Part of the SHORT MUSICALS NOW COLLECTION
A Relative Relationship
Book, Music & Lyrics by Timothy Huang
Emerson Junior High, Vice Principal's Office, 2:30PM. When Carmen Soledad and Simon Pang are caught cheating on a test in their Bible Myth and Epic class and forced by their sadistic Vice Principal to decide which of the two of them should be expelled, tensions rise. What starts as an epic struggle between the nerd and the princess quickly escalates into a name-calling, hair-pulling, low-blowing feud between two natural enemies. Can they find peace in an otherwise chaotic world?
Sitting in Emerson Junior High Vice Principal’s Office, eighth graders Simon Pang and Carmen Soledad, are in big trouble. They have been caught cheating on their Bible, Myth, and Epic class final. “MY MOM IS GONNA KILL ME” To make matters worse, the sociopathic, villainous, Vice Principal Delancy is on her way to greet them at any moment to mete out their punishment. When their parents find out, Simon’s mom and Carmen’s dad, heads will roll.
As luck would have it, Carmen’s father is recently wed to Simon’s mother, making her two victims step-siblings, each with an axe to grind with the other. She offers a simple suggestion: instead of both of them getting in trouble for cheating, and breaking both their parents hearts, only one would be suspended. Therefore only one parent would be devastated. She writes both names on a dry-erase-board. She leaves them to decide which it shall be.
Carmen attempts to convince Simon that it should be him, given his perfect record. “IT SHOULD BE YOU” She believes he is so well liked at school that he could probably pull the fire alarm and not get detention. Simon, on the other hand, maintains that it should be Carmen because she tried to cheat off him as only guilty by association. An argument ensues. “I’VE HATED YOU FOR SO LONG” Unrelenting, Simon torments his step-sister by calling her a bald-faced cheater. Carmen, getting more and more irked, accuses Simon of orchestrating their parents’ marriage as she would have preferred it to be just her and her dad. Simon, on the other hand, doesn’t even attempt to deflect as he’s quick to point out, he wasn’t the reason Carmen’s mother walked away.
Carmen is hurt deeply by that comment. She confesses, she feels the guilt of her abandonment every day as she’s reminded she’s the reason her parents split, and her own unhappiness. “IT HAPPENS EVERY DAY” Simon too, confesses that he feels enormous guilt for the absence of his father and pretends to be a grown up as a way to survive. They realize they have more in common than they knew. Suddenly having an epiphany, Simon pulls the fire alarm, causing the sprinklers to go off, washing the entire dry erase board clean and drenching Vice Principal Delancy’s office. “RAIN” There may be hell to pay for it tomorrow, but for now, he and his sister will wash their guilt clean.
Carmen Soledad - 15 years old. 9th grade. Girl. Of Ecuadorean ancestry. Third or fourth generation. i.e., American. A princess to her father, to everyone else, something decidedly-less. She should be played by a grown woman.
Simon Pang - 15 years old. 9th grade. Boy. Korean American. 2nd Generation. Not a band geek, but not really cool either. Likes rules. Studies. He should be played by a grown man.
Vice Principal Delancy - Somewhere between Sue Sylvester and Dr. Perry Cox, Professor Moriarty and Wyle E. Coyote, Vice Principal Delancy is the marriage of insensitivity with bitterness, dispassion and sadism all wrapped in a warm, fuzzy poncho of be quiet.
Note: While these roles were originally intended to be played by adults, they could be played by actors 15 years and older.
2010 - A Relative Relationship was originally written as part of the BMI Lehman Engel first year musical theater lab. Later that year It was presented at Don’t Tell Mama, as part of the Are You Working On Something New series produced by Will TN Hall and Emmy Laybourne, and featured
2013 - first annual SOUND BITES festival at the Puerto Rican Travelling Theater. *Winner Best Musical, and then was included in the BMI edition of NYTB in the D-Lounge, produced and curated by Pat Cook and Rick Freyer of BMI, and Joe Barros and Laura Brandel of New York Theatre Barn.
TIMOTHY HUANG’s works have been produced at Prospect Theater Company, NYTB, and Baayork Lee’s National Asian Artists Project (Andy Pickets, 2 to Wakefield, Crossing Over respectively) He is the creator of the one person musical The View From Here and his song “Everything I Do, You Do” was recorded by Sutton Foster for the charity album Over the Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Project. His full length American Morning was the recipient of the 2016 Richard Rodgers Award, the 2015 New American Musical Award, the 2015 NAMT Festival of New Musicals, ASCAP Musical Theater Workshop, and the BMI Master Class hosted by Stephen Sondheim. Other works: And the Earth Moved, Death and Lucky, LINES: A Song Cycle, Missing Karma (Finalist Sam French OOBF 2015, City Theater of Miami 2016) and A Relative Relationship (Best Musical, 2013 SOUND BITES Festival). Dramatists Guild Council, MacDowell Fellow, BMI Advanced Workshop.