Screenplay – Rash Decisions at Payton’s Party
In one of my English classes, for our media studies unit, we had to reinterpret a scene from Romeo and Juliet into a different setting, following a theme demonstrated in the play. I decided to re-imagine the last scene of the play, following the theme of ‘rash decisions can lead to disastrous consequences’. For anyone unfamiliar with Romeo and Juliet or haven’t read the script in a while, I renamed the characters to have more modern names; Romeo is now Robby, Juliet is June, Paris is Payton, Mercutio is Mark, Bathlasar is Bartel, Benvolio is Ben, and Tybalt is Theo. I also needed an eighth character and had already exhausted the list of teenage/young adult characters, so I made the last one to be a cameo of my favourite YouTuber, Will Ryan of DAGames. I don’t know him personally, but I feel like the brief character description is fairly accurate, minus the moving to Toronto part.
1 INT. PAYTON’S PARENTS’ MANSION COTTAGE – KITCHEN – NIGHT 1
Payton’s parents’ mansion cottage is a few hours outside of
Toronto, right on Lake Ontario. The walls of the kitchen are
painted a bone white and cherry wood cupboards cover the
tops of three of the four walls, with a large window cutting
them off in the middle of one wall. Two stainless-steel
sinks are under the window, which looks out onto the lake.
Only the silhouettes of the treeline can be seen against the
starry sky. Black granite counters with cherry wood bases
line the same walls under the cupboards. Stainless-steel
appliances are on the two walls beside the windowed wall. A
large, circular kitchen island sits in the centre of the
room. Like the counters, the top is black granite and the
bottom is cherry wood. Eight black leather and
stainless-steel bar stools sit around the island. At the
table, eight people sit at the stools, looking at blank
paper, pencils, and two empty glass mason jars, one marked
’Truth’ and the other ’Dare’, in the centre. They sit in
this order, counter-clockwise, with the first person sitting
facing perfectly at the window:
ROBBY, 22-years-old, kind, gentle, and loyal to his friends,
dating his long-time girlfriend JUNE and is planning to
propose at this party, best friends with BEN and BARTEL,
friends with MARK, and BEN is his cousin, and enjoys
reading, drawing, and spending time with family.
JUNE, 20-years-old, turning 21 in a few months, kind, acts
impulsively sometimes, sometimes doesn’t think things
through, dating her long-time boyfriend ROBBY, has a secret
crush on WILL, her parents want her to date PAYTON and don’t
know about ROBBY, enjoys doing anything outside, especially
WILL, 25-years-old, naturally blond but dyes his hair black
with green fringes in the front, blond roots showing
through, from Britain, kind, funny, loves seeing others
smile, friends with PAYTON, and enjoys writing music,
singing, playing video games, and spending time with friends
THEO, 20-years-old, easily angered, loves family more than
anything, will protect JUNE at all costs, cousins and
friends with JUNE, friends with PAYTON, rivals with MARK,
and enjoys fencing, rock climbing, and shopping with JUNE.
PAYTON, 24-years-old, borrowing his parents’ mansion cottage
for a party tonight, kind, tries to be a smooth talker with
women but it doesn’t work, has a ’flat’ taste in everything,
including fashion, is from the richest family in Toronto, his parents want him to date JUNE, cousins and friends with
MARK, friends with WILL and THEO, and sort of knows ROBBY,
and enjoys reading.
MARK, 25-years-old, not always honest, funny, loves teasing
his friends, takes over BEN’s jokes, friends with BEN and
ROBBY, cousins and friends with PAYTON, and rivals with
THEO, and enjoys skateboarding, biking, parkour, and
BEN, 22-years-old, kind, honest, loyal to friends but will
rat on them if they break a serious law, gets hi jokes taken
over by MARK, friends with MARK and best friends and cousins
with ROBBY, and enjoys hiking, bird watching, and fishing.
BARTEL, 23-years-old, very protective of friends, doesn’t
follow rules or instruction if otherwise a friend would get
hurt, best friends with ROBBY, only at PAYTON’s party
because ROBBY is there, enjoys swimming, hiking at night,
The whole fiasco started when
Payton decided to throw a party
over the weekend.
Alright guys, we should start by
playing truth or dare. I’ve set
four pieces of paper in front of
each of you.
PAYTON gestures to the objects on the table.
Write questions to answer
truthfully on two and dares on the
other two, then put them in the
jars. Does that sound good?
ALL nod in agreement. BARTEL looks bored and MARK is
grinning mischievously. Everyone takes their papers and
pencils and start writing.
Camera is looking at MARK’s paper. He is in the middle of
writing ’Kiss your crush’, pencil just finishing the ’s’ in
’crush’. His hand writing is sloppy.
Camera is looking at WILL, JUNE, and ROBBY head on. All
three have their heads down, focusing on their papers. Their
writing can be seen, but is indiscernible with the camera
angle and distance.
Camera is looking at everyone at the table; BARTEL, ROBBY,
and JUNE have their backs to the camera. Everyone finishes
writing and puts their papers into the jars.
We’re good to go! Let’s go
counter-clockwise around the table.
Who wants to go first?
I voluntell Robby! (Smiling)
Camera switches sides of the table. PAYTON, MARK, and BEN
now have their backs to the camera.
(Half-smiling, not serious) I so
hate you right now.
(Trying not to laugh) Truth or
Hmm… I’m scared of what you guys
wrote for dares, so I’ll go for a
ROBBY pulls the jar marked ’Truth’ over, shuffles the papers
around a bit, takes one, and then pushes the jar back to the
centre of the table.
(Reading from the paper) How many
dates have you been on? (Looks up
at everyone) Really, Mark?
That was actually me. (With a
large, proud, grin)
ROBBY sighs and starts doing math with his fingers.
Umm… Thirty-seven? Wait, does a
sixth-grade dance with my cousin
(Shouting, slams palms against the
counter top) No!! For the last
time, it doesn’t count as a date!
Everyone except BARTEL is laughing.
Sure, we danced at the grade six
dance, but that was only because
you hadn’t met June yet! And we’re
(Mock surprise faking tears; slaps
right hand to upper chest, finger
tips touching collar bone) But
we’ve known each other since we
were three years old! I thought
that dance meant something! (Turns
head away from BARTEL, eyes closed,
and pushes his hand in BARTEL’s
face) We. Are. Done!
Everyone is laughing, including BARTEL and ROBBY.
Camera switches sides of the table. BARTEL, ROBBY, and JUNE
now have their backs to the camera.
(Still laughing) Okay, so Robby’s
been on thirty seven dates.
Interesting. (Takes a moment to
stop laughing) June, you’re up
next. Truth or dare?
Camera switches sides of the table. THEO, PAYTON, and MARK
now have their backs to the camera.
I’ll be the first brave one to pick
a dare. (Confident smile)
A collective ’oohh!’ comes from everyone except JUNE and
BARTEL. JUNE pulls the jar marked ’Dare’ towards her, runs
her hand through the papers, picks one, and pushes the jar
back to the centre of the table. She just stares at the
paper for a moment, dead-pan expression, some colour drained
from her face.
The only reason why this happened
is because of Mark’s idea of a
(Looking at paper) Kiss your crush.
JUNE just keeps staring at the table, the whole room deathly
silent, only a clock ticking being heard. The clock is not
visible on screen. After a moment, ROBBY looks at JUNE with
an expression of surprise. Suddenly, JUNE turns to WILL on
her right, takes him by the chin, and kisses him. WILL’s
eyes are wide and he sits there, completely rigid with a
look of utter shock.
Camera cuts between a shot of ROBBY’s, THEO’s and MARK’s
faces before cutting back to it’s original position above
and behind THEO, PAYTON, and MARK. ROBBY looks visibly hurt
and confused, MARK is shocked with a hand across his mouth,
and THEO is wide-eyed and surprised.
(Very quite, barely audible) June?
(Ready to cry) I… I’ve had a
crush on Will since… since he
stepped off that plane from
Birmingham two years ago. (Pauses)
I… shouldn’t have led you on that
long, Robby. (Quieter) I’m sorry.
JUNE gets up and runs out one side of the room, down the
hall in the direction of the balcony. ROBBY looks after her
for a moment, then slowly gets up and walks silently out the
other door to the dining room, towards the library. PAYTON
gets up, walks over to WILL, and sits in JUNE’s vacated
stool. He puts a hand on WILL’s shoulder and whispers
something to him, unheard by the audience.
(Looking at BEN) We should go check
BEN nods and BEN and BARTEL get up and walk the same way
Camera switches sides of the table. PAYTON now has his back
to the camera, as well as ROBBY’s now-empty stool.
(More to himself than anyone) I’ll
go see how June’s doing.
THEO gets up and walks out the same way JUNE went.
(Pauses) I should probably go
MARK looks at PAYTON and WILL, quietly talking
(indiscernible), then at the door that JUNE and THEO went
through, then the way that ROBBY, BEN, and BARTEL went. MARK
gets up and walks into the dining room. A few moments later
the front door is heard closing, off screen.
2 INT. PAYTON’S PARENTS’ MANSION COTTAGE – LIBRARY – NIGHT 2
The library is more spacious than the kitchen. Bookshelves
line all four walls and are made of cherry wood going from
floor to ceiling, only stopping for windows, fireplace, and
door to the dining room. A few black leather chairs are
spread across the room with a small table in front of each
and a floor lamp beside. A large black leather couch sits in
front of the fireplace. No fire is currently burning, but
wood is sitting there ready for use. The floor around the
fireplace is made of stone squares. Several
expensive-looking rugs cover different parts of the floor,
which is made of a dark oak wood. The room is dimly lit from
the small pot lights in the high ceiling. ROBBY sits in one
chair facing a window looking out on the lake, with BEN and
BARTEL standing on either side of him.
I’m so sorry, Robby. I know how
much you cared about her.
Whatever it is that you need, we’re
here for you. We always have been.
ROBBY pulls a box out of his jacket pocket and opens it. A
gold ring with diamonds and sapphires is inside.
(Quietly) I was going to propose to
her tonight, just before everyone
left. I guess I should just
let Will use this instead. (Quickly
closes the box)
Bartel was right; this party was a
bad idea. I should’ve listened to
3 EXT. PAYTON’S PARENTS’ MANSION COTTAGE – BALCONY- NIGHT 3
Camera is looking at JUNE leaning against the railing, head
down and crying, with her back to the door. Light leaks out
from the door and the moon slightly illuminates the balcony,
but those are the only sources of light. The balcony looks
slightly weathered and is made of dark oak wood. Under the
balcony is a straight drop about 100 meters down to the
rocky shoreline. The balcony is barely big enough for six
people to stand comfortably.
I was an impulsive idiot. I should
never of fallen for Will… or I
should have broken it off with
Robby, or… or… (A single
THEO appears behind the glass door, opens it, walks onto the
balcony, and closes the door behind him. He leans against
the railing to the right of JUNE and puts an arm around her
(Softly) Are you alright?
I don’t know. I really messed up,
didn’t I? (Pauses) I’ve had a crush
on Will since I first met at
Pearson International. I…
should’ve done something about it
Everything’s going to be alright;
you just need to talk to Robby and
Will. I could help you out, if you
(Hopeful) Really? You’d do that?
Since when have I not helped my
cousin when she needed it?
That would be amazing. Thank you.
A creaking sound is heard, then the sound of wood snapping.
Before JUNE and THEO can react, the section of railing that
JUNE is leaning against snaps, sending the railing and JUNE
falling off of the balcony. JUNE shrieks and THEO reaches
for her arm, but she is just out of reach.
Camera sees an overhead view of JUNE falling, back first,
towards the rocky shoreline 100 meters below.
Camera switches to looking at THEO just before JUNE hits the
ground. THEO has an expression of utter horror and shock,
but cannot look away.
4 INT. PAYTON’S PARENTS’ MANSION COTTAGE – KITCHEN – NIGHT 4
WILL and PAYTON sit at the kitchen island; WILL with his
head in his arms resting on the counter top and PAYTON
sitting beside him, absently looking out the window.
Someone get help! June fell off of
ROBBY is running across the kitchen to the balcony before
WILL and PAYTON can even get up. WILL and PAYTON follow
ROBBY to the balcony, with BEN and BARTEL close behind.
5 EXT. PAYTON’S PARENTS’ MANSION COTTAGE – BALCONY- NIGHT 5
THEO and ROBBY are standing closest to the edge of the
broken balcony, WILL and PAYTON are right behind THEO and
ROBBY, and BEN and BARTEL are squished against the wall.
ROBBY takes a few small steps towards the edge, looking down
at where JUNE lies.
(Barely audible) June? No…
(Genuinely concerned) You might want to step
back. That edge isn’t safe.
ROBBY whips around to face WILL.
(Yelling) SHUT UP!
WILL is about to say something, but PAYTON stops him and
slowly shakes his head. ROBBY takes another small step
forwards. He is right on the edge of the balcony. Without
warning, the boards that ROBBY is standing on breaks,
sending him falling down the cliff. ROBBY screams, falling
Camera sees an overhead view of ROBBY falling, front first,
towards the same area where JUNE fell. JUNE can barely be
seen in the moonlight.
Camera switches back to looking at everyone on the balcony.
THEO is looking at the shoreline, shocked, PAYTON has his
eyes closed tight, completely tensed up, BEN and BARTEL are
plastered even closer to the wall, BARTEL with tears running
down his cheeks, and WILL is holding his arms around his
stomach, quietly groaning.
(Quietly) I… don’t feel well…
WILL quickly leaves the balcony, hunched forward slightly,
arms still around his stomach.
The screen is completely black. ROBBY’s and JUNE’s voice
overs continue over the black screen.
Two lives tragically lost on a
summer’s night, all because of a
stupid game of truth or dare.
The game was just the spark that
started the fire. If any number of
things hadn’t have happened,
perhaps we’d still be alive.
6 EXT. CEMETERY – MID MORNING 6
An overhead view of JUNE’s and ROBBY’s funerals. THEO,
PAYTON, BEN, BARTEL, WILL, and many other people are
present, but MARK is nowhere to be seen. ROBBY’s and JUNE’s
voice overs continue as the funeral progresses. The funeral
cannot be heard.
This never wouldn’t of happened if
Will had never moved to Toronto, or
if June never went to pick him up,
or if June and I hadn’t of met at
prom, or if Mark didn’t decide to
try and pull a prank in that game.
But when it all boils down, if I
hadn’t of acted so impulsively,
nothing bad would have happened. My
stupid, rash decision at Payton’s
party is what cost lives that
June didn’t know that I was
planning on proposing that night. I
guess we’ll never know if she would
have said yes…
I just wish that we talked about
things more, instead of acting on
Start credits sequence
So, that was the first screenplay that I have ever written. I’ve done some theatrical scripts before, so I may post them later. I hope you liked this script! 🙂