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PLATYPUS THEATER Dear students,

Preparation and after show paper THE CALL

soon you will be coming to see THE CALL. This preparation paper will help you to understand the play. The play is about three young people who are in their last year of school. Joe Murphy: Mark Hill: Cathy Maloney: 17 years old. 17 years old, Joes best friend 17 years old, Joes girlfriend

CLASS EXERCISE Read this scene from THE CALL in groups of three. Words written in Italics, e.g. exits are stage instructions, not dialogue. These two words are important: strengths = the good qualities or abilities that a person has weaknesses = lack of strength in a persons character, things that need to be worked on WORKING LIFE Cathy and Joe enter arm in arm Joe: Cathy: Joe: Cathy: Joe: Cathy: Joe: Cathy: Joe: Cathy: Mark: Cathy: Joe: Mark: Cathy: Joe: Mark: Cathy: Joe: Mark: Joe:
THE CALL

Are you cold? A little. Imagine if we were somewhere warm on a beach. Me and you on a sandy beach. In Portugal. Palm trees Big waves. We could take a year off after school. Yeah. We could buy a van and travel around Europe. Wed have to save some money first. We could get jobs on the trip. enters Hi. That was the most pointless hour Ive spent in my entire life. Hi, Mark. Where were you? I had to go the Career Centre with Mum. Oh, right. I have to go there tomorrow. How was it? Check this form out. What are your hobbies? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Name three. Ask your friends. So friends! What do you say? Youre a good talker. Youre funny. Funny peculiar, or funny haha? Funny funny.

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PLATYPUS THEATER Cathy: Mark: Joe: Mark: Cathy: Mark: Joe: Mark: Joe: Mark: Joe: Mark: Joe: Mark: Joe: Cathy: Mark: Cathy: Mark: Joe: Mark: Joe: Mark: Cathy: Mark: Cathy: Mark: Joe: Youre good at fixing things. Okay, now the weaknesses. Youre always late. Am not! You dont like being told what to do. Thats not true. You argue. No, I dont. Yes, you do. I dont. Do! Do not. Do! Not. What are you doing right now then? they all laugh Well, what did the careers advisor say? She said I was thick. She said that?

Preparation and after show paper THE CALL

She said she didnt see me having an academic career. That doesnt mean youre stupid. What she meant was I could shovel dirt for a living. I think she means youre more practical. Thats exactly what she said. Im good with my hands. I should do a trade. What about you Cathy, what are you going to be when you grow up? My auntie says, youd be a good nurse, my brother says I should study Math and computing, my mum says Id make a good teacher. Teacher eeh! I cant stand the thought of spending my whole life in a school. Maybe Ill just do a stupid job, work in a supermarket or something. What are you going to be? To Joe Well Im not sure. Im a bit like Cathy. One teacher told me that I could do anything I wanted to. That was no help at all. Besides, Im not good at math or chemistry. My Mum says I should do a job where I help other people. Theres hundreds of jobs for that. Bus driver, shop assistant, fireman. Rubbish collector, Farmer, Gardener Electrician, Carpenter, Psychologist. Maybe Cathy and Ill just buy an old campervan and travel around Europe. Is that what you call helping people? I like the idea of taking a break, having a bit of time to find out about what I want to do. Your Mum and Dad wouldnt let you do it Joe. Not with Cathy. His parents arent that strict. Strict? I think they are. Murphys place is like an army barracks. Last night I had to say the rosary with them.

Cathy: Mark: Cathy: Joe: Mark: Cathy: Mark: Cathy: Mark:

THE CALL

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PLATYPUS THEATER Joe: Mark: Joe: Mark: Joe: Cathy: Joe: Cathy: Joe: Cathy:

Preparation and after show paper THE CALL

Cut it out, Mark. Anyway Ill turn 18 next year, then I can do what I like. If you have the money. Oh. Ill leave you two love birds alone. Ive got to let the dogs out. Bye, Mark. Who let the dogs out? Mark, mark m-mark! Mark exits. Come on, it was funny. What are you going to say at the Career Centre tomorrow? My weakness is I have a soft spot for you. My weakness is I havent got any weaknesses. Oh Mr. perfect. I have strengths though. shows her how big his arm muscles are Oh yeah tickles him.

EXERCISE TO DO ALONE Write down the answers to the following questions: What are you good at? What are your gifts? Gifts=special qualities. Name five things. What jobs would you be good at? Name three. What jobs do your parents do? Would you consider doing the same job as your parents?

A dream job is a job that you imagine yourself doing but youre not sure if you really can do it. What is your dream job? Would you leave your family, your girlfriend/boyfriend in order to study or do a job in a different place? Explain why. Write a few sentences about what is important for you in a job.

When you have finished the above exercise, you can compare what you have written with your fellow students and discuss.

TO BE READ ALOUD BY THE TEACHER OR ONE STUDENT THEN DISCUSSED Your job choice or career will be influenced by the people you know. If, for example, your mother is a doctor and your father is a hospital manager you may feel attracted to a job in the medical profession because you know about it. But you may have quite different talents than your parents and be more suited to a completely different job. Its a good idea to look at a whole range of jobs, not just the job area you know well. You may feel attracted to a job because you know you can earn a lot of money in it. But you should examine carefully what earning the money really involves. You have to find out about the day to day reality of jobs.

RELIGION, READ THIS ALONE In THE CALL, the main character Joe, makes an unusual and extreme choice. He has a strong feeling (a calling) that he should become a Catholic priest and decides to try religious life. He chooses to leave Cathy and Mark and his family. In rich western societies these days very few people decide to go into religious life. Joe is not completely sure if he wants to be a priest but he feels he has to try it out.

THE CALL

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PLATYPUS THEATER Write down answers to these questions

Preparation and after show paper THE CALL

What do you think about religion? What are your values? Have you ever had to make a big decision? For example, ending a friendship, moving to a different place, changing schools. How did you make your decision? READ TOGETHER WITH YOUR TEACHER There are two other characters in the play, Joes mother, Mrs. Murphy, and the priest Father Stone. Father Stone is the spiritual director of the Jesuit novitiate where Joe goes to begin his studies for the priesthood. In the Novitiate Joe learns how to pray and about the religious order he has joined. Joe gets to know interesting and new people and learns a lot about himself. He has a lot of time to think about what is important in life. His friends Cathy and Mark develop too but they develop differently from Joe. If you want to get an idea of what a Novitiate is like look at this web site: http://www.norprov.org/vocations click on A Day in the Life of a Young Jesuit

Here are some WORDS OR EXPRESSIONS used in the play. Use your dictionaries to find the equivalent word in German:
a religious order............ a group of people living under religious rules vocation ........................ a strong feeling that one is specially fitted for a certain type of work. a novice ........................ a person who has just joined a religious community but not yet a priest or a nun a novitiate ..................... the building in which novices live the call.......................... a strong feeling of duty to do something a priest ......................... a person appointed to perform religious duties and ceremonies in the Catholic Church celibacy ........................ the state of not being married or having sexual relationships chastity ......................... the state of not having sex poverty ......................... the state of being poor obedience..................... doing what one is told to do mass ............................ a religious service celebrating Jesus Christs Last Supper to meditate ................... to think deeply, usually in silence, especially for religious purposes or to relax prayer ........................... a solemn request or expression of thanks to God or another object of worship confession .................... a formal admission of ones sins to a priest vows ............................. to swear, promise or declare something solemnly vow of chastity, poverty and obedience .............. promise to be chaste, poor and obedient rosary ........................... a traditional Catholic way of praying rosary beads ................ a string of beads used for counting prayers as they are said

GROUP DISCUSSION If your teacher has a Poster of THE CALL you could discuss the painting. What does the painting suggest? What feeling do you get when you look at the poster.
THE CALL

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PLATYPUS THEATER

Preparation and after show paper THE CALL

Background Information about Catholicism In Berlin only 6 per cent of the population are Catholics. But according to statistics there are 1.147 billion Catholics in the world. If you dont know much about the Catholic Church you can get some information at this web site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church Catholic priests administers the sacraments. They performs or the Mass, they baptize people, they hears confessions, they marry people, they give people a special blessing before they die. There are many sorts of priests. Some priests work in parishes (Gemeinden). Some are teachers, social workers, missionaries or theologians. Some priests live alone, some live in religious orders, some live as monks and spend a lot of their time praying and singing. I hope you enjoy the play. Yours sincerely

Peter Scollin The author

You might like to look at the following films which are loosely related to the play. You should be able to find clips in youtube. The Nuns Story: Director Fred Zinemann: 1959 A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: Director Joeph Strick: 1977 The Devils Playground: Director Fred Schepsi: 1976 Crossroads (The Novice) Trailer: Director Murray Robinson. Starring Jacob Pitts. The Thornbirds: TV series starring Richard Chamberlain. QUESTIONS TO DISCUSS AFTER PLAY Why does Joe decide to go to the Novitiate? What has influenced him to make this decision? Did he really know what he was doing? Did he have the talents and skills required for someone who is a priest? Did his mother support his decision? How would you react if one of your friends told you he or she was going to become a priest, a nun, a minister or an Imam? How do Mark and Cathy develop as characters in the play? If you were Cathy or Mark would you have tried to talk Joe out of becoming a priest?

We would like to know what you thought about our play. Please send your feedback to peter@platypus-theater.de

www.platypus-theater.de mail@platypus-theater.de
THE CALL

PLATYPUS THEATER 2011

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