Cheryl L. West


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Drama, Short play, One Act

By Cheryl L. West

The fifth-grade talent show is approaching, and everyone at Baldwin Elementary is abuzz. Winston wants to win the show with his cheerleading routine and prove he’s more than the awful nickname everyone calls him: Fishboy. Introverted artist Gina wants nothing to do with the show, and she knows the overzealous (and unpleasant) twins, Randy, and Brandy, will probably win anyway. But with the persistence of Elliott, the school’s new kid and resident rebel, these unlikely friends form “Hoopla,” a dazzling hula hooping trio and help each other navigate the pressures of being a kid.

"The kids absolutely LOVED the show. I thought it tackled some serious stuff, and did it very well. Thank you!” —Principal, Birney Elementary

“AMAZING performance! I love how it was so relevant to our students and had important messages and themes embedded. Thank you!”—Principal, Tierrasanta Elementary

“This was absolutely BRILLIANT. The kids talked about it for days, and it inspired them to think about so many things, including our own talent show!” —Teacher, Francis Parker School

“The kids LOVED the show and I was happy that the kids were encouraged to react and share their feelings during the show.” —Head of Lower School, Francis Parker School

Production Information

Cast of Characters
(3W, 2M or 5W, 3M)

GINA — 11, Black
ELLIOTT — 11, White
WINSTON — 10, Latino, Asian, or White
ACTOR #1 — plays BIG WIN, 40ish; RANDY, 11
ACTOR #2 — plays BRANDY, 11; ELLEN, 30ish; SYLVIE, 30ish
All are great with movement, particularly the hula hoop.
Please note the play can be done with five actors playing multiple roles
as indicated above or performed with eight actors playing each specific

Various settings — school, homes, street.
Set is minimal and places are suggested instead of literal so that
action remains fluid.


Cheryl L. West

Cheryl L. West is a playwright and screenwriter. Her plays include AKEELAH AND THE BEE, FANNIE and SHOUT SISTER SHOUT. Her work has been seen at theaters around the country, including Arena Stage, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Seattle Children’s Theatre, St. Louis Black Rep, South Coast Rep, and Manhattan Theatre Club. She has written projects for Disney, Paramount, Showtime, HBO, CBS, BET and others. Ms. West is currently preparing a Broadway-bound revival of her play JAR THE FLOOR, and working on commissions for Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Minneapolis Children’s Theater, Goodman Theatre and Seattle Rep...[FULL BIO]