It’s 2007. ANNIE is on the verge of turning 17 and she is deeply in love with her first boyfriend, RICKY. ANNIE is the daughter of a strict Southern Baptist preacher. She has been forced to go to church every Sunday, and sometimes even every night for the occasional 2-week revivals, since she was a baby. For years now, ANNIE has been dabbling in Atheist beliefs, but never voicing them for fear of being shunned by her religious family. RICKY, who comes from a Catholic family that does not really attend church on a regular basis, is very outspoken about religion. He has no problem voicing his atheist opinions and talking to ANNIE about them. A year goes by and ANNIE and RICKY have become inseparable. ANNIE has found the confidence to discuss her beliefs with RICKY, his family, and their friends, but she still has been unable to talk to her family. All she really wants is the freedom to choose to either attend church, or to not attend church. RICKY convinces her that she should wait until after she turns 18 to talk to her family. ANNIE believes that this may be a good idea, considering the fact that the age of 18 would make her a legal adult. Now it is petrified tells her that even no longer something
a week after her 18th birthday and ANNIE is about bringing up the topic with her family. RICKY not to do it if she isn’t ready, but ANNIE decides if she isn’t ready, it needs to be done. She can sit through service pretending to believe that she doesn’t.
It is the night for which she has planned for over a year. ANNIE is finally going to confront her parents about her beliefs. She walks into the office where her father is paying bills and her mother is reading a book. They look up at her, smile, and the discussion begins. ANNIE starts by, as gently as possible, telling them that she believes, as an adult, she should have the right to either attend or not attend service based on her own choosing. It is obvious that her father is already getting heated. He then asks her why she would even consider not attending church. With a deep breath, she explains that she no longer has faith in what she has been taught her whole life. Her father, now enraged, begins to scream incomplete sentences; he stammers from one thought to the next without finishing each one, although they all encompass the same theme. During the entire altercation, ANNIE’s mother is silent and patiently waiting her turn to speak. When the father is at a loss for words, the mother steps in with her well-thought-out statement. With an arrogant air about her, she points out that RICKY is an atheist and that ANNIE is a very malleable girl. While ANNIE is stunned, her father uses this kerosene to create the most heated fire in him that
ANNIE has ever seen. He begins to accuse RICKY of putting sinful thoughts into ANNIE’s head. ANNIE defends RICKY as best she can but her parents will not see her side. ANNIE then tries to get back onto the subject of choosing her attendance or absence at church, but her father is now at the point of taking away her car, her allowance, her phone, her college tuition, and any chance of seeing RICKY ever again. ANNIE realizes the unfortunate truth that she has to leave. She had hoped that it wouldn’t come to this but she sees that she no longer has a place in her family’s home. So, after sneaking out that night to see RICKY, they decide to run away together and start a new life. SCENE 1 - INT - HOME OFFICE - EARLY EVENING -
(The scene begins with Annie’s mother and father in their home office, paying bills in the early evening. They are calm and focused on what they are doing when Annie walks into the room.) DAD Jane, can you pass me last week’s receipts? (Annie walks in) ANNIE Mom? Dad? Can I talk to you about something? MOM Sure. Is something wrong? ANNIE Um,no....well, kind of. Listen, I wanted to talk to you about something but I don’t want you guys to get mad. DAD Why would we get mad? You done something wrong? ANNIE No,um, well I wanted to discuss my age with you.
3. MOM Your 18. What about it? ANNIE Well I just, um, I just feel like since I’m 18, maybe I should be given more freedom. DAD What kind of freedom? ANNIE Well that’s the thing. I don’t want you guys to get mad. DAD Well I’m not guaranteeing anything. ANNIE Okay, well I was thinking, since I’m an adult now, I should have the right to decide whether or not I want to go to church. (There is a long silence as Annie’s father is obviously becoming angry.) DAD Why would you even consider not going to church? ANNIE Well, its just something I’ve been thinking about for a while. I’d like the freedom to choose. DAD No, your going to church. There’s no discussing it. ANNIE But Dad, I’m 18. You can’t really force me to go if I don’t want to. DAD Excuse me? I can’t force you to go? I’m your father! I can make you do anything I see fit as a parent! What’s the matter with you? ANNIE Nothing Dad! I just don’t want to go to church.
DAD Your going whether you want to or not! I’ll beat you and drag you if I have to! ANNIE You can’t do that! DAD Try me! Just try! ANNIE That’s child abuse! DAD I don’t care! Your going! ANNIE You can’t force me! I don’t want to! And if you try to drag me I’ll call the police! DAD Go ahead! Call the police! I’ll go to jail! Then I’ll come out and drag you some more! ANNIE Dad, this isn’t getting us anywhere. (Annie’s Dad is now incredibly enraged. His face is beat red.) DAD I can’t believe- How could- Don’t tempt me! ANNIE Dad, I don’t get it! Why can’t we just be adults? DAD You are my child! And if I tell you to go to church you will go to church! End of discussion! ANNIE Well I’m not going. DAD Oh really?
ANNIE I’m sorry. I don’t mean to upset you. But I’m not going. DAD Why not? ANNIE Because I don’t believe in it anymore! (Annie’s father is clearly stunned.) DAD You don’t believe in it? ANNIE Not...really. Not like I used to. DAD Oh I see! So it’s just a bunch of bologna to you? Well tell me, what do you think of me? Huh? I stand up there every Sunday preaching the word of God! You think I’m just saying a bunch of mumbo-jumbo? ANNIE It’s fine for you to believe it. But I just don’t anymore. DAD So you must think that everything I preach is pretty stupid then, huh? Annie, I swear! ANNIE No Dad! Your free to believe whatever you want. I just want the same freedom. DAD I just don’t even know what to say anymore. Jane? (There is a long silence as Annie’s mother is thinking very intensely.) MOM (With an air of arrogance) When did you start thinking about this, Annie?
ANNIE I don’t know. I’ve been thinking about it for years. DAD For years? ANNIE Yes. For a long time now. MOM Well you’ve been dating Ricky now for over a year. ANNIE So? MOM So it just seems like an odd coincidence. ANNIE What do you mean by that? MOM I’ve heard about him, Annie. Everyone talks. We all know he’s an Atheist. ANNIE Are you suggesting that he’s the reason for me not wanting to go to church. MOM I’m not suggesting anything. I’m simply pointing out that he is a devout Atheist and your impressionable. ANNIE Are you kidding me? DAD I knew it! It’s Ricky. He got you to do this! ANNIE No! I have a mind of my own, Dad! I’ve been thinking about this for years, long before Ricky!
DAD That boy is never allowed in this house again! And you are going to church this Sunday! ANNIE I’m not going, Dad! DAD Is that so? ANNIE Yes! DAD Well then say goodbye to your car! Hand your keys over (Annie pulls her keys out of her pocket and throws them on the ground.) ANNIE Fine! I don’t need it! DAD Your cell phone too. You don’t need that either. ANNIE I don’t care! Take my money while your at it! I don’t need anything from you! (Annie then throws down her phone and wallet) ANNIE It’s all yours! Just take it! You really think punishing me is gonna get me back in church? 1
SCENE 1 1
This project was one of the most interesting ways of expressing myself that I have ever attempted. My story was inspired by some real-life events in my youth. I have never found a way to express these events that met my standards until now. To have the opportunity to put it all down onto a (CONTINUED)
script was so relieving. The hardest part of this project, for me, was putting the script in the correct format. Using Cetx helped a lot but it didn’t solve all of my problems. I still had to figure out how to describe the scene and where to put it in the script. I’m still not entirely sure if I did everything correctly, but I did the best that I could. The best part of the project was writing the treatment. It was a very useful step that I have never incorporated into my writing before. Writing the treatment helped me keep my ideas together in an orderly fashion. It also helps to make the script make sense. The hardest part of writing the treatment though, was deciding where the story should end. I’m still not completely happy with it, but I think that if I had another week to think about it and work on it, I could be satisfied. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this assignment. I didn’t feel like it was work. I felt that it was an expressive assignment. I loved having the opportunity to put my own personal feelings into a project that was really fun to create. If I had more time to work on it I think I would have changed a few things, but I’m extremely happy with my end product.