Student voices come in many forms. This year, Scrolling proudly presents unique performances in animation, drama, and improvisation.
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The lesser known story of Paris’ desertion of his wife, the nymph Oenone, for the beautiful Helen of Troy, told from the female point of view based on Ovid’s Heroides.
Animation Story by Lexi Boo '18
Friends School Film Festival Grand Prize for Animation 2016
Friends School Film Festival Fan Favorite Runner-up 2016
Each year Holton-Arms joins with the Landon School in forming an improve troupe that performs once a month, often with a guest teacher willing to play along with all the silliness. In the scene presented here, one member of the troupe—the designated host of a dinner party—leaves the room while the others take suggestions from the audience about which characters to play at the party. The host returns and then must guess the identities of the others while entertaining them at dinner.
Co-Presidents: Caroline McDonald '16 and Maryam Gilanshah '17
Other Members: Andrea Sloter '16, Camille Blum '16, and Samantha Noland '17
Stage Directions read by Shea Sion '17
Cassie played by Zoe Chen '17
Dalton played by Maryam Gilanshah '17
Toby played by Sarah Greisdorf '17
Setting: A living room with a large couch and a coffee table in front of it. Another table to the left side of the couch has a small table lamp on it. On the right side of the couch, a doorway. A closet is on the left wall with a picture of a dog near it.
(Lights up on the empty living room. A girl, CASSIE, enters with her favorite book. She carries a mug of hot tea with her. She sets the mug on the coffee table and sighs as she flops down on the couch.)
CASSIE: Finally, Sunday. No more weekday stress or millions of Saturday chores. Just me and-
(A knock comes from off stage)
CASSIE: … I’ll ignore that. Just me and–
DALTON: (from offstage) Hey, Cas! It’s me!
CASSIE: Ughh… (looks out at audience) That’s my new neighbor, Dalton. He just moved in last week, and he most annoying person ever, probably. He’s done nothing but pester me all week to hang out with him and show him around the neighborhood. We live in a town that is basically five miles in each direction from the center square. That’s only a little over thirty miles all around, and the houses aren’t even half of the area. He can show his own damn self around the neighborhood.
DALTON: (knocking again, offstage) Hey, Cassie, please? I just want to be a friendly neighbor buddy to you!
CASSIE: (to audience) Not a peep out of any of you, ya hear?
DALTON: (offstage) You know what, if it’s too much trouble for you, I’ll just let myself in! You have a key under the mat, right? Ah, here’s one!
CASSIE: What?! Dalton, no!
DALTON: Too late, I’m inside! (pops into the doorway) Hello, Cassie!
CASSIE: Hello, Dalton…
(CASSIE curls up on the couch with her book, trying her best to ignore DALTON. DALTON doesn’t get the hint and walks around the living room.)
DALTON: Nice house you got here! Comfy couch, this closet with thin walls, and oh! What a neat picture of a dog. I love dogs. You know the Watersons down the street have a dog!
CASSIE: (snaps) I know.
DALTON: You seem a bit grumpy Cassie.
(CASSIE gives the audience a sarcastic “Aw gee, I wonder why?” look)
DALTON: Hey, I know what might cheer you up!
(DALTON runs out the door, and CASSIE sits up. She looks around, confused, then turns to the audience.)
CASSIE: Well, him leaving did make me happier, so he’s not wrong–
DALTON: (offstage) I’m back!
CASSIE: Oh, God no!
DALTON: (enters, carrying a pistol) Check this out! I got it from a nearby antique shop. It’s a cool, old pistol.
CASSIE: Is it loaded?
DALTON: (shrugs) Who knows? All I know is that it’s super cool!
(DALTON leaves the pistol on the couch by CASSIE as he stands and crosses the stage.)
DALTON: Yes, I recognized it was a genuine beauty from the moment I saw it. You know, I’ve always considered myself a real fine arts person…
(CASSIE groans as DALTON continues to babble on about himself. She tries to go back to reading, but can’t concentrate. CASSIE feels around for something, and her hand lands on the pistol. Without looking up from her book, she aims and shoots DALTON, cutting him off mid-sentence. He falls over, and CASSIE puts down the pistol. She sighs in contentment.)
CASSIE: Finally. No more noise.
(She goes back to reading, settling in the couch. After a few moments, she sits up suddenly.)
CASSIE: Wait a second. No more noise. Dalton never shuts up! Why is there no more noise?
(CASSIE gets up and sees DALTON’s dead body. She stands there in shock, looking back and forth between DALTON and the audience. Suddenly, she gestures to DALTON’s body and screams at it, then to the audience, then runs around the living room screaming.)
CASSIE: Oh my God, I shot Dalton! Oh my God… (freezes and turns to the audience) You. You’re all witnesses. Ohh man, there are witnesses. Listen, all of you, you better keep quiet about this. I see you there! All the way in the back, about to call the police! Don’t do it! This is all just a big misunderstanding. A mistake. Yeah, you can accidentally shoot someone, right? Especially if they’re an annoying neighbor. Of course you can. I have to deal with this, though. I guess I should get rid of the body first.
(CASSIE circles DALTON’s body, trying to figure out what to do with it. She picks it up by the legs and drags it offstage.)
CASSIE: (offstage) I’m going to hide it under my bed for now! That’s what most people do with dead bodies, right?
(Sounds of CASSIE dragging the body up the stairs and attempting to hide it. The head thumps as it goes up the stairs, and CASSIE interjects small phrases like “Oh boy, you’re heavy” or “That’s gonna bruise.” She returns to the living room with a “Whew!” and wipes sweat from her brow.)
CASSIE: Ok. Body sort of disposed of. Now there’s blood on my carpet. (sighs) I just wanted to read peacefully today. (flops onto the couch and sips her tea, then spits it out) Gross, it’s cold now. Hot drinks that are meant to be hot always taste horrible once they get cold. I’ll go boil new water.
(CASSIE leaves to fill a kettle and speaks from offstage)
CASSIE: So once I have more tea, I think I’ll be able to think more clearly. Like, clearer than accidentally shooting someone. (comes back onstage) Right now though, I gotta deal with this. (inspects the blood stain) Ew… blood. (turns to the audience and points to someone) You! You look like someone who has to deal with getting blood out of things on a fairly regular basis. Or… maybe you! How about it? I’d Google “how to get out blood stains,” but that’s a pretty suspicious search history of someone who might’ve killed someone. Maybe. I know what it looked like, but the cops don’t. Not yet at least. Maybe… Oh! I know! I’ll search it on that one setting of Google Chrome that doesn’t record your search history, incognito mode. I’m so clever. (laughs to audience, expecting them to laugh with her, but stops) Right. Time is of the essence.
(CASSIE goes and gets a laptop, then looks it up.)
CASSIE: Ok, so it says here that I need to use cold water and a spray bottle or a cloth. Cloth, it is then. (to audience) Do you have any cloths I can use? I don’t REALLY want to use my own because, you know, suspicious. Maybe someone all the way back there? Oh, no, here’s one. (picks up preset cloth near front of audience) Hope whoever owns this is cool with me sort of framing them for murder.
(CASSIE goes to wet the cloth, then comes back and begins to clean the stain. She looks a lot happier(maybe even humming?). Suddenly, someone knocks on the door. CASSIE looks up in horror.)
CASSIE: Oh, no. The blood isn’t all gone yet.
TOBY: (offstage) Cassie? Some people nearby said they heard something like a gunshot, and I was elected to come and see what might have happened.
CASSIE: (to audience) Should I answer him? Hm… well, I don’t want to, but if I don’t, Toby might come in like Dalton did. Damn it, why me? (to Toby) Everything is perfectly fine, Toby! Don’t worry about me, I’ve just been… setting off fireworks!
TOBY: Setting off fireworks?
CASSIE: Yeah! New… indoor fireworks! I wanted to test them for the Fourth of July.
TOBY: It’s October.
CASSIE: I like being very prepared for anything. Boy Scout motto and all. So, you know, fireworks can be messy and I’d like to get back to cleaning–
TOBY: Oh, you’re cleaning? I can help you! (comes onstage) Did you know your door is unlocked?
CASSIE: (grumbles) Damn it.
TOBY: So, where’s the mess? Your house looks really clean. (notices the cloth on the ground) Oh, is it under there? Here, I can get that!
CASSIE: Toby, no!
(TOBY gets down and lifts the cloth to reveal the bloodstain. Beat.)
TOBY: Is… Is this blood?
CASSIE: (quickly) Barbecue sauce! It’s barbecue sauce!
TOBY: (sniffs) It doesn’t smell like barbecue sauce.
CASSIE: Please don’t smell my things.
TOBY: (stands and walks over to her) You know, Cassie, as a community, we need to have a honor system among all of us. I know you’re young and your generation is hesitant to trust us older folks, but I need to you to tell me–did you have an accident?
CASSIE: .... excuse me?
TOBY: Well, I mean we all have embarrassing moments where we do something a bit unintelligent and get scraped up and bleed There’s no need to hide things.
CASSIE: Oh, trust me, sometimes there are perfectly good reasons to hide things…
TOBY: Nonsense! We’re all pals here! Just think of me as a friendly neighbor who will help you out if you’re in a bit of a jam. Now, why don’t we sit on your couch and chat about what’s troubling you?
(TOBY wanders over to the couch and sits on the pistol. CASSIE realizes and looks horrified. TOBY gets up, looking confused, and picks up the pistol. Beat. He becomes shocked as he starts to put things together.)
TOBY: Is… Is this a gun?
CASSIE: It’s not mine!
TOBY: Is this loaded? (opens the gun and takes out bullets) Is… Is one of these missing?
CASSIE: Isn’t something always missing from everything? (nervous laughter) Don’t read too much into it, and please get out of my house. It’s kind of rude that you barged in anyways and–
TOBY: (staring at the bloodstain on the floor and at the gun) Oh my word, those weren’t indoor fireworks at all! You shot someone!
CASSIE: I’m honestly surprised you even believed indoor fireworks were a thing…
TOBY: (throws the gun down) You killed a man!
CASSIE: Well, yes, maybe, that might’ve happened. Toby, you have to listen to me! I had a good reason! Plus it might have been an accident.
TOBY: (backing up towards the closet door) How do you shoot someone by accident?
CASSIE: Police do it all the time, and no one questions them! Why should someone assume that a regular citizen can’t do it either?
TOBY: Y-You’re crazy! I’m calling the authorities! (takes out his phone)
CASSIE: No, don’t do that!
(CASSIE slaps TOBY’s phone out of his hand and on to the floor. Both look down at the phone, then back at each other.)
(CASSIE grabs the lamp and hits TOBY in the head with it, knocking him out. He crumples to the floor.)
CASSIE: Oh, dang.
(A knock at the door)
Cassie: Goddamn it.
CASSIE: Oh dang. Um, that wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do. (looks at the audience) Who am I kidding? This is perfect! Maybe if I hit him again he’ll get amnesia and forget about me confessing.
(CASSIE hits TOBY again, then after a bit of hesitation, hits him a third time.)
CASSIE: There. That should do the trick. Then again . . . what if he wakes up? Or what if someone else comes in? I have two bodies in my house now, and I can’t fit this one under my bed too. Ugh . . . what should I do? (looks out in the audience, maybe even gets off the stage and starts looking around) Do you all have any room out here? Maybe under some of these chairs? No? Damn it. I guess… I could keep him in my closet. It’s kind of small, but he should fit if I tie him up. I think I have some old jump ropes in my house.
(CASSIE leaves the living room and looks around for jump ropes. Over-exaggerated sounds of her searching and throwing things around. Finally, she comes back with some jump ropes and two bandanas.)
CASSIE: Ta-da! Jump ropes! Knew I had them. Also one bandana for gagging and one for blindfolding. I should really go professional with this impromptu crime stuff—I’ve really got a knack for it.
(She ties up TOBY with the jump ropes.)
CASSIE: And I also got this gag for him, in case he wakes up and starts screaming. It’s a good plan, trust me. (gags and blindfolds TOBY) Perfect. Now just to get him into this closet . . .
(CASSIE comedically struggles with TOBY’s body, trying to lift it and fit it into the closet.)
CASSIE: I should really do some cleaning because there is no room in here. (pushing TOBY further into the closet on each of the last words) Ugh, this is harder than trying to get junk in my shed to stay in place. Come on, get in there. (quickly shuts the door) Perfect.
(CASSIE walks around the couch and lies down on it.)
CASSIE: So there’s a dead body under my bed and an unconscious and tied-up neighbor, possibly witness sort of, in my closet. At least the stain is basically out of the carpet. There better not be any more annoying people at my—
(Loud knock at the door)
CASSIE: That’s it. I should just never speak again. Or die. It would be better.
SANDRA: (offstage) Hello? I’m Sandra, and I’m here as a representative of the local yardwork businesses, and I was wondering if you have time to take a survey?
CASSIE: Don’t try to open the door, don’t try to open the door, PLEASE don’t try to—
SANDRA: (knocks again, offstage) Oh! (comes onstage) Did you know your door is open?
CASSIE: (makes an overly exaggerated shaking of her head, then turns to audience) Does no one in this area have any sense of privacy or sarcasm?
SANDRA: So, do you have time to—
CASSIE: (stands up, sarcastically extremely chipper) You know what? Let’s do this. I’ll take your survey! Actually, you know what, go and sit on this couch! We can have TEA while I take your survey because, boy, I sure have NOTHING else going on in my life and I just LOVE it when people barge into my house to ask me questions!
(CASSIE storms offstage towards the kitchen. SANDRA, confused, shrugs and sits on the couch.)
SANDRA: Southern hospitality is a lot more intense than I thought it was.
(CASSIE returns with two cups of tea and sets them down on the coffee table.)
SANDRA: Well, thank you for this, though it’s really not necessary. Like, at all. Most people just lock their doors or answer two questions before shutting the door.
CASSIE: The tea is hot; don’t drink it yet.
SANDRA: Mhm. Good to know. So, uh, miss… (looks down at the clipboard she carries and gets out a pen) I’m assuming you hire people to do your yard work?
SANDA: Uhuh. (writes something down) Why is that?
(Sounds of movement start coming from the closet. CASSIE visibly tenses and SANDRA turns to the closet.)
SANDRA: What was—
CASSIE: (turns SANDRA back to face her) I like doing yard work myself! Good exercise, you know! (to audience) Why couldn’t Toby have stayed unconscious longer? Next thing I know, Dalton will come back to life and rat me out for killing him!
SANDRA: (backs away from CASSIE) Yes, exercise is . . . nice. Did you hear—
CASSIE: Nope! Nothing! Let’s get back on track!
SANDRA: Suuure. Well, if you don’t use the local services, there’s not really any questions I can ask y—
(Muffled thumps come from the closet again, making both SANDRA and CASSIE turn to look at the closet.)
SANDRA: There it is again! And you heard it too!
CASSIE: Uh, no I didn’t. I was looking at that picture of my old dog. He was a great dog.
SANDRA: Bullshit. I can hear someone. What are you hiding in that closet?
CASSIE: The gays.
SANDRA: A wiseass to boot. Move over.
(SANDRA gets up and starts heading towards the closet door. CASSIE jumps up.)
CASSIE: (to audience) Shit, she’s figuring it all out! Argh, what can I do, what can I do?
(SANDRA opens the closet door, causing TOBY to fall out squirming. He spits out his gag.)
TOBY: Help me! Where am I? Untie me, please!
CASSIE: (to audience) Oh boy, here we go.
SANDRA: You! You… You’re a madwoman! You’re a psychopath, or sociopath, or whatever they are! I-I’m calling the police! (takes out her phone and dials) Hello? Police? I’m in a house with a crazy person! They had a tied-up man in their closet and— Oh God, I think I see bloodstains on the floor!
CASSIE: Dang, it’s still stained . . .
SANDRA: PLEASE HURRY!
CASSIE: Hey, hey, lady, please calm down—
SANDRA: Do NOT tell me to calm down! You’re a— a kidnapper and probably a murderer too!
CASSIE: At least I understand what “private property” means, unlike everyone else around here!
SANDRA: (approaches CASSIE) Was that an accusation?!
CASSIE: Maybe! Actually, yeah! It was!
(SANDRA and CASSIE grapple weakly. Police sirens whine offstage.)
SANDRA: Ha! The police are here and you’re going to jail! (begins backing CASSIE up to the coffee table during these next few lines) And then you’ll be behind bars where crazy people like you belong because I’m going to look right at you, point, and say “That’s her! She’s the one!”
(CASSIE, in a panic, reaches behind her on the coffee table and picks up the mug of extremely hot tea and throws it in SANDRA’s face.)
SANDRA: Argh! My eyes! They burn!
CASSIE: Holy crap! Did that blind you?
SANDRA: Yes! W-Wait, no, I think… I think I can still see a little! Yeah, I can!
(CASSIE picks up the other tea mug, considers it, then splashes that one in SANDRA’s eyes too. SANDRA falls down in agony.)
CASSIE: Huh, I guess hot tea directly to the eyes blinds a person. Good to know.
(A POLICEMAN(or two) bursts into the living room.)
CASSIE: (to audience) Oh crap! The coppers! I forgot they were here!
POLICEMAN: Nobody move! I’m here in response to a call about a crazy person! (looks around the room at TOBY and SANDRA, then turns to CASSIE) You.
CASSIE: Ohhh dear.
POLICEMAN: You must be a witness! Can you point me to the crazy person who’s done all this?
(CASSIE stares back and forth between the audience and the POLICEMAN in confusion.)
CASSIE: (to audience) Are they really being serious right now?
POLICEMAN: Can you point me in the direction of this criminal?
(CASSIE slowly gets a look of realization, smiles briefly, then over-dramatizes the next few lines.)
CASSIE: Oh, it was horrible! (points to the audience) All these insane freaks broke into my house and held me hostage! They shot my poor neighbor Dalton and made me drag him upstairs and hide him under my bed. They even made me clean the floors with their handkerchief! Then they gave poor Toby there amnesia and blinded this lady, um… Sandra! It was oh so very traumatizing, officer! They’ll try to pin the blame on me, but it was them! These people! They’re the ones you’re looking for! (begins climbing offstage and into the audience) Arrest that person! And this one! All of them! Oh, my fragile heart can’t take all their insanity!
POLICEMAN: You poor girl! All right, folks, hands where I can see them!
CASSIE: Oh, thank you officer, thank you! (to audience) Hey, don’t give me that look. Every man, woman, whatever, for themselves! (runs off)