the worst nights of my life. It didnt get much better after that either. Xander was the kind of guy I should have never gotten involved with. After I dumped him, these rumours started about me. I could hear kids whispering them in the hall as I passed by. They werent good rumours either, not flattering at all. It got so bad that even most of my friends started to believe them. That was the most horrible feelings I have ever experienced. The gossip about me got so bad that I had to transfer schools. I didnt tell my parents the real reason I switched either. They had thought Xander was a nice outstanding citizen. Dont believe only what you see on the outside. In my new school, I didnt find it that hard to fit in. I even made sure I knew where all my classes were so I wouldnt have a repeat of what happened the last time I was new in a school. I rarely thought of dating until the beginning of grade eleven. I was sixteen, beautiful and ready to get moving in the game again. (Liam taps her on the shoulder.)


Liam: Hey, arent you that new girl? That sits in front of me in chem.?

Anastasia: Thats possible. Do you have chem. in third block with Smith?

Liam: Yup, thats the one. I pity you; you sit right in the front and Smith spits when he talks.

Anastasia: Like I hadnt noticed. My notes are covered in slobber. (They both giggle at this comment.) Im Anastasia.

Liam: Liam Spence. (Thinks, looks at watch.) Hey, I gotta get to class, but do you wanna meet up after school? I can introduce you to some of my friends.

Anastasia: Sounds good. See you then?

Liam: Meet you back here after school, kay?

Anastasia: Sure. (Both go in different directions to class. Anastasia stops, looks to audience.) You may be thinking that I just started dating Liam right then. I actually didnt. I wasnt about to make the first move because of the way my last relationship ended. And Im sure you can tell just by looking at Liam that hes kind of a shy type. A bunch of his friends who he introduced me too asked me out, most likely because I was the new girl. New big opportunity of dating mystery. And I kept it that way. I made a game of not accepting dates from guys. I like to imagine that they had a poll going to see whom Id go out with first. You may say Im a dreamer... But seriously, there werent any guys that really thrilled me. No one who I was introduced to was mysterious or intreging. I thought I was bound to become a Nun until this one party. I was held by a friend of a friend and it was just a way for me to kill time so I went. Liam was there. He took me by the hand that night and.... (Liam reappears, takes her by hand and leads her away.)


Liam: Anastasia, youve been new to this school for a few months now and ever since I met you Ive been finding myself thinking about you. Ive never done this before, so its kinda scary, but (Pause and a deep breath.) would you like to go out with me sometime?

Anastasia: (Aside.) Whoever bet on Liam was a smart person. (To Liam, smiling nervously.) Id love to.

Liam: Really? Thats so great. Man, was I nervous to say that, but now that I have.... I really do want to take you on a fun date

Anastasia: What did you have in mind?

Liam: Well, theres this club downtown that some of the guys take their girlfriends. Its a restaurant that everyone seems to enjoy. The only thing that may keep you from wanting to go is the fact that there is a lot of dancing. Ive been a few times and I basically know the steps but you are new so-

Anastasia: Id love to go. (Aside.) Did I mention that I used to dance as a kid and up until I was 12? (Light changes.) This night was the night I showed the whole town what I was made of. (Music cues. Liam and Anastasia start to dance. A very quick passed and exciting choreography should be used. Out of breath, Anastasia and Liam sit down on a bench or some chairs, anything to signify that they have left the restaurant.)

Liam: Wow, was that something.

Anastasia: I know what you mean, I havent danced that much in years.

Liam: You were awesome in there, I really mean it. (Flirting the best he knows how.)

Anastasia: You arent so bad yourself. (Flirting back.) I really had a good time tonight Liam.

Liam: Im glad. To tell you the truth, I was really nervous about tonight, but once we got to the restaurant, I felt fine.

Anastasia: You were nervous, too? I thought only girls got nervous on dates. I know I always am.

Liam: I think Im getting over being nervous. (Holds her hand.)

Anastasia: Me too. (They look into each others eyes for a moment, and then return to being shy.)

Liam: I guess I should walk you home.

Anastasia: (Looking at watch.) Yeah, it is getting a little late. (They stand, still holding hands. Anastasia starts walking in the direction of her house, but Liam doesnt move. When Anastasia is at arms length away, Liam pulls her back into a dip. Anastasia is surprised, but enjoying her time in Liams embrace.)

Liam: What are you doing Saturday night?

Anastasia: Nothing definite- yet.

Liam: May I have that dance? (Heavy flirting.)

Anastasia: What if my dance card is full? (Teasing.)

Liam: I think Id be very jealous. (Kind of wounded, thinking that she may not be interested in him after all. If it is too hard to keep Anastasia in the dip, she may come back to a standing position at this point. If this happens, Liam and Anastasia should still be in a fairly close embrace.)

Anastasia: And if my dance card was completely free?

Liam: I think Id be very happy.

Anastasia: Then I believe you will be a very happy boy, because I think I can pencil you in.

Liam: Saturday, then?

Anastasia: You can count on it. (Lights fade. Anastasia returns once again to her monologue spot. Lights come back up.) He did count on it- every single Saturday from then on. I have never in my life been happier. I was falling for him. Some say the sea of love is rough and hard to manage. I dont think that that is so. Although, I did have one giant tidal wave hit me. You see, I was sitting in a bar on my 19th birthday, celebrating yet another year that had gone by. Liam had just gone on his way to the bathroom when someone I hoped never to see again walked in. Xander Martin.

Xander: Dont I know you from somewhere?

Anastasia: Youd think you would remember the only girl to ever dump you.

Xander: I knew it was you Anastasia. (He seems drunk, perhaps has been going from bar to bar all night.) I think I own you something.

Anastasia: An apology?

Xander: Noooo.... this. (Grabs her and gives her a big kiss. She struggles but cant get away. Black out. We here Liam yell Get off my girlfriend! Light comes back, Anastasia is alone on the stage. A pre-recorded tape of fight sounds is playing.)

Anastasia: The boys fought, as boys normally do, at least in movies. I couldnt tell you which one came out looking better. They each had their share of bruises, cuts and scraps. Liam didnt want to see me ever again, and left the bar that night in a taxi. I have never cried so much. I love him, I really do.

(Liam enters. Anastasia runs to him. He shields her embarrass.)

Liam: What do you want?

Anastasia: Liam, may I have this dance? (Extends her hand to his.)

Liam: (Spitefully) What if my dance card is full?

Anastasia: I know I would be very jealous and I would never love again. I would rather face a world without your love than to love another.

Liam: I think I will make you a very happy woman, because I can now see my dance card is completely clear of anyone besides you. (Produces a wedding ring, slips it on her finger.)

Pre-recorded Voice: By the power invested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride. (They are about to kiss when Liam freezes and Anastasia steps forward.)

Anastasia:  Many things have happened before I have turned 20. Now, Im still living in my house, but not for much longer (Glances back at Liam, smiling). I can drive, because I didnt fail the test that many times. I am part way through college. I have a sense of freedom, and a lot more responsibility. Ive lived through some of the toughest years of my life- the Teen years. Lots of new emotions and feelings and one of the biggest games youll ever play- Love. (Considers.) I take that back. Love is not a game. You cant strategize. You never can expect what is coming. Even so, we have to play; but we do have a choices in the matter. We can take it lightly or seriously or any way we choose. There are many obstacles in our way, but we always get by. Im living proof. And if love were a game, I have won it. (Steps back to Liam; he unfreezes. They kiss, lights black out.)