BREAK ON THROUGH
The apartment. Nadeen enters. Her mom and dad are sitting on the couch with the real estate agent looking at photos.
Dad: Come over here Nadeen and look at this.
(Nadeen goes over to the couch.)
Nadeen: What’s that?
Mom: Those are photos of our new house. We’re moving to Rivercrest.
Nadeen: Rivercrest! But that’s like a million miles away. What about my life here?
Mom: Now honey, you know I’m going to have a baby shortly. Parkdale is no place to raise a child.
Nadeen: Why not? I was raised here and I turned out fine.
Dad: This apartment’s falling apart at the seams. This is a chance to get into a nice neighbourhood into a house with a big backyard so the baby will have lots of room to play when he gets older.
Nadeen: But I don’t want to live in a good neighbourhood. I want to be a b-girl.
Bill: I don’t think she took that news well.
Dad: Yeah. Speaking of bad news, I think someone just stole your car.
Bill: (Looks out window) Oh my---
Mom: Let us call you a cab.
Bill: No thanks, I’ll walk. You should probably see to your daughter.
Dad: You’re right. Can we have your wallet to stuff into her mouth so she doesn’t swallow her tongue?
The new house. Nadeen and her mom and dad pull up in their car, the moving van following behind them.
Dad: Well here we are. Rivercrest at last.
Nadeen: Yeah, White People City.
(A crowd of people descends upon the family.)
Jodie: Welcoming committee! I’m Jodie. I live next door to you.
Lucy: Hi, I’m Lucy. I live next door to you on the other side of Jodie.
Liberty: Hi, I’m Liberty. I live across the street with my husband.
Gloria: Hi, I’m Gloria. I’m Liberty’s grandmother. I live with her.
Jim: And I’m Jim, Gloria’s grandfather.
The kitchen. Nadeen is standing at the counter. Her mom and dad enter.
Dad: Hey, look what we’ve got!
Nadeen: (Uninterested) What?
Mom: The ultrasound photos! (Pulls out a picture and hands it to Nadeen) That’s your new brother.
Nadeen: I hate this stupid baby. It’s because of him we had to move up to this boring neighbourhood.
Dad: Hush right now, girl.
(Nadeen: No I won’t. This baby is ruining my life.
She tears up the ultrasound photo. Nadeen’s mother slaps her across the face. A knock is heard at the door. Nadeen’s dad answers it. Charles Henderson is standing there.)
Charles Henderson: Hello. My name’s Charles Henderson. I live behind you. I take it you three were engaging in a bit of TNB?
The house. Nadeen is sitting at the table, looking bored. A knock is heard at the door. Nadeen answers it. Charles Henderson is standing there.
Charles: Oh, hi Nadeen. Is your dad home?
Nadeen: No, he’s at work.
Charles: Oh, he works after all. Well, I brought you a present, something I thought you could use. (He pulls a bicycle out from behind him) My ex-wife left it in the garage when she moved out. I thought it might be useful for someone without a car.
Nadeen: Thank you.
Charles: Don’t mention it. Oh, and don’t worry, I told all the neighbours I was going to give it to you so you won’t get anybody thinking it’s stolen.
The school cafeteria. Nadeen is sitting on a bench by herself with her headphones on. Maddie slides down the bench and taps her on the shoulder.
Maddie: Excuse me.
Nadeen: (Taking off her headphones) Yes.
Maddie: Hi, I’m Maddie. Can I touch your hair. (Maddie starts touching Nadeen’s hair anyway) Oh, it’s so nice and thick, not like the thin hair I felt on the Chinese girl. Where were you born?
Maddie: No, where were you born?
Nadeen: Women’s College Hospital.
Nadeen: My mom’s parents were Mexican, my dad’s father was born in Jamaica and my dad’s mother was French.
Maddie: Oooh, can you speak Jamaican?
The girls’ washroom. Nadeen is washing her hands. Ashley enters and starts fixing her makeup.
Ashley: So, you’re from Toronto, right?
Nadeen: Yeah, Parkdale.
Ashley: So, you must have seen some things.
Ashley: Like murders and parties and cool stuff.
Ashley: Do you have any stuff on you?
Ashley: (Pulling a cigarette out of her purse) You know, stuff.
Nadeen: No, what makes you think I use---
Ashley: Well then, I guess I’m just going to steal your IPod.
(Ashley reaches into Nadeen’s backpack, grabs her IPod and runs out of the bathroom. Nadeen chases after her.)
The principal’s office. Nadeen and Ashley are sitting in chairs in front of Mr. Winkley’s desk.
Mr. Winkley: So Nadeen, Ashley claims you stole her IPod.
Nadeen: No sir, it’s the other way around. That’s my IPod.
Mr. Winkley: Really? Why should I believe that?
Nadeen: Look at what’s on there.
Mr. Winkley: Oh, I hate this technological stuff. Miss Douglas, could you come in here and help me with this I-thingamabob?
(Miss Douglas enters. The principal hands her the IPod and she gets it to the list of files.)
Nadeen: See. Chubrock, Outkast, Notorious B.I.G. Does that sound like stuff Ashley here would listen to?
Mr. Winkley: I don’t know. Maybe Ashley likes rap or hip hop or whatever it’s called.
Ashley: Oh yeah, I love Snoopydoopy and MNM Koojay.
Mr. Winkley: Well that clinches it, then. Miss Douglas, call the police.
Outside the school. It is the night of the Haloween dance. Teenagers are dressed up in costumes going into the school. Nadeen catches the eye of Devon. Devon starts break dancing. Nadeen begins break dancing as well, trying to outdo him. The principal comes up to Nadeen.
Mr. Winkley: What is this, exactly?
Nadeen: It’s called break dancing.
Mr. Winkley: Well, whatever it is it doesn’t sound like the kind of thing we do here at Rivercrest High School. Leave the premises immediately.
Nadeen: Fine. Whatever.
The school hallway. Nadeen is walking down the hall. Mr. Winkley comes up to her with a stack of file folders in his arms.
Mr. Winkley: Nadeen Durant.
Nadeen: Yes, sir.
Mr. Winkley: I looked up break dancing on the webnet on the weekend. It carries serious risks. I think you should look at this information.
Nadeen: But Mr. Winkley, it really isn’t that---
Mr. Winkley: You should also look into the information I’ve gathered on spoons and recliners.
Baby Warehouse. Nadeen and her parents pull up to the cash register with a huge cart full of stuff. The cashier adds it up.
Cashier: That’ll be 175 dollars.
Mom: I’ll use my Mastercard.
Dad: (Whispering) It’s maxed out.
Mom: Well, I was planning to use the Visa to buy groceries.
(Nadeen’s father pulls out an American Express card.)
Mom: Where did you get that.
(Nadeen’s father pays for the stuff. Nadeen and her fanmily exit.)
Cashier: Well, that’s what you can expect from those kind of people
The cafeteria. Nadeen is sitting at a table alone, eating her lunch. Devon comes up and sits beside her. He is wearing a cowboy hat, Budweiser t-shirt, overalls, and old sneakers.
Devon: Hi, I’m Devon. I’ve seen you around school. You like hip-hop. Well, so do I. I mean, I like all kinds of music generally. I particularly like old school hip-hop. Seems so much more innocent. ‘course some of the new stuff’s good, too, the more underground stuff that’s harder to find. I’ve seen you b-girlin behind the school sometimes. You should enter the Hogtown Showdown.
Nadeen: There’s no way I’d ever get into something like that, especially not by myself.
Devon: Well then, put together a crew and enter the battle.
Nadeen: Are you kidding? Put together a break dancing crew around here?!
Devon: No, I’m serious. Besides, this movie needs something exciting to happen soon or most of the audience is going to walk out of the theatre.
Nadeen: In that case I’ll do it.
The Hogtown Showdown. Nadeen, Maddie, Alia, and Devon are standing at the entrance.
Maddie: I’m so excited.
Alia: Yeah, this is going to be our big moment.
(They enter the club.)
Lexie: Ladies and gentleman, please welcome last years champions.
(A huge cheer goes up. Four dancers come onstage and start doing a ballet routine. Shouts are heard from the crowd.)
B-boy: Hey man, I thought this was a break dancing competition, yo.
Lexie: Yeah, the flyer was misprinted. This is a ballet competition. Sorry.
Crowd: Oh man.
Maddie: We can still win this thing. I was forced to take ballet for ten years.
Alia: Me, too.
Devon: So was I.
Nadeen: But I don’t know a thing about ballet.
Maddie: Just follow my lead. Besides, it’s not like we really have a choice. We either do this or go home with egg on our faces.
(Nadeen, Maddie, Alia, and Devon step onstage. Maddie starts ballet dancing and the others follow her lead. At the end, Lexie claps.)
Lexie: All right, that was wonderful. Anyone feel like coming up and challenging these girls?
Devon: And guy.
Lexie: I said, anyone feel like coming up and challenging these girls?
(The crowd groans.)
Lexie: Then by default, first prize, second prizes, all the other top places, and all the honourable mentions go to (looks at registration sheet) Hydroforce.
(The crowd cheers. Mr. McTavish comes out.)
Mr. McTavish: As the owner of this club and sponsor of this competition I’m so glad to present Team Hydroforce with this honour. You turned in an electric performance. (The crowd starts throwing bottles.) Tnb, I guess. Anyway, Maddie, Alia, Devon, and Nadeen, take a look at all the fabulous prizes you’ve won. Wheel ‘em out, boys.
(The prizes are wheeled out by two burly men. Team Hydroforce eagerly runs over to examine them.)
Maddie: There’s a sack of flour, a sack of sugar, a cooler full of (opens cooler) meat, a bag of apples… Sir, what is all this?
Mr. McTavish: Well, we’re in Parkdale, you see, and since I figured most of the competitors would be black, rather than money I decided to award the winners things they would actually need. Give these people money and they’ll just spend it on booze. (To Nadeen) Don’t worry. No need to steal a car, we can cart all this stuff home in mine.
Based on “Break on Through” by Jill Murray.