Kristen is at her core a fighter. On a seemingly normal morning she gets up, gets ready for work and heads off to her dream job as a kindergarten teacher. Her story is one that revolves around something that people do on a daily basis, make quick decisions. Unfortunately, Kristen made one that will forever affect her life. She wakes up months later after being in a medical induced coma to be given all of the information that is now a reality she must accept: her husband has left her and because of her snap decision she has completely lost her hearing. Some people wouldn’t know what to do next, but Kristen decided that the only thing she can do is whatever it takes to get back to her students. She commits herself to rehabilitation as well as learning sign language. Making sure that she is standing in front of her students showing them what perseverance looks like. Sadly, when she is ready to return to work, she is told by her principal that her present situation is not what is best for the students. Her heart is broken. Biases and discrimination towards people with disabilities is an unacceptable practice that needs light shined on it. Kristen fights for her job, fights to see her students, and must accept that her quick decision- returning home to grab her student’s cupcakes- will forever be in her mind. A moment she doesn’t regret, anything to make her students smile.
*The student performing this will need to be able to do a minimal level of solid sign language.
*Note to performer: the use of sign language in specific places are noted. You may choose to sign more of the performance if you so choose, that is allowed by the author.
(Scene opens with Kristen, a woman in her late twenties. She sings a song with great joy. Singing.)
“Talking when no one is listening. Feeling when no one is hurt. Loving when no one loves back. Touching when no one catches your hands. Hearing when no one is talks back… (Her song trails off into silence. She closes her eyes.) The things I took for granted. (She is hearing these things as she says them.) Sounds. (Closing her eyes) The ocean. Waves hitting the rocks. Seagulls squawking as they feast on the leftovers of the day. The screeching of tires as a warning to me that an accident is coming or was avoided. The echo of my voice off of the deep walls of the canyon. And then at home. The beep of the microwave when my morning coffee is done. I now smell it’s finished. The sound of the birds outside of my window in the morning. Music, though the beat still lives within me. My husband on the car horn (Laughing) nearly every morning because I am habitually late. (Beat, she opens her eyes.) Children. (Smiles) I know children aren’t a sound but- their laughter. Their attempt to whisper- which none of them can do successfully. (Laughs) Their lies because they are too young to understand that I know when they’re lying because they are so bad at it. (She looks down at her hands and beings to sign-) “Their songs on the playground. Because nothing says joy more than that.” (She speaks without signing) I said the songs they sing on the playground. (slight smile) I miss that sound more than anything else. The laughter- the innocent joy of children.