Setting, Pacing & the Structure of Time/Place in Theatre: Abduction of the Chibok Women of Nigeria

Assignment #5 Write a scene about a moment of crisis, slowing and/or speeding up time for dramatic effect. If possible, have the location play a role in the crisis.

Night time in Chibok, Nigeria April 14th, 2014 

The scene opens quietly on a girl’s dormitory. The main light source is from a flood light outside that keeps the grounds lit and which streams into the windows and through the cracks in the wall. It is a quiet night in Nigeria. The crickets are chirping and a cool breeze swirls through the dormitory. Many of the girls in their cots are asleep, cozy under blankets and duvets. Two young women, Daria Sa’iqi and Amina Ali Darsha lay on their cots talking together into the deepness of the night. Between the two of them is a low lit flashlight lamp that casts a warm glow upon them both, giving their little spot a very warm and inviting feeling.
Dariya –  I can’t wait to see my brother. He’s coming home from America soon
Amina – America! You have a brother in America?
Dariya – I do, he is a big tall man, works at a hospital now
Amina – He must be very rich and handsome
Dariya – Amina, don’t be thinking about my brother in that way
Amina – What way?
Dariya – You know what I’m talking about, girl
Amina – Your brother, I remember your brother before he left. All his goats died.  He could do nothing to save them
Dariya – I had never seen Seydou cry before that day. It was a sad, sad day and then the day he left…
Amina – I remember you crying
Dariya – Yes…I was sad to see him go and he’s coming to visit soon!!
Amina – Maybe he’ll fall in love with me and take me back to America with him
Dariya – Don’t be silly – he has a beautiful American girlfriend with long hair and those shoes that go clickitty clack on the sidewalk
Amina – and when she kisses him she has to stand on tippy toe
Dariya – and he has to bend over to reach her because she is so small and he is so tall

The two young women giggle softly – their conversation falls quiet.

The crickets stop making their usual cricket noise and the gentle night breeze stops caressing the bare arms of the two young women who, as a rule, keep themselves completely covered during the day
Amina – That’s funny, why did the crickets stop?
Dariya – Maybe there’s a Hyena pack out looking for their supper
Amina – The light outside will keep them away
There is a single gunshot. the light outside goes out leaving Dariya and Amina in their own little globe of warm light. A few of the girls stir and one lets out a quiet ghasp
Dariya – What is it? Katya what do you see?

The door to the girl’s dorm room is kicked in and a stream of Boko Haram soldiers flood their way into the women’s space, spreading their sweat and bad breath all over like a dog marks his territory. There are shrieks and screams from many of the girls. Dariya and Amina remain quiet in their little bubble of warm light as men storm past yelling at the girls to get up and get out.
BH Solidier – Everybody you must get up – there is an emergency and you must leave this place NOW! We have safe passage for you on the truck outside.
Amina – (whispering) Do you think the Hyena pack is larger than they thought, Dariya?
Dariya – (whispering) This has nothing to do with Hyena’s, at least not the four legged kind
Amina – (whispering) Maybe if we stay quiet they won’t notice that we’re here
Dariya – (whispering) The light – the light is going to give us away
Amina – Shhhhh!
At the sound of Amina’s shush a soldier sees her beautiful face in the warm glow of the low lamp
Mohammed Hyatu – You! You must come with me. It is not safe here.
Dariya – You mean it is not safe because YOU are here!
Mohammed, who had not seen Dariya, takes in the fact that he now has two women to capture

Mohammed –That is no way for a woman to speak to a man. You will learn this soon enough. Come, now, and I will teach you the proper way to address your husband.
Dariya – Husband?!
Mohammed – No, not you, silly girl, I am talking to her (Looking at Amina) You are mine now.

Dariya starts screaming and throwing whatever she can get her hands around at Mohammed
Dariya – You can’t take her! She is not yours to take!
Mohammed – Shut up, girl! Perhaps you will make a better cook than wife – too much education has given you a swelled head
He throws a mighty blow across Dariya’s face and she falls to the floor half-conscious. Amina is crying but she goes willingly with Mohammed
Amina – Dariya, Dariya
She calls out to her friend as she is lead out through the smashed in door. Dariya lays on the ground moaning as we hear muffled screams, truck doors slamming and a heavy vehicle driving away. Mohammed comes back into the room that has just been raided – it is quiet now and Dariya is just coming fully into her right mind. She sits up on the floor looking at Mohammed. The flashlight lamp is on its side throwing a harsh, direct beam onto her. 
Dariya – Why are you doing this? Why are you doing this?
Mohammed – It is not your place to ask questions anymore little girl
Dariya – My brother…
Mohammed – Your brother is a traitor to his faith and his country – he will never save you. You are Boko Haram now.


©Marianna Mott Newirth 2016

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