Effects of Great Depression by: Savanna Norman

Characters: Mary Adams (age 14) ; Noah Green (age 17) ; Mr. Hickock ; Mr. Adams ; Mrs. Adams ; Mrs. Green ; William Jr ; Rose Green ; Amy Green ; Wayne Green ; Old Beggar ; Street Folks (up to as many as deemed necessary, male and female)

(Mary is off stage as she speaks this)

Mary: As a child, you never really know what you’re getting yourself into. I mean you’re brought into this world unexpectedly. You don’t know much of anything.

(Mary walks out into the middle of the stage and the lights zone in on her)

Mary: Well, I’ll let you in on a secret: I sometimes wish I were someplace else or that I lived someplace else. Maybe in a different time or maybe I wasn’t born at all. Life’s bad right now. Everywhere I look I’m just panged with a wild of emotions- most of them though are sadness. Lots and lots of sadness. I know musn’t be making much sense right now. Let me back up just a bit.

(Lights light up the stage and background people appear to act out scenarios that she speaks of)

Mary: It’s currently mid-July, 1931. Peoples are calling these times “The Great Depression” and to be frank, I understand why. I don’t know of one place where people are truly happy here. Papa has lost his job about three months ago and with Mama, William Jr, Baby David, and myself to feed, we’ve had to move from our own apartment to share with another family, the Green family. Mr. Green walked out shortly after losing his job. Though divorce isn’t highly thought of, Mr. and Mrs. Green used to argue all the time and it was simply better for them to be apart. This caused a major problem for Mrs. Green though. With four children to raise doing it on her own has been hard. Her eldest son Noah Green is 17 years old and has been doing all he can to take care of his younger siblings and mother. With all of us living together, the tiny apartment is cramped. We all live tightly close together that sometimes I feel I might actually go mad. I feel we’re struggling more than we would be on our own, but with the lack of money in Papa’s pockets, we’re not given any choice but to deal with what we’ve got or we’re gonna be on the streets.

(Mr. Adams and Noah Green begin to converse in the background as they glance off stage where the “car” is being held)

Mary: Yesterday, Papa and Noah have come to the conclusion that it’d be best to try and sell the car to any people who are willing to pay $100 in cash. With the lack of money we aren’t able to afford it anyhow so keeping it is useless. Plus that money would be able to keep us eating for months if not a few years. Prices have lowered everywhere. As we walk I look around and see signs with their items as low as 1 cent and yet even that is a high price for some. People have become very desperate. I see signs of people wishing for work in any way possible. Once, I remember seeing a woman who was selling her own children! Things are bad, but I’m hoping they don’t get too bad for our family. We may be living cramped and struggling to get by, but the only thing I hope for is that we keep our home and aren’t forced out. I’m not too sure if hoping will do us much good though.

(Mary exits the stage and the lights change, setting a different scene)






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