Play Right by Steve Cross | Script Revolution

Play Right



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A bipolar drama teacher becomes a target for dismissal when he doesn't cast a school board member's daughter. He sinks into a despair that may ruin him.

Manfred Smith suffers from bipolar disorder which makes his life chaotic enough, but when the school play is dumped in his lap, his anxiety and depression increase, drive him to drinking and behaving in ways that are inappropriate for a school teacher. He refuses to give the lead to a girl who has alway been the star of the show. Unfortunately, the girl's mother is a school board member who begins a concerted effort to get Smith fired. An acrimonious breakup and a serious case of unrequited love drive him into despair and increases his dependence on alcohol. It doesn't help Smith that he wants to escape the drudgery of teaching with his great writing -- which really isn't that great. When he shows up drunk at one of his play performances, punches a friend who dares to be with the girl he wants but who doesn't want him, and steals some fantastic poetry from a one-night stand, he loses his job and tries to commit suicide. The ending is ambiguous. Does the girl whom he rejects, but still stands by his side, help him to recover fully and celebrate with him as he finally writes a successful, critically acclaimed play, or are these wishes simply the hallucinations of a dying man? The decision is left to the audience. In the feedback that I received on his script from Bluecat (which I can forward to anyone interested in this screenplay) was that the characters are very well drawn.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

This screenplay was a quarterfinalist in the 2017 Blue Cat Screenplay competition and has received good feedback which I will share with anyone who might be interested in it.

Submitted: July 19, 2018
Last Updated: March 23, 2020

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The Writer: Steve Cross

Steve Cross is a freelance writer who lives in Poplar Bluff, MO. Cross is a retired English teacher who has published poetry, fiction and drama. He has been a quarterfinalist in both the Bluecat and the Fresh Voices screenplay contests. Through Script Revolution he has sold one screenplay. This past year, he has had one YA novel published and two others selected for publication. When not writing, he and his wife Jean enjoy spoiling the grandchildren. He works part time for Three Rivers Community College and loves Cardinals baseball. Go to bio

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