Summary: I wanted to write a play about solitary confinement and what it does to the brain. I chose to have 6 people play the prisoners. Throughout the play there is movement and songs that show what's going on in there heads. There is group monologues and regular monologues throughout the whole play. This is a move abstract piece not at much props as there is movement. There should definitely be character development in the actors movement throughout the play.
Jeramy, A teenage boy, 17 years old who is African American and is new to prison. In Juvenile Justice Service Center. Lives in Philadelphia.
Samantha, Teen mom still pregnant 17 years old. White women has been in prison for a month. In Juvenile Justice Service Center.
Tomas, 25 year old man African American. Has a wife and kid. In Polunsky.
Wendy, Black women who has been been in solitary confinement twice this is her second time she’s 30. In Idaho Correctional Center.
Tobias, White man who is an addict. He is 25. In Idaho Correctional Center.
Trisha, African American women who is in Polunsky. She is 28.
Police Officers, there are 6 of them they may be playing also prisons throughout show
(There is a set with 3 cubes big enough to stand in. This is where the people will be mostly performing in. The set is more center stage and takes up most of the stage just some room down stage for dancing. The scene will start with a projection of “This is the story of 6 prisoners in 3 different prisons across the USA; 2 adult prisons and one juvy” When the projection goes up a light is shone on 6 prisoners facing upstage so their backs are to the audience. Their hands are up. There is a line of police officers that come on stage of them so they are looking at the audience and they put handcuffs the prisoners. Once the handcuffs are on the police do a step movement and freeze and look at the audience. The song “Prison Song by System of a Down” starts to play and a big dance breaks out this involves a lot of step movements and the prisoners and police are dancing at each other with anger. Once song is over they end with prisoners on their knees head down and officers above them kicking them down. )
To “The Box”
(Everyone stands and in 2 rows split and the 3 prisoners that are on top take the latter up and when they are all in the doors shut all at once - and they all look out at the audience at once with worry in her eyes and lights out)
(Everyone in boxes faced out in actors neutral)
Just a part of the 2,220,300
Locked into the US jail system
Increasing the numbers
20% of the prisoners in the world
But the US is only 5% of the world
SAMANTHA AND JEREMY
Juvenile Justice Service Center
TRISHA AND THOMAS
TOBIAS AND WENDY
Idaho Correctional Center
Just another with our hands up
(everyone puts hands up)
and eyes to the ground
(everyone looks down make sure both of these movements are in senque)
Just another teenager
Locked in these (beat) boxes. When I got in this jail I thought how much worse could it get..
Then they caught my cocain I hid in the bathroom
I got caught sneaking around and then having a mental break down..I snapped at the officer.
talking back to the officer
Getting a little to upset when they wouldn’t let me talk to my wife and kids
So now we are stuck
And apparently it can get worse
(Song “Locked Up” by Akon starts to play this contains in movements that are in sync with each other not all movements have to be in total sync though. There is a bed in the room so movements on bed too.” )
(There is jail bars that are down stage everyone. There is the 6 prisoners hanging, laying, leaning or doing something else against the jail bars. There is a going to be projections maybe a video that shows information about prison. As this plays actors are frozen. After video actors come to life and there is background noise to make it seem more like prison. There is a light that focuses on Samantha as she walks towards Trish. Than only a light on them)
(there is a sound of throw up runs on to stage with a panic)
(say in panic)
(standing up from leaning against bars not paying attention)
Samantha! Calm down what is the matter?
Trish I think I’m pregnant.
What how! Samantha have you been with a gard..
Shit Trish.. I wouldn’t let myself be touched by one of those bastards. It was before to prison. It can’t possibly get worse than this.
(falling to ground holding on to prison bars)
*This is played by one of the police guards they need to look more like a teen because in this scene they are playing Trish’s friend in Juvey.
(Lights go out on Trisha and Samantha and are on Jeremy staring out the jail cells in stillness and silence. A guard walks up him.)
Why are you just standing here shouldn’t you be in your room
Yes.. um .. I just ..
Get your ass back in your room! What did I tell you about wondering! Lights out!!
I was just going for a walk!
Go to your room now !
(reaches in the cell and grabs Jeremy up close to him you can see how this could bring pain to Jeremy)
When I say to do something you do it NOW!!!
(say in a baby voice)
Do you need me to call your mommy
(Throwing Jeremy back and he falls to the ground)
Leave her out of it!
What did you just say?
SHUT UP! I don’t belong here!
You’re right. You don’t belong here. Send him to the box!
(The prisoners are in the boxes and are laying around our trying to make themselves busy)
Today is day 3 of solitary confinement. I think back on the 17 years that I have had and wonder how I’ve gotten here. My mind is twisted with the past all the mistakes I’ve had and how I am the reason why I am in the box. Going into Juvy unknowing what I may face. I had my whole life planned in front of me. I wanted to go into the business world. The rest of the people around my hood in Kensington didn’t have the same goals as me. My mom has raised me to be a world changer and someone who is willing to go out and get their money. So that's what I did. My mom was having trouble paying for the house bill being a single mom. I did have a job at Walmart but it just wasn’t enough. So my friend suggested I trapped. I figured what would it hurt? Many of my friends did it and I would only do it for a month or two-- just till I had enough to help my mom out. Then I could go back to the way things were. But then one day I was selling on the corner of Allegany and a guy came up to me-- someone I have never sold to before. He wanted to buy some cocaine...
(A guy comes in and takes drugs from his hand and immediately he twists Jeremy's wrists into cuffs.)
That is why I am in jail now because I was trying to help my mom out. Now I’m already locked in “the box”... just for trying to help my mom.
(in the boxes scene starts with a big knock on the door and them shaken back to reality real quick then food is shoved under their door.)
(Everyone slides the plate up to themselves and picks up the dried chicken that doesn't really look like chicken)
(Some refuse to eat and then began going back to their business while others pick at their food and try to eat it)
(picking at the chicken and observing in detail)
1..2..3..4..4..4 plus 30 plus 1..2..3..4..4..4.. This is my second time in the shoe. So I’ve learned a few things to make your self not go completely insane. Routine is the key.
(getting up acting out routine all the prisoners do the same. The schedule is all scattered at first and then by the end they are doing the moves in sync. This part they all should move almost like they have a weight on there back and are forced to do routine not to do crazy. Also they should be ending each other's sentences to show that they all do the routines)
First is the waking up.
Followed by staring at the ceiling and counting to 100 5 times. It’s good to keep things in the consistency of 5 rounds.
Sometimes 3. Then it's my wake up workout routine. It’s good to stay in shape and to keep the blood flowing. If I just stared at the ceiling all day I may go insane. So I do 5 sets of ten of push ups, crunches
Squats, and I lift the books I do have. Then it’s time to wash up.. Well as best as I can I go to my sink wash the face in circular motions. Brush my teeth very well. My parents, growing up, always told me to sing through..
Happy birthday twice for my teeth to be perfectly healthy. Then time to read the books that are provided right now I have been reading my books and trying to memorize the pages. Maybe when I’m out of here I’ll surprise
People with my great knowledge from these books. Then it’s time for the writing… wait I forgot something.. DAMN IT.. DAMN IT.. DAMN IT!!!
(All of them begin to freak out. This freaking out is a dance though with a rhythm.l)
I forgot to include the meals...
(when they are calming themselves “mad world” by gary jules begins playing instrumental there is a knock on the door and the door opens for for recess they all turn towards back away from the door and they put their hands behind their backs and they are handcuffed and carried out. As the come down stage they are all going to sing mad world. When they are all in the courtyard they are uncuffed this shows how they react to each other. This dance needs to be slow and somber. There can be body weight dancing with each other. This is when you react to each other when you touch each other and you put your body weight on others almost like trust falls but dancing. When they touch on another you can see they feel very uncomfortable afterwards. They feel this way because many prisoners that are in the shoe in their time outside don’t know how to react to other people because of being isolated to long.)
(Everyone is continuously walking and reacting to each other in a sacred manner in front of the boxes)
Imagine being locked in a 6 by 8 foot room
Days on end
Not knowing when the sun goes up or sun goes down
Painting a picture in my mind of the outside world.. making up the times of the day.
Forget human touch
(goes over to Tobias and has an intimate connection. Looking deep into each other's eyes then suddenly gazing off)
It’s all forgotten
Trying to learn again
(moving up to someone and moving away)
But I know I am going to just leave them in a hour what's the point
(sitting in the corner)
I feel as though my memory of how to act around others is locked outside these bars
(guards all come out in a line and calls to them all)
(they all grab a prisoner and a screen that you can only see shadows from when light is shone on it is rolled onto to center stage and one at a time they are pushed behind the screen and you can see them getting stripped and searched the officers are screaming “bind over” and “clean” then they gather their stuff and go to there cell. There is an instrumental through all this. When they are all in there rooms laying on there bed or sitting the door is shut and all at once they turn to their wall and write a tally mark and say day 8. Lights out.)
(This part is going to be people scattered throughout the stage and there is going to be a words over the speaker talking about being locked up in solitary and there is going to be screaming. The actors are going to be looking at the audience as there is a projection of the american flag on them. The national anthem is going to play out and then it's going to remix to a song that has to do with the system being wack. When this song comes on there is going to be an upbeat dance with stomping and the police are going to come in and dance to. By the end of the dance the bars are going to be brought back on the stage and there going to be pressed against or on the floor by the officers. Then lights are shut out and curtains are closed.)