3 min read

If homeschool were actual school

A play in one act

Lights up on a classroom, a normal primary school classroom. There are desks, a white board, some place where backpacks are to be hung up - though the backpacks are actually strewn haphazardly about the classroom. No one will ever comment on this fact. The students  are of all ages, kind of like an old one room schoolhouse. They are all doing different things, many of them staring mindlessly at a phone. The only other thing conspicuously different about this classroom is that all of the students are in various degrees of undress, including some who are completely naked altogether. This, too, will never be commented on.

Archibald, an early grade student raises his hand

Teacher: Yes Archie.

Archibald: What do we have to eat here?

Teacher: Well, it’s not really lunchtime. I think you just arrived and probably had breakfast this morning?

Archibald: What about a snack?

Teacher: Later maybe.

Archibald: I’m hungry now.

Teacher: You’re always hungry.

Archibald nods in agreement, stands up and begins wandering around the room searching for something, likely a snack.

Teacher turns around and finds Reginald, a middle grade student, standing far too close.

Reginald: In PaintBall Wars, when you get the Crackin Crystal power up, the other team doesn’t know that you have the Crackin Crystal power up, so they have no way to defend themselves when you choose to unleash it, but you don’t want to unleash it right away because it gains power the longer you hold on to it as long as you don’t drop it -

Celestine (a very early grade student who looks too young to be in school and has paint on most of the surface of her body): I want music!

Reginald (continuing in the background): so you have to let your teammates know that you have the Crackin Crystal power up because they don’t know either, but you can’t talk to them because that’s some kind of privacy protection feature, but if you don’t find a way to tell them - I usually use PictoChat - then they won’t be protected when you do deploy it.

Teacher: We’re playing music. (It’s true. You can hear it now, though we neglected to mention it earlier because it was indiscernible over the loud thrum of chaos.)

Celestine: It’s not MY MUSIC.

Teacher: I think you chose this playlist.

Celestine: I want MY MUSIC!

Archibald wanders back in holding a bag of chips

Archibald: She chose this music.

Celestine: I did NOT choose this.

Archibald: You did.

Celestine: YOU chose it.

Archibald: We chose it together.

Celestine bites Archibald, and he begins to cry.

Archibald: She bit me!

Teacher: It’s a thing that happens. Sometimes people bite other people.

Celestine runs away. Archibald continues crying, collapsing into a convulsing heap on the floor.

Reginald: But when you finally do use the Crackin Crystal power up, you need to make sure you’re really close to the other team’s Base of Power because as soon as you do use it, it’ll make their base of power glow with your team’s splatter color, and if you use your ZN45s at that exact moment, then the other team’s best player has to join your team for the next 5 minutes and becomes like a paint zombie that your team totally controls.

Teacher (exasperated): Have we not discussed this before? I do not know anything about PaintBall Wars. I have never played PaintBall Wars.

Reginald: You said you played it one time.

Teacher: I said I played it one time, and I didn’t like it.

Reginald: OK.

A beat

Reginald: But that’s only true if you’re playing Blitz Explosion mode of PaintBall Wars, if you’re playing Super Max Zap mode then you want to trade the Cracking Crystal power up to the other team as soon as you get it because it will automatically go off in 45 seconds and make the entire team that has it turn into paint zombies.

Teacher (dropping to Reginald’s level): I am begging you. Please. Please, just stop. I will give you chocolate.

Reginald: OK.

Teacher looks at their watch suddenly.

Teacher: Oh. Oh shit.

Archibald (yelling from across the room): You said a bad word.

Teacher begins arranging their hair and rubbing their eyes

Teacher: Is everyone good for a few minutes? Everyone’s good? OK. I have a meeting. I’ll be back in an hour tops.

Teacher does not return for 2 hours.


Note: In an unprecedented move in the world of theatre, this play has recently opened simultaneously in millions of small local playhouses around the globe.