The Case of You by Yvette Nolan

Page 1

DIALOGUES FOR THE VACCINE HESITANT…

…and those who love them

The Case of You BY YVETTE NOLAN


DIALOGUES FOR THE VACCINE HESITANT… …and those who love them

“Throughout the pandemic our focus has been to centre artists to help us make sense of these extraordinary times. So, when the Dr. Peter Centre approached us about working on a project about vaccine hesitancy, we had to say yes — because we see that the issue of vaccines is dividing friends, families and communities. As artists we want to do our part to bring people together, and to fight what we see as the worst side effect of this pandemic — the schisms and fractures emerging in many corners of society. With Dialogues for the Vaccine Hesitant and Those Who Love Them, we commissioned four playwrights who’s lived experience might offer insight and understanding around some of the more polarizing and difficult circumstances we are all facing. We think of these as theatrical conversations embodying the difficult situations that many of us are finding ourselves in. Whether it’s a discussion you are having with yourself, or someone in your circle, we hope these short plays will help you navigate this issue with compassion and empathy.”

SHERRY J YOON Artistic Director Boca del Lupo

JAY DODGE Artistic Producer Boca del Lupo

1


ABOUT BOCA DEL LUPO Boca del Lupo’s mission is to create extraordinary performances in unconventional spaces. The company is devoted to accessibility and works to broaden the participation, perception and importance of contemporary performance within the multiplicity of Canadian cultures. Led by Artistic Director Sherry J. Yoon and Artistic Producer Jay Dodge, Boca del Lupo has created more than 60 new works since its inception in 1996. Productions have toured to nationally and internationally and the company hosts a vibrant artist development program known as SLaM. During the tenure of the pair, the company has received numerous awards including Jessies for Outstanding Design, Outstanding Production, Significant Artistic Achievement and Outstanding Performance; the Critic’s Choice Award for Innovation; the Alcan Performing Arts Award and The Patrick O’Neill Award, which it won for Plays2Perform@Home, a home delivery theatre project that inspired these Dialogues for the Vaccine Hesitant and Those Who Love Them. Boca del Lupo is are grateful to create and work on the unceded territory of the xwm θkw y̓ m (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and S l̓ílw taɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) people.

Bocadellupo.com

2


SETTING a bench, a picnic table, somewhere outdoors on a still lovely fall afternoon

CHARACTERS

KELSEY, fully vaccinated, mother of two kids, sister to Jo JO, vax resistant, but not sure why, sister to Kelsey

3


The sisters are sitting six feet apart at a picnic table or a park bench.

KELSEY:

don’t be mad

JO:

I’m not mad, I’m hurt

KELSEY:

I’m sorry

JO:

I just can’t believe you won’t hug me

Kelsey shrugs

JO:

are you sure this is far enough apart?

Jo motions to the space between them

KELSEY:

I am not hugging anyone right now Not even if they’ve been vaccinated Besides, I’m mad at you

JO:

mad at me?

KELSEY:

Kara told me that you told her not to get vaccinated

JO:

KELSEY:

I told her she needed to think long and hard before she did

Jo We have worked really hard to have the kids not be scared of vaccination So that when they were able to get the jab It would be an easy choice

JO:

It shouldn’t be an easy choice

4


KELSEY:

she’s my daughter

JO:

she’s my niece

KELSEY:

and I want her to be safe

JO:

I want her to be safe just because you put that crap into your body—

KELSEY:

it’s not crap, Jo It’s medicine

JO:

no one is putting god knows what into me

KELSEY:

god knows The doctors know Science knows

JO:

Kelsey, no one knows what the side effects of all these vaccines are going to be

KELSEY:

they have done trials

JO:

they rushed them through What kind of trials could happen in a few months?

KELSEY:

well, Jo, the whole scientific community put their pointy little heads together around this one issue… it’s kind of hopeful, really, to see what can happen if everyone just focuses on one problem

JO:

they called it Operation Warp Speed!

KELSEY:

in the States, Jo We are not the States

5


JO:

you just wait KELSEY: wait for what?

JO:

a year or two down the line When you start to have weird things happening

KELSEY:

what kind of weird things?

JO:

I don’t know That’s the thing with side effects They’re unpredictable

KELSEY:

Jo the vaccines have been tested they have been approved by Health Canada

JO:

I’ll wait

KELSEY:

for what?

JO:

to see what kind of long term side effects there are

KELSEY:

Jo, I can be your lab rat Look at me I got my first vaccine in April I got my second one in June It’s October I am fine I had a sore arm with the first jab I had a crappy five hours with the second one But since then I have been fine

JO:

it could still kill you 6


KELSEY:

Jo A vaccine that has helped millions will   kill you but a virus that has killed millions won’t? Have you not been watching the news? Seen all the people who are now in Intensive Care With covid Saying they regret not having the vaccine when they could People saying goodbye to their people before they are intubated Telling them they’re sorry They should have—

JO:

fake news

KELSEY:

fake news? that little kid Five years old Whose unvaccinated mom brought it home to him Now he’s in the ICU Not his fault He looked pretty real to me

JO:

I’ll wait

KELSEY:

what is this actually about?

JO:

what do you mean?

KELSEY:

you’ve had vaccines We all had vaccines as kids We got them in school Polio, measles, smallpox

7


JO:

that was different

KELSEY:

how was that different?

JO:

I dunno It just was Smallpox could kill you

KELSEY:

Jo. Covid can kill you JO: I can manage this

KELSEY:

manage covid?

JO:

I eat well

KELSEY:

you eat well?

JO:

I eat well I take vitamins I exercise My immune system can take care of me

KELSEY:

Jo That’s just not realistic You catch cold We all catch cold

JO:

I haven’t had a cold in over a year

KELSEY:

because we’ve been masked And washing our hands for forty seconds twenty times a day (she sings while miming hand washing) Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene I’m beggin of you, please don’t take my man

8


Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene Please don’t take him just because you can

JO:

oh that’s a good one Better than happy birthday

KELSEY:

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene—

JO:

alright, Dolly

KELSEY:

that was only 20 seconds Gotta sing it twice to achieve true cleanliness

JO:

is that why I haven’t had a cold?

KELSEY:

we were locked in for a year

JO:

still

KELSEY:

and hasn’t it been great being able to start living a little more normally being outside being able to go a few more places do a few more things

JO:

and now they want to take that away

KELSEY:

what do you mean?

JO:

friggin vaccine passports I suppose you have one

Kelsey shows their phone

JO:

now they can track you 9


KELSEY:

(laughing) yeah Well, they could always do that Now it’s just more overt, I guess

JO:

what do you mean?

KELSEY:

come on, Jo I had to laugh when I heard about people who were asking for the vaccine not in their arms But just the syringe So they could break it down and find the microchip that was supposedly being injected into them To track them How did the person know that? She read about it on her phone Has she never watched a police procedural on tv? No one needs to tag us We have all tagged ourselves With these (holds up her phone) With our laptops And our socials And our debit cards

Jo looks at her phone

KELSEY:

you didn’t think—

JO:

no Of course not

KELSEY:

of course not (beat) so what then? Why so hesitant?

10


JO:

I don’t know There’s just been so much information And it’s always changing KELSEY: I know But that’s good in a way Isn’t it? That no one is pretending they have the definitive answers That as more information comes in We get it I would way rather the transparency It helps me make decisions For myself For my kids

JO:

KELSEY:

JO:

KELSEY:

that’s what I am doing, too, Kelsey I am making decisions for myself yes I see that But in a way You are also making decisions for other   people no My body My choice yes And you choosing to not be vaccinated Means other people around you are at risk My kids Who are too young to be vaccinated But Kara She is gonna be eligible soon And I want her to be able to make her own 11


choice too Free of talk about microchips and imaginary   side effects

JO:

she should know

KELSEY:

And what if you got sick, Jo? God forbid I don’t wish that on anyone But if you got sick And had to go to the hospital What happens to the person who is having a   heart attack To the guy in the car crash To the kid who accidentally ate peanuts and   is in anaphylaxis What if there is no room for them at the inn Because all the beds are full of people who   did not get the vaccine and got the virus JO: I don’t believe the media

KELSEY:

you don’t have to believe the media, Jo you can do your own research not just twitter and facebook research there is all kinds of information out there and you have a doctor, right? JO: I have a doctor

KELSEY:

have you to talked to them?

JO:

no

KELSEY:

they’d be happy to talk to you

12


JO:

I’m sure my doctor has better things to do right now

KELSEY:

I’m sure they do too Doctors are stretched pretty thin right now As are nurses look I can send you things to read To watch JO: will you watch them with me? KELSEY: well, yeah I can but

JO:

But?

KELSEY:

but you have to agree To stop

JO:

Stop

KELSEY:

stop telling people things that are just not true

JO:

Kara

KELSEY:

Kara—and others Anyone

JO:

(beat) just until we watch these things

KELSEY:

(beat) until after we have watched these things

JO:

okay 13


KELSEY:

JO:

KELSEY:

okay But we better get a move on Because the weather is not going to be this good forever And then we are gonna want to be inside And I can’t be inside with people who aren’t vaccinated and you are not hugging people even if they are vaccinated

that’s right I’m hug hesitant

JO:

funny

KELSEY:

I gotta protect the people in my life The little people who can’t be vaccinated yet The older people for whom the jab doesn’t work as well JO: what about me?

KELSEY:

and you too, Jo Especially you Because you are more vulnerable right now And I don’t want to risk your health

JO:

okay

KELSEY:

okay?

JO:

I’ll think about it

KELSEY:

Jo

14


JO:

what?

Kelsey does a distanced hug Jo just looks at them

KELSEY:

come on You know you want to

Kelsey makes the distanced hug shape again Jo imitates her They keep holding the air between them END OF PLAY

15


YVETTE NOLAN has written plays (The Unplugging, The Birds, Annie Mae’s Movement), libretti (Shanawdithit, Sophia), plays for film (Katharsis), plays for audio (Flag, You Can’t Get There From Here, Lache Pas La Patate), and a whack of short pieces for Sum Theatre’s Last Sunday, Short Cuts Festival, and Boca del Lupo. Boca pieces include Expedition, Red Phone, and The Fifth Setting. She is also a director and a dramaturg. She is also currently pursuing her Masters in Public Policy at Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy.

© 2021 YVETTE NOLAN No part of this book may be reproduced in any part by any means—graphic, electronic, or mechanical. For special permission, including educational purposes, please contact Boca del Lupo at info@bocadellupo.com · DESIGN: Cabin + Cub Design 16