The Pep Band: OVA 1
Ms. Rose Bell: Hello, class, I’m Ms. Bell, your music instructor, as most of you already know. Welcome, freshmen, and welcome back, everyone else. This year, we’ll be playing at the Westtown football games for the first time in this school’s history, so look forward to it and find time to practice every day. (Suddenly, the loudspeaker goes off.)
Principal Steven Rollingson: Sorry for the interruption. I have a sad announcement to make. Because of the economic recession and how badly it’s hit the community of Westtown, there will not be enough funds to provide for a bus to take our school’s band to its football team’s games this season. All other band activities, including the Spring and Fall Festival performances, will take place as always. Thank you.
John Carpenter: Hey, I was looking forward to that!
Lisa Renninger: They have no right!
Paul Starle: Let’s protest!
(Noise can be heard throughout the classroom, at first softly and then escalating to involve the whole class).
Ms. Bell: (Raises her hand, and when that doesn’t work, turns out the lights. There is finally silence in the classroom.) Silence! This kind of behavior is not acceptable at Westtown High
School! All of you are diligent students who certainly have the brains to succeed here, but if you
insist on talking all the time, you will quickly find that I can give homework, pop quizzes and exams just like your other teachers can. If you want to make this year go well for you, don’t talk unless you first raise your hand and I call on you! I know that you’re all upset about the pep band activities being cancelled, but you’ve never participated in them in the past, so this year will be the same as last year. You have nothing to complain about.
Sarah Levitt: Hey, Francisco, what do you think about this whole pep band thing?
Francisco: They were telling us over the summer that they would definitely have us play at the games! The football team needs our support. I also want to be up there when our team scores a touchdown—and we’ve got that guy Bruce Weightford! I’ll bet he’ll play in college on a sports scholarship—not that he needs one.
Sarah: Yeah, he’s pretty big, that guy. And he always gets A’s and B’s on his tests and essays.
Francisco: Let’s do something about this—let’s raise money! How about we go to the Student Council?
Sarah: Okay, let’s go over there during our free period.
(Two hours later; Francisco and Sarah are standing outside of the Student Council room.)
Francisco: So what, exactly, is our plan?
Sarah: Well, we could ask if the Student Council could help organize fundraisers to collect the funds needed to pay for the bus trips for the pep band.
Francisco: Do you know anyone on the council who could provide us a way into the council’s political framework?
Sarah: Yep, and believe me, I wouldn’t be here if that wasn’t the case! My friend Norma is the newest member of the council.
Francisco: So, basically, she has no power over anything and she won’t be of much help to us.
Sarah: Maybe the council won’t be quite as tough to negotiate with as you think it is, Fran.
Francisco: I hate it when you call me that!
Sarah: Stop insisting on what you don’t know for sure!
Francisco: But I really don’t like—oh, um…
Sarah: Don’t give up just yet! Let’s go in there and see what we can accomplish.
(They walk into the Student Council room.)
Michelle Liam: Welcome to the Student Council room! What brings you here, Sarah, Francisco?
Sarah: You know about the band not being able to play at the football games?
Michelle: Yeah, I know that quite well.
Sarah: Can you guys please support us in starting some fundraising activities so that we can reverse the principal’s decision?
Michelle: Everyone at the council will be very busy this year on some pretty important activities, including planning for the fall concert, so you have no right to complain!
Sarah: Can I speak to Norma?
Michelle: She’ll be around after school, but not before then. Besides, we’ve given her a huge project—we’re having her work with all of the school coaches for the upcoming pep rally!
Sarah: You can’t just dump that huge project on her all of a sudden!
Michelle: Ah, do you really think I got to be the President of the Student Council and of the student body just by lazing around? In my first year of student council work, I had to organize the yearly Student Olympics—and that involved contacting coaches, parents, teachers, administrators, and even some business owners, not to mention dozens of students!
Francisco: Hey Sarah, let’s just organize the fundraisers ourselves already!
Sarah: Okay, but we’ll have to get permission from the Student Council, first.
Michelle: Forget it! That’ll take away from my projects!
Francisco: Why don’t I ask the principal himself? (Takes out his cell phone)
Michelle: No! You will not do that…you idiot! (Tries to grab the cell phone out of Francisco’s hand; Sarah shoves Michelle over.)
Principal Rollingson: Hello, speaking? Francisco: Hey, this is Francisco. I would like to organize a fundraiser to collect money so that the pep band can play at the football games this year. Can you give me permission to put up
fliers and ask students for donations?
Principal Rollingson: It’s not my job to organize fundraisers for this school. Ask Ms. Bell or the Student Council. I’m busy here! (hangs up).
Francisco: Okay, Sarah, let’s ask Ms. Bell during the lunch period whether we can do some kind of fundraising project.
Sarah: Okay, why not?
(At lunch time, in Ms. Bell’s classroom)
Sarah: Ms. Bell, can we organize a fundraiser to collect money so that we can play at the football games this year?
Ms. Bell: Sorry, but there’s a new school rule that all requests for funds must be approved by the Student Council. You’ll have to go there, first, then to me.
Sarah: Who came up with this rule…oh, duh, Rollingson!
Francisco: And I’ll give you one guess why!
Sarah: Then let’s do the obvious thing—let’s get in on the next PTA meeting!
Ms. Bell: If you two would like, I’ll tag along to the meeting and support you. Believe me, this whole mess is not entirely the principal’s fault. He’s in desperate need of funds to continue Westtown’s extended day and academic tutoring programs, and so he’s needed to cave in somewhat to the demands of wealthy parents.
Francisco: Whose children just have to have their way and are super-spoiled.
Sarah: And who are on the Student Council.
Francisco: To even get on the Student Council, you need to be in the inner circle!
Ms. Bell: You know, both of you should be part of the Debate Club! You really have the wits and insight needed!
Francisco: Thanks for your support, Ms. Bell.
Sarah: Yeah, thank you! So, when is the next PTA meeting?
Ms. Bell: It’s on February 22. I’ll see you two there. Now, however, I’ve got to work with a student on his saxophone solo, so we’re out of time here. Let’s have a quick phone chat after school to iron out how we’re going to approach our contribution to the association meeting. Why don’t we exchange phone numbers now?
(They write down each others’ numbers and go their separate ways).