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«Clive Duncan Hi there,. and welcome to Cyber World! How about you? Are you a computer-freak? Are you PS2 (or Xbox, Gamecube) crazy? Have you ever ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

VIRTUAL HEROES

by

Clive Duncan

Hi there,

… and welcome to Cyber World!

How about you? Are you a computer-freak? Are you PS2 (or Xbox, Gamecube) crazy?

Have you ever played until you fell asleep over your keyboard?

How important is your PC, your playstation and your mobile for you? Let’s have a

look! On the scale from 1-100 below, you would be – where? Take a pen and put a cross!

Now ask your parents/your brothers and sisters/a friend? What do they think? Do they agree?

Just think – if you had no computer/playstation, would you 1) do more homework instead? More sports? 2) Read lots of books? 3) See interesting films? Or 4) perhaps go to the theatre and watch a play? In English? (Good choice!) Well, that’s what you’re about to do, and let me tell you, get ready for a special treat! This year’s VET touring production, Virtual Heroes, is partly set in a virtual game world. As you follow the two main characters, Rita and Kevin – or rather Sapphire and Byron, through their adventures in Egypt and Peru, you’ll think you’re sitting at your PC/playstation. Rita is a good pupil, Kevin is not. Rita doesn’t have friends and is being bullied, Kevin misses his dad. Both are looking for adventure, creating a virtual reality for themselves, taking on the personalities they would like to be – in their dreams.

Email and chatrooms are the main ways of communication – but because everybody uses a nickname, you never know who you are really ’talking’ (= writing) to.

Just imagine pouring your heart out to your cyber pal, and it turns out to be your neighbour! Or worse, your younger brother! And remember, the good-looking millionaire or the beautiful model you fell in love with in a game/chatroom might turn out to be a frog who wants to be kissed but is not going to turn into a prince/princess!

So, we hope you’re going to enjoy the play and have lots of fun – after all, that’s the idea of going to the theatre: have fun and enjoy a play in English!

Well, I’d better log off now and let you join Rita and Kevin in their virtual adventure!

cu  Helena Hirsch

Note to teachers and students:

When pre-reading the text (i.e. working through it before seeing the performance) please bear in mind that students don’t have to translate/look up every new word or phrase in order to understand the text. During the performance, through voice, action, movement and mime, there is no need to translate – students see, hear, feel – and understand.

We have deliberately reduced the translations in the footnotes of the text to encourage students to ’guess’ – you might want to make a nice activity out of this: students guess the meaning of certain words/phrases, and after seeing the play, compare to find out if they were right.

We have also added a few quick comprehension questions at the end of the text, and there is, of course, an extensive worksheet to download (www.schooltours.at).

As ’computer and mobile speak’ has become a large part of students’ language, they occasionally tend to get certain terms and prepositions mixed up. You can download an overview of all PC and internet phrases that appear in the text. Next to the English and German words/phrases students can also write their own personal sample sentences!

Worksheet available online www.schooltours.at

CHARACTERS IN THE PLAY:

Kevin Miller - 15 Rita Dobbs - 15 Byron Tombs - a cyber character (Kevin’s avatar) Sapphire Stone - a cyber character (Rita’s avatar) Aaron - a bully Sharon - a bully Mr Smith - a teacher Crouch - a crook Bent - a crook Kevin’s parents The characters will be performed by four actors.

The set:

The play takes place in a school IT (information technology) room; Kevin’s and Rita’s bedrooms; a lift in the British Museum; and different locations within a computer programme. The IT room consists of two computer workstations on wheels, with folding panels1 behind them. On the panels are posters showing us this is a school. For the bedrooms, the computer workstations are moved and the panels turned around to show us the posters in Kevin’s and Rita’s bedrooms.

These panels are pushed together to create the lift in the British Museum. At the back of the acting area, a large upright, rigid square2 gives us an idea of a large screen from where the avatars might be created.

klappbare Wände (z.B. für Posters) ein großes, senkrechtes, starres/steifes Viereck – wie ein Bildschirm

VIRTUAL HEROES

by Clive Duncan Scene 1 Music – the James Bond theme plays loudly. Kevin Miller, 15, appears in school uniform. He walks across the acting area. When he gets to the centre he stops and turns and pulls a banana from his pocket. He points it at us, as if it were a gun. He then aims1 it in a different direction, then another, and another. Rita Dobson, 15, appears in school uniform. She stops and watches Kevin for a moment. He turns round and aims the banana at her – and then is both surprised and embarrassed2 to find her there. He stands up straight and throws the banana up and down, catching it.

KEVIN: Oh. Hello. Referring to the banana: Er … lunch!

RITA: You are really...





KEVIN: Good-looking?

RITA: No. Stupid!

Rita goes on her way. As she goes...

KEVIN: True! But I’m also good-looking!

Rita ignores him. Kevin shoots her with his banana.

KEVIN: That was Rita. She’s at my school. In my class. You can tell that she doesn’t like me very much. That’s all right. I don’t like her very much, either. I enjoy making fun of her – winding her up3. She’s the swot4 – you know, the clever one in the class, always getting good grades. She thinks the rest of us are stupid. Me, especially. I’m not, though – stupid. It’s just that I’m a dreamer. But everyone dreams, don’t they? Do you? I don’t mean the dreams you have when you’re asleep, I mean … daydreams. Like winning a race, or saving someone from a terrible disaster. I dream all the time. Big dreams and little dreams. Little dreams like... Take this banana, for example. I might dream that it can do magic … Mr Smith enters. He is a teacher and he is carrying a pile of exercise books underneath his arm … MR. SMITH: Ah, Kevin Miller. Why are you hanging around5 the IT room?

Kevin points the banana at Mr Smith and says … KEVIN: French!

MR. SMITH: Ah, non Monsieur! Tu a une banane! Il est interdit de manger1 … zielen, auf etwas richten verlegen sie ärgern, aufziehen Streber herumhängen, sich aufhalten Kevin points the banana again and says … KEVIN: Dog!

MR. SMITH: Gruuuff! Woof. Rrrrrrr. Grrrr-uffff!

KEVIN: Big dog!

Mr Smith gets down on his hands and knees … MR. SMITH: Ra! Ra! Ra! Grrrrrrrruuuuuufffffff!

KEVIN: Wouldn’t it be fantastic if you could really do that!

MR. SMITH: getting up – So put the banana away and we’ll pretend2 I haven’t seen it. I’ve dropped my marking. Pick those books up, lad, and bring them to the staff room.

Mr. Smith goes. Kevin picks up the exercise books … KEVIN: I also have big dreams. The usual – like... saving the world. But I also have daydreams about my Dad. He and Mum … split3. Dad left last year.

He lives with someone else, now. I haven’t seen him for a while. I sometimes think that when I get home from school he might be there … Kevin’s Mum and Dad appear. Romantic music … DAD: Darling, I’ve been such a fool … MUM: That doesn’t matter, as long as you’re home.

DAD: Yes. I’m home. I’ll never leave you again.

MUM: Kevin will be so happy … The music stops. The couple go.

KEVIN: It’d be some banana that could make that happen.

He goes off with the exercise books he has picked up.

Rita appears.

RITA: He’s gone. Thank heavens. Kevin Miller – class clown. Class slob4, more like. The boy’s an idiot. I don’t know why he talks to me. I don’t want to be seen with a loser like him. Good, I’ve got the IT room all to myself.

She goes to sit at one of the computer workstations.

RITA: We’re not supposed to be in here at lunchtime, but I can usually get away with it5. I’m top of my class. I tell the teachers I’m researching6 homework, and they let me get on with it. What I’m really doing is Facebooking. I’ve lots of friends on Facebook … She begins logging in … RITA: I’ve no friends here at school. They don’t like me because I’m clever. I get called names – worse, sometimes. I’ll just check to see if I’ve any messages … She looks around to see if anyone is coming, then types on the keyboard … Oh nein, mein Herr, Sie haben eine Banane. Es ist verboten, zu essen...

vorgeben sich trennen Faulsack, Faulpelz ich kann es mir meist erlauben nachforschen, Informationen suchen Music – My Dream Space A man and a woman stand in the large screen shape behind Rita and begin to sing … RITA: What’s this? This isn’t Facebook. They don’t have music. Shh! How do I turn the sound off? Someone’ll hear … SINGERS: You can be whoever you want to be.

You can get another life, You can really be free.

Change your shape Change your height Change your clothes And change your face Find your other self On My Dream Space!

Find yourself on W WW dot My Dream Space.

RITA (reading): – You have been redirected to www dot My Dream Space dot com. Get a second life. Build yourself a dream. What rubbish! I’ll go to Facebook. Aaagh! It won’t close down.

MAN: Please type in your name.

RITA: I haven’t got time. I want to check for messages on Facebook … MAN: Please type in your name.

Rita checks to see if anyone is coming and then types in her name … RITA: I’ll try it. Rita Dobson.

MAN: Type a password.

RITA: Sexy Babe.

MAN: Confirm your password.

RITA: Sexy Babe.

MAN: Welcome … WOMAN: Rita Dobson … MAN: To My Dream Space … Music.

SINGERS: You can be whoever you want to be.

You can get another life, You can … RITA: Shh! Stop it!

Rita types onto the keyboard and the music stops suddenly.

RITA: That’s enough of that.

MAN: Would you like to create your avatar?

RITA: Avatar? What’s an avatar?

WOMAN: An avatar is someone who will represent you in cyberspace. You can be a human, animal, bird or insect … Rita types as she speaks.

RITA: Human.

MAN: Sex?

RITA: Female.

The woman steps forward.

MAN: Height?

RITA: Five foot seven … The woman smiles … RITA: No, five foot eight!

The woman makes herself taller … MAN: Hair colour?

RITA: Dark brown.

The man takes a scarf from the woman’s head showing her hair.

MAN: Clothes … RITA: A blue evening dress … The man slips off the woman’s coat to reveal a blue evening dress … MAN: Measurements?

RITA: Let’s see … ?

Rita types in the measurements and the woman sticks her chest out1 … RITA: No … Rita types again and the woman sticks her chest out further … RITA: This is fantastic! Waist?

Rita types and the woman sucks her stomach in2. Rita types again and the woman puts her hands on her hips.

MAN: Name?

RITA: Er?

Rita types … WOMAN: Hi, my name is Sapphire.

Rita types again … WOMAN: Hi, my name is Sapphire Stone.

MAN: Profession3?

Rita types … SAPPHIRE: Hi, my name is Sapphire Stone and I’m a model. I’m on the cover of lots of magazines.

Rita types … SAPPHIRE: And I’m also a singer-songwriter. I’ve just released my first album and it’s been downloaded a million times… Rita types … SAPPHIRE: Two million times.

die Brust herausstrecken den Bauch einziehen Beruf MAN: Welcome, Sapphire Stone, to Dream World. You can go anywhere, do anything. And if I may say so, you are very beautiful … RITA: Beautiful? Thank you.

Rita types … SAPPHIRE: Out of my way, creep1! I’ve another album to record … MAN: Great! You need to get to the recording studio. What car would you like?

Kevin enters.

KEVIN: Ha! Caught you! You’re not supposed to be in the IT room 2 at lunchtime.

Rita begins to close the site down. As she types, Sapphire goes.

RITA: I’m not! I wasn’t … I mean – I’m doing my homework. Go away!

KEVIN: Surfing the web, more like. Let’s have a look.

MAN: Goodbye, Sapphire Stone. Come back soon.

The man goes.

RITA: What gives you the right to look at my private work?

KEVIN: I’m a prefect3!

RITA: No you’re not. Since when?

KEVIN: Since … ten minutes ago. Mr Smith just made me a prefect.

RITA: Where’s your prefect’s badge?

Kevin pulls a plastic wallet4 from his pocket and shows it to Rita like a detective.

RITA: That’s your bus ticket, Kevin.

KEVIN: It looks like a bus ticket, yes … but actually … RITA: Kevin, a prefect’s badge is metal and is worn on the jacket. That is a bus ticket and you are seriously weird5 … KEVIN: You’re not supposed to be in here.

RITA: Neither are you, so get lost.

KEVIN: You’re not allowed to use the computers for anything but school work.

RITA: How would you know? You don’t know what school work is.

KEVIN: You think you are so clever...

RITA: I don’t think it, Kevin. I am clever … Sharon enters.

SHARON: Look who we have here … KEVIN: Uh-oh … SHARON: Oi, Aaron! IT room, now!

RITA: I’m getting out of here.

She picks up her bag and is about to leave when Aaron enters.

AARON: Where do you think you’re going?

Schleimer du sollst dich nicht im Computerraum aufhalten … Aufseher, Ordner (ältere SchülerIn) Ausweisetui aus Kunststoff du bist wirklich schwer gestört Kevin starts to go.

AARON: Who said you could go?

SHARON: to Rita: Did you think we’d forgotten you?

AARON: We’d never do that, eh, Sharon?

SHARON: Never, Aaron. You're here with your boyfriend!

AARON: Sweet. Miller loves Rita, forever.

SHARON: Ah. You two getting married?

RITA: He’s not. We’re not...

SHARON: You are. You are if we say you are. Kiss her, Kevin.

KEVIN: Eh?

SHARON: You heard.

AARON: Give your little girlfriend a big slobbery snog1. If you know what’s good for you.

Kevin kisses Rita on the forehead. Aaron holds his fist close to Kevin’s face.



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