Read Between the Sheets Online

Authors: Jordi Mand

Tags: #Drama, #Canadian, #Career women, #marriage, #affairs, #children, #parenthood, #parent-teacher, #Jordi Mand, #female playwrights, #Canada

Between the Sheets

BOOK: Between the Sheets
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Between the Sheets
© Copyright 2014 by Jordi Mand

Playwrights Canada Press

202-269 Richmond Street West, Toronto, ON, Canada M5V 1X1

phone 416.703.0013 •
[email protected]
•
www.playwrightscanada.com

No part of this book may be reproduced, downloaded, or used in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher, except for excerpts in a review or by a licence from Access Copyright,
www.accesscopyright.ca
.

For professional or amateur production rights, please contact Ian Arnold at Catalyst Talent Creative Management

310-100 Broadview Ave., Toronto, ON M4M 3H3

416.645.0935,
[email protected]

Cover design and illustration by Leah Renihan

Book design by Blake Sproule

Author Photo © Will O'Hare

The Alegreya serif typeface used was designed by Juan Pablo del Peral. The typefaces is used under the SIL Open font license version 1.1.

Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication

Mand, Jordi, author

   Between the sheets [electronic resource] / Jordi Mand.

A play.

Electronic monograph in multiple formats.

Issued also in print format.

ISBN 978-1-77091-211-3 (pdf).--ISBN 978-1-77091-212-0 (epub)

I. Title

PS8626.A519B48 2013   C812'.6    C2013-908001-5

C2013-908002-3

We acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council (OAC)—an agency of the Government of Ontario, which last year funded 1,681 individual artists and 1,125 organizations in 216 communities across Ontario for a total of $52.8 million—the Ontario Media Development Corporation, and the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund for our publishing activities.

Between the Sheets
was first produced by Nightwood Theatre from September 18 to October 7, 2012, in the Tarragon Theatre Extra Space, Toronto. It featured the following cast and creative team:

Marion: Susan Coyne

Teresa: Christine Horne

Directed by Kelly Thornton

Dramaturgy by Erica Kopyto

Set and costume design by
Kelly Wolf

Lighting design by
Bonnie Beecher

Music and sound design by Richard Feren

Between the Sheets
was first developed as part of Nightwood Theatre's Write From the Hip Program from February 2010 to February 2011. The play received a public reading with the same cast and director as above.

Between the Sheets
received a workshop production as part of Nightwood Theatre's New Groundswell Festival in November of 2011 with the same cast as above. It featured the following creative team:

Directed by Kelly Thornton

Dramaturgy by Erica Kopyto

Set and costume design by Camellia Koo

Lighting design by Sandra Henderson

Music and sound design by Richard Feren

Characters

Teresa

Marion

An elementary school classroom.

The room is filled with colourful class projects. Small desks and chairs are set up neatly in rows. The words “Parent Teacher Interviews” are written on the blackboard. Pieces of decorated construction paper hang from the front of every desk with a student's name on it. There is a garbage can near the front desk. The room is spacious but intimate.

We see TERESA in her class. She is in her late twenties. She wears a warm-coloured dress, tights, shoes with a bit of a heel, and a thin gold necklace. There is a sweater draped over the back of her chair. She is naturally beautiful and wears very little makeup.

TERESA is tidying the room, repositioning some of the chairs and desks. There are two chairs set up at the front of the class where parents have sat. She moves them to the back of the class.

She walks to the blackboard, grabs an eraser, and wipes the board clean. There are a few piles of file folders neatly stacked on the corner of her desk. She puts them into a filing cabinet. She returns to her desk and takes a long sip from a mug.

She moves a few more things around. As she does, she knocks some papers to the floor.

TERESA

Shit.

TERESA gets up out of her chair to clean the mess.

Beat.

As she picks up the last piece of paper from the floor she stands and sees MARION in the doorway.

MARION is in her early fifties. She wears a tailored grey suit with a crisp white blouse. She carries a large purse over one shoulder and drapes a coat over her arms. She wears pearl earrings and a diamond wedding band. She is meticulous about her appearance.

TERESA and MARION stare at one another.

MARION

Miss Stewart?

Beat.

TERESA

Yes.

Beat.

MARION

I'm Alex's mother.

TERESA

Of course.

MARION

I hope I'm not too late. I got held up at the office.

TERESA

Late?

MARION

For the interviews. They're tonight, are they not?

TERESA

They are but… I just held my last one.

MARION

Oh.

TERESA

I was just finishing up, actually.

MARION

Well I'm sure you wouldn't mind if I grabbed the last slot then.

MARION enters the room.

I just have a few quick questions for you about Alex… about his report card.

MARION goes to close the door.

TERESA

Leave it open.

MARION looks at her.

If you don't mind… it's school policy.

MARION

It's school policy to keep the door open?

TERESA

During school hours, yes.

MARION

But your students aren't here.

TERESA

It's still considered school hours… please.

Beat.

MARION

Well… it's your class.

MARION smiles.

TERESA tentatively smiles back.

Beat.

MARION goes to place her coat and purse on one of the student's chairs. She pulls out a leather binder and glasses case from her purse.

She walks towards TERESA's desk.

Where would you like me to…

TERESA

Oh.

TERESA goes to get a chair for her.

I apologize. I'm a bit tired. It's been a long day.

MARION

Well, I won't keep you long.

TERESA

Thank you. I would appreciate that.

TERESA pulls up a chair for MARION, placing it fairly far from the teacher's desk.

MARION sits.

TERESA takes a sip of water from the mug and then sits behind her desk.

MARION notices how far she has been placed from TERESA and shimmies her chair towards the desk.

MARION

So?

TERESA

So.

MARION

Do I just ask you my questions or… how do you normally like to start these things, Miss Stewart?

TERESA

Yes. Please. Ask your questions. My preference is always for parents to ask their questions first.

MARION

You're sure?

TERESA

Yes. Please… go ahead.

Beat.

MARION

All right.

MARION takes her glasses out of the case. She opens her binder.

TERESA stands and walks to the filing cabinet. She pulls out a folder.

What is that?

TERESA

Alex's file.

MARION

His file?

TERESA

I have a file for all of my students. I keep track of past reports, academic history—

MARION

You're very organized.

TERESA

You have to be.

MARION

It helps, doesn't it?

TERESA

What?

MARION

Being organized. Knowing where everything is. Knowing how to find everything that's yours.

TERESA

Yes. I suppose it does.

Beat.

MARION

I have been looking over Alex's report card…

MARION holds up the report card.

There's a noticeable difference from the start of the year.

TERESA

There is.

MARION

His math mark especially.

TERESA

Alex has been making tremendous progress.

MARION

I can see that.

TERESA

It's been a real pleasure having him in my class. He's quite the character.

MARION

I'm glad to see that he's understanding the material.

TERESA

I've noticed a real improvement over the past few—

MARION

His English mark is low… still.

TERESA

He's come a long way in English, actually. He wrote a fantastic book report last month. He got up and presented it in front of the whole class. I asked for a few volunteers and he jumped at the opportunity.

MARION

Was he marked on that?

TERESA

Marked?

MARION

Was he marked on his presentation in front of the class?

TERESA

It wasn't really a presentation. I asked for a few volunteers to—

MARION

What does that have to do with his English mark then?

TERESA

He's making progress. He wouldn't have done something like that at the start of the year. He wouldn't have stood in front of the class and read something he worked on… something he wrote. That was a big step for him.

MARION

That may be but his mark is still low.

TERESA

It's higher then it was last term.

TERESA opens the folder.

MARION

How is he doing compared to the rest of the class?

TERESA

I try not to compare my students.

MARION

Really? You don't compare them?

TERESA

No.

MARION

I think that's a bit impossible.

TERESA

It's not, actually.

MARION

Every time you give them a mark, you're seeing one student get one grade and one student get another. They're being compared to one another whether you like it or not.

TERESA

That may be but I don't go out of my way to… I just find it isn't a constructive way to teach.

MARION

It's constructive for them. It helps them know who's ahead and who's falling behind. Who's at the top of the class, who's—

TERESA

I try not to put too much emphasis on their marks. I want them to feel—

MARION

Their marks determine everything for them.

TERESA

What and how they learn determines—

MARION

You think universities—

TERESA

I think it's a little early to be thinking about university.

MARION

It's never too early.

TERESA

They're in grade three.

MARION

It's never too early!

TERESA grabs a tissue from the box on her desk. She smiles.

What?

TERESA

No, it's just…

TERESA gently pats her forehead with the tissue.

You're the third parent today to mention university.

MARION

Well that's what we're paying for here… isn't it?

Beat.

TERESA throws the tissue in the garbage.

TERESA

I understand the need to be concerned about their marks. I do. But they're young and they're going to be students for a long time. They have years ahead of them where all they'll be asked to think about is their marks.

I'm trying to encourage them to take the time now… while they can… to understand how
they learn. To understand what their strengths are, what their weakness are. What their—

MARION

How long have you been teaching?

TERESA

Why?

MARION

I'd like to know a bit about the woman who's teaching my son, if that's all right?

TERESA

It's my second year.

MARION

Second year teaching or second year—

TERESA

It's my second year here.

MARION

Were you teaching before this?

TERESA

Yes. At Westview.

MARION

I've never heard of it.

TERESA

It's north. It's a smaller school.

MARION

And how long were you there for?

TERESA

Two years.

MARION

Why did you move here?

TERESA

I had wanted to teach here since I graduated.

MARION

And you managed to sneak your way in?

TERESA

I didn't sneak my way into anything. It's quite difficult to find a position at a school like this.

MARION

I'm sure there are all kinds of positions out there for—

TERESA

There aren't. I know people who've been on a waiting list for years… and that's just to supply. Some of my classmates are serving tables just to—

MARION

Well, you're young. I'm sure—

TERESA

I'm not that young.

MARION

No? You look it.

TERESA accidentally knocks her pencil off the desk. She begins to search for it. As she does, MARION reaches to the floor and grabs it.

MARION looks at TERESA and extends her arm to offer the pencil. TERESA takes it from her.

TERESA

Thanks.

They look at one another for a moment.

Mrs. Siller, do you…

MARION

Do I…

Beat.

TERESA

Do you have any more questions? About Alex, perhaps… about his report card?

MARION looks at her.

MARION

No. No, I think I've taken up enough of your time.

MARION stands and places her binder on the desk. She puts her glasses back in the case. She walks to the back of the room to collect her things.

I appreciate you sneaking me in, Miss Stewart. I know it's been a long day.

TERESA

It's my pleasure.

MARION

I'm sure.

TERESA notices MARION's binder on her desk.

TERESA

You forgot your—

MARION

It's funny though…

Beat.

You seemed surprised to see me.

Beat.

TERESA

Surprised?

Beat.

MARION

Yes. When I first walked in. You seemed… surprised.

TERESA

I just wasn't expecting you.

MARION

Why? Because we didn't have a time slot?

TERESA

You had a time slot.

MARION

No, I don't think we did. That's why I tried to catch you at the end of the day.

TERESA

Everyone received a time slot.

MARION

I'm telling you—

TERESA

I was told you wouldn't be coming.

MARION

You were?

TERESA

Yes. That neither you or your husband would be coming this term.

MARION

And… who told you that?

TERESA

Alex.

MARION

How would Alex know whether we were coming or not? That's not something we would discuss with him.

TERESA

Sometimes the only way I know if parents are coming is if their child lets me know.

MARION

You should have checked with one of us.

TERESA

I did.

MARION

You didn't check with me.

TERESA

No. I checked with your husband.

MARION

With my husband?

TERESA

Yes. He was picking Alex up one afternoon so I asked him to confirm… he said that the two of you knew about the interviews but wouldn't be coming.

MARION

You said Alex told you.

TERESA

Alex told me initially but I checked—

MARION

With my husband. Yes and… when was this?

TERESA

When?

MARION

Yes. When did you check with him?

TERESA

About a week ago.

MARION

So… last week?

TERESA

I believe so, yes.

Beat.

MARION

Tell me… why is it that my husband seems to be the only one receiving information from you?

TERESA

I don't believe that's true.

MARION

No? You said that my husband knew about the interviews. Why wasn't I informed?

TERESA

I don't know.

MARION

You don't. You don't have any idea?

TERESA

I left a message on your house line.

MARION

I never received any message from you.

TERESA

Well, I left one. School policy is that we phone parents… all parents… to let them know about these types of events. I—

TERESA walks back to her desk. She rifles through the pages in Alex's folder.

932-7674. Is that your home number?

MARION

Yes.

TERESA

I left a message on that line.

MARION

This isn't the first time that this has happened. My husband knew about the museum trip last month that he volunteered for. I didn't know about that little excursion either. I didn't know anything about it until Alex mentioned it that morning.

BOOK: Between the Sheets
4.13Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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