"Final Prep"
by Timothy Tocher

From Long Shot

Laurie Bird Preston is frustrated when she must move to a new town and live with her grandmother. Laurie seeks advice from her Cyclone basketball teammates, but she quickly learns that they have a different view of her grandmother than she does.


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Characters in Order of Appearance
Grandma Preston

Narrator: Besides having fun at practice, Laurie enjoyed her free time during Christmas vacation. She found herself spending most of it with Li. Li was determined to become a good player and was eager to learn from Laurie. And beyond that, the girls found it easy to talk to each other. Laurie was beginning to feel as comfortable with Li as she had with Christy. But one thing still bothered Laurie: Grandma. It seemed to Laurie as if Grandma watched every move she made and pounced on the chance to correct her.

Grandma: Sit like a lady, dear

Narrator: she would say when she saw Laurie slouched on the couch, watching TV. Laurie couldn't understand why the other kids seemed to like Grandma so much better than she did. Since the field trip to Madison Square Garden, Jesse and Maggie had begun stopping by the house. One afternoon when Laurie came home from shopping with Li, Jesse was there, dropping off some muffins she had baked using one of Grandma's recipes. Another day Laurie found her grandmother giving Maggie a knitting lesson.

When Laurie saw Maggie later at practice, she asked her about her relationship with Grandma.

Laurie: What did you and my grandmother talk about all the way to New York City and back?

Narrator: Laurie began. Maggie smiled.

Maggie: She ask me about Croatia. I tell her about my grandmother and how I miss her.

Laurie: Did she try to boss you around?

Narrator: Laurie asked.

Maggie: A little. She tell me to stand tall, be proud. That's what grandmas are supposed to do.

Narrator: Maggie said. Laurie thought about what Maggie had said as she walked home with Howard. She asked for his opinion on Grandma.

Howard: Your grandmother is a cool lady.

Narrator: Howard answered.

Laurie: That's easy for you to say.

Narrator: Laurie countered.

Laurie: She doesn't try to dress you like a Barbie doll.

Narrator: Howard was quiet for a moment. Then he said,

Howard: I don't see her doing that to you either. When was the last time she bugged you about your clothes?

Narrator: Laurie started to snap an answer, then realized that she couldn't remember exactly when the last time was.

Laurie: She still thinks about it. I can tell by the way she looks at me.

Narrator: Laurie mustered.

Laurie: Besides, she was kind of rude to your parents, asking them why they work so much.

Howard: My folks didn't care. They know not everyone has the same approach to parenting that they do. This works for us, so why worry if someone else doesn't like it?

Narrator: Laurie got even less support from Li when she called her that night.

Li: My family is Chinese.

Narrator: Li said.

Li: We believe that the older a person is, the wiser he or she becomes. Think of all the years your grandmother has experienced. Why shouldn't she give advice?

Narrator: Laurie began to think that maybe the problem wasn't just Grandma. Maybe she was to blame for their strained relationship, too.


© 2001 by Timothy Tocher. Excerpted and adapted from Long Shot, published by Meadowbrook Press. This Classroom Theater version of "Final Prep" is © 2002 by Meadowbrook Press.

Permission is given for individual school classes to perform this play and to make as many copies of the play as are needed for the students' use. All other reproduction and performance is prohibited under penalty of law.

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