Just what the World Needs
Jane was 16 yesterday!
By Tony Moore
Settings: single set.
Approximate Length: 40 mins
Synopsis: Jane had an accident at her 16th Birthday party when she dived into a pool and hit her head. 24 years later she has woken up and met with a forty year old face in the mirror, a mother who looks like her grandmother and the fact that her father took legal action to have her life support turned off.
Could you cope, if it was you?
The play follows Jane and her therapist through several meetings as she comes to terms with the situation.
She will never go to her senior formal.
She never will play Miranda, even though she finds herself in a Brave New World.
Will her mother ever let her out of her wheel chair?
Who the hell is Wes Carr, and what is Australian Idol?
And at forty, will she ever graduate from high school?
History: Written as a response to the movie “Suddenly Thirty” the play was first performed at the 2010 Adelaide Fringe Festival in J’ahz Lounge produced by Spotlight Theatre Company.
“…quite deep and profound issues are tackled…”
“Near capacity opening night audience was very appreciative.”
Adelaide Theatre Guide
“Funny and moving in parts…”
It’s a good, solid Fringe production that manages to toy with a bunch of ideas in a short amount of time, and turn into something you weren’t expecting. Which, in this case, is nice :).
Copies of the script and Performance Rights are available from this site.
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Jane was 16 yesterday!
January 2009, seven days after waking
There is a desk in the middle of the stage. Facing it is a woman about 40 in a wheel chair. She is very pale and appears to be recovering from a long illness. She is sitting hunched and pouting like a teenager. She has a hand mirror which she is looking at.
A woman enters. She is about the same age as the woman in the wheelchair. She may be wearing a white coat and a name plate typical of some hospitals, she is brisk and efficient. As she enters JANE puts the mirror down on her lap.
SUSAN: Hello, they shouldn’t have left you alone here. I’m sorry. Have you been waiting long?
JANE: That’s all right.
The doctor sits down at the table and opens the file she carried in. She starts to read the notes.
SUSAN: I’m Susan. Well, how do you feel? They’ve taken you off the drips I see. Are you eating?
JANE: I have trouble swallowing. My throat’s very sore.
SUSAN: But you’re off the drip. You must be eating.
JANE: Yes I am but I’m living on jelly and mousse and yogurt. If I see another bowl of thin beef soup I’ll scream.
SUSAN: Well, if you’re eating properly then…
JANE: Who am I?
SUSAN: What do you mean?
JANE: Who am I?
SUSAN: You’re Jane Lewis.
JANE: No I’m not.
SUSAN: I’m sorry?
JANE: They gave me this mirror. The nurses on my wing. They said I could do my own hair.
JANE: (She looks into the mirror.) That’s not me looking out of that mirror. I’m Jane Lewis, I’m sixteen years old and I want to know who that is looking out of the mirror at me. She’s got grey hairs.
SUSAN: I can’t see any. (Pause) Look, we told you…
JANE: I know, I know, I’ve been told several times. I had an accident. But I’m sixteen, I’m only sixteen! (pause)
SUSAN: It will be your fortieth birthday tomorrow.
There is a long pause.
JANE: But I was sixteen yesterday. I had a party. I had a new dress. I was beautiful. Daddy said so. (Whisper) Now I’m old.
SUSAN: Forty isn’t old Jane. I’m nearly forty and I honestly feel that I still have most of my life to lead.
JANE: But, I’m sixteen, I’m not forty.
SUSAN: I’m so sorry.
JANE: I went to a party last night and then…
SUSAN: Are you beginning to remember?
JANE: (Defiantly) No.
SUSAN: You keep saying yesterday. You’ve been awake a week now haven’t you? (She looks through her file) Yes, a week. Don’t you remember the last seven days?
JANE: The last seven days didn’t happen. This is a dream, I went to sleep last night, the night of my sixteenth birthday and now I’m in a dream, a horrible nightmare. If I start believing that this is true, start acting as though it’s real, then I might never wake up and I will, I will wake up. I’ll be sixteen again and none of this will have happened.
SUSAN: The main reason you are here with me now is because you insist that this is a dream.
JANE: It is, it is a dream. You can’t imagine what it would mean to me if this was real.
SUSAN: Look. Jane, I understand how you feel.
JANE: No you don’t. You can’t unless someone tells you you’ve been asleep for almost twenty-four years. I like Cyndi Lauper and the Pet Shop Boys. Who the hell is Wes Carr and what on earth is Australian Idol?