Backflips and Banana Splits


Character List: 

LILA– A sixteen year old girl who is best friends with EMMA. She is also in the school cheerleading squad. 

EMMA- A sixteen year old girl who is best friends with LILA. She is also in the school cheerleading squad and has been accepted to take part in the nationals competition 

SCARLETT- A seventeen year old girl who is hated by EMMA and LILA. She is one of the most popular girls in school and is the cheer captain.

Scene 1. 

LILA and EMMA enter the stage and sit down on a bench on the downstage left while eating banana splits. They are talking amongst themselves. Both characters are beaming. 

Lila Congrats though. 

Emma I am so excited! (squeals in delight) Did you get in? OMG imagine us two together! We would look so good 

Lila Whoa, whoa Emma, hold your horses. You’re rambling again. Didn’t you promise not to do it? (chuckles) 

Emma Oh sorry… hehe… well old habits die hard. Now tell me did you get in? I know- Lila (says quickly) I didn’t get a spot in the front row. 

Emma (hushed) Oh. 


Emma (squirms in her seat) Mmm this banana split tastes good. 

Lila It’s okay Emma. I got a spot in the second row. Even though it’s not as cool as being in the front row and I won’t get to participate as much, it’s still something. 

Emma Well… um… you’re not mad at me for getting in the front row right? I’ll try to make amends and ask Scarlett to do something. 

Lila Chill Emma. Firstly, I would never be mad at my best friend’s achievements and secondly, you know Scarlett won’t listen to you. It’s completely fine Emma. 

Emma Are you sure? 

Lila (she holds EMMA’s hand affectionately and smiles at EMMA) I promise. Emma (sighs) Well that’s a relief. 

Lila Mmm… this banana split does taste good. Despite its awful amount of calories and the fact that we have cheer practice after this… it still tastes heavenly. 

EMMA grins and gives LILA a hug. She then looks at her watch on her right wrist. 

Emma Oh no! It’s four o’clock! We are going to be late! The girls will kill us if we are late again! Come on! 

EMMA grabs LILA’s hand and they run offstage. 

Scene 2. 

Enter a group of girls together with EMMA and LILA. They all gather up at centerstage. They all are wearing a cheerleading uniform. 

Scarlett Okay ladies! Let’s get ready! So those who are selected for the nationals team, line up in front of me and those who are in the reserved team can sit on the benches. Anyone left? 

A few girls from the group raise their hands nervously. They look at each other with worried looks. 

Scarlett Oh… all who are left are useless (mimics a pout then cackles) Well you can leave cause you guys aren’t even good enough to get on the reserved team. (flips hair) Come on ladies. We haven’t got all day. It’s time to practice! 

EMMA and LILA make eye contact and then immediately look back at SCARLETT and roll their eyes at her. All the girls start to then cartwheel one after another. 

Scarlett If we want to show the Rosewood cheerleaders next week who rules, you have to be perfect! Not a single flaw! Lila straighten your legs! I don’t want floppy legs! Ugh! STRAIGHTER! Do you guys want to stay on the team or not? 

Time skip to one hour later the girls get a break and EMMA walks to LILA. 

Lila God I hate Scarlett. She is too bossy and always wants the front spot in every game. She wants only her to shine all the time and we all know that we are better than her in stunts. 

Emma Lila I hate her too but what can we do? Her father has the money which helps to fund the team. She literally bribed her way to captain. But again, we can’t do anything because we don’t have enough power to. 

LILA frowns and EMMA sighs. EMMA puts her hand on LILA’s shoulder and smiles. 

Emma Come on let’s not let Scarlett ruin our mood… um (pause) I am really excited to learn the routine. It’s so good. With the outfits and the flips, we will outshine Rosewood. 

Lila That stunt that you have to do in the end, it’s so cool… (looks away from EMMA and speaks softly) If only I could have your part… 

Emma (raises eyebrow) Sorry Lila could you say that again, you were too soft. 

Lila Oh it was nothing (immediately looks back at EMMA and smiles)

Scarlett Break’s over ladies! Now let’s practice the routine… let’s start with the part before… Emma is lifted up and she does the front flip. Chop! Chop! We haven’t got all day. (looks at LILA) Oh Lila could you be the one who lifts Emma up before she does her flip? You look like you could use some practice. (twirls a loose strand of her hair around her finger while taking) 

Lila (mumbles when SCARLETT looks away) Oh please, she could use much more practice than me. 

Scene 3. 

The girls stand in a star-shape formation and EMMA and LILA are standing in the center of the star side by side at center stage. SCARLETT walks around the formation with steady steps as she inspects the formation and the girls’ posture. 

Emma (whispers to LILA) What if I mess it up? Scarlett will kill me if I screw even a tiny detail up. What do I do Lila? I don’t want to be kicked off the team… 

Lila (whispers back to EMMA in a more hushed tone as SCARLETT walks past them) Jeez, are you serious right now? Calm down Emma. Everything will be okay. You are such a good Cheerleader and there is no way anything will happen to you. I… I promise I won’t let anything happen to you. 

Emma (takes a deep and shaky breath) I hope I can pull it off and Scarlett is impressed. 

Scarlett (screams in the background) Your back needs to be straighter! 

Lila She will. You are the best Cheerleader in our school. No one can convince me otherwise. 

Emma Thanks Lila. You are simply amazing! I don’t know what I could’ve done without you. You are the best bestie anyone could ever have! 

Lila (laughs softly to lighten up the mood) You would have been a complete mess without me. You know it and I know it. 

EMMA and LILA chuckle at LILA’s comment. They immediately straighten their posture and stop laughing when SCARLETT stops right in front of them. 

Scarlett Okay. We are going to start at the count of three. LILA! Stop talking and focus! You are distracting Emma! Now THREE! 

Emma (whispers to LILA) Sorry about that.

Lila (whispers back to EMMA) It’s okay. You can do it Emma! I believe in you! 

Scarlett TWO! 

EMMA looks at LILA and smiles. They then get ready for the routine. LILA stands behind EMMA. 

Scarlett And… ONE! 

The girls in the star formation run in front of LILA and EMMA. LILA lifts EMMA up and EMMA stands on LILA’s shoulders. 

Emma (mutters to LILA) Okay Lila, release me at the count of three. Three, two 

A loud thud could be heard. EMMA was on the floor and LILA bent beside her. EMMA clutched her ankle and groaned in pain. 

Lila (screams in horror) EMMA! Oh my god! Are you okay? 

Emma (groans in pain before replying) Does it look like I’m fine!? 

Lila I’m so sorry Emma. I didn’t mean to drop you. I just… I… 

Emma I really don’t care right now. Could you just (inhales sharply and winces) get me some ice. 

LILA nodded her head quickly and runs offstage. SCARLETT walks towards EMMA. 

Scarlett Did someone get hurt? (scoffs) Ooo Emma… that must hurt. (turns around and whispers to herself) Oh god. Oh no, oh no oh no! What am I going to do? If we lose thanks to Emma and her pathetic injury, then my reputation will be ruined. (speaks in her normal voice) I don’t know if you would be okay to perform for the nationals. Aw isn’t that a shame. Might as well kick you off the nationals team already. 

Emma But that’s unfair! 

SCARLETT kneels down beside EMMA and chuckles bitterly. 

Scarlett Well honey, life’s unfair. 

Emma Well at least give me a day to heal. Just one day and I promise I’ll be there for practice tomorrow. 

Scarlett Firstly, never interrupt me and secondly, oh sweetie, a sprain like that won’t heal in a day. Trust me I would know. I’m more experienced than you. Plus you wouldn’t want the school to lose its 49th streak of winning in the Cheerleading Nationals competition because of you honey. Imagine everyone saying that because of your (scoff) selfishness the team lost. You wouldn’t want me to tell that to everyone do you? 

EMMA rolls her eyes and laughs in a sarcastic manner. 

Scarlett Excuse me, don’t you dare disrespect me. You are lucky you’re still on the team. I have the full authority to kick you off the cheerleading team. But as a punishment you are on the reserve team for the nationals and the regionals competition. 

Emma But!-

Scarlett No buts. I’ve made up my mind and I won’t change your punishment because you weren’t cooperating with my instructions. (smirks) Besides, I don’t know what I was even thinking. Like, make you do the amazing flip. Clearly… you aren’t good enough for it. Hmm… Lila would probably do a better flip than you. Don’t you think? 

EMMA’s mouth opens in an O shape. SCARLETT gets up and puts her hands on her hips. A smirk is still plastered on her lips. Silence continues for a while. Then SCARLETT turns around with her back facing EMMA and flips her hair. She sashays towards upstage left. She pauses midway and tilts her head slightly towards EMMA. 

Scarlett Oh honey, please close that mouth of yours. I can smell that odor filled breath of yours from here. (fans air and pinches nose) 

EMMA immediately shuts her mouth and balls up her fists. She tries to get up but falls down again. SCARLETT cackles and sashays offstage. 

Scene 4. 

LILA runs back on stage and scampers to EMMA. 

Lila (speaks breathlessly) I… I’m so sorry it took me so much time to find an ice pack. The… girl’s locker room ran out of… ‘em and I had to- 

Emma (snaps at LILA and speaks in an annoyed tone.) Well? Will you give it to me now? 

EMMA lifts her hand to take the ice pack. 

Lila I… um… here. (passes EMMA the ice pack) 

Emma Finally. 

EMMA and LILA sit side by side in silence. EMMA winces in agony as she tries to get up. LILA rushes up to help her. 

Emma (gruffly) Stay away from me… you… you fake friend! 

Lila What are you on about? 

Emma You know exactly what I mean.

Lila (retorts and frowns) Well clearly I don’t know! 

Emma That’s ‘cause you don’t know anything. You’re just a- 

Lila Well tell me now .

Emma (Glares at LILA) You dropped me on purpose didn’t you. You wanted my spot right? Wasn’t that exactly you were plotting when we were talking earlier when suddenly you said something really softly then brushed it off? Right? 

Lila (slight annoyance in her voice) Oh Emma. Do you hear yourself right now? Why do you think I would ever do that to you? (gives a small smile and holds Emma’s left hand) You’re my best friend and I would never do anything like this to you. 

EMMA pulls back her hand and limps a few steps back. 

Emma (harshly) Don’t touch me. (frowns in disgust) And like I said earlier, (emphasizing each word) stay away from me. 

Lila (clenches her fists and stares intently at EMMA. Voice raised slightly) You really are something. Whenever you need help, you come running to me and when I make a small mistake, you blame me for everything. 

Emma (EMMA then back faces LILA and speaks in a hushed tone) Well ‘cause it is your fault. (Pause) Thanks to you I’m off the nationals team and you’re taking my spot. 


Emma (turns back to face LILA and screams at LILA) And thanks to you, I’m not allowed to try out for the regional team because Scarlett said so. She said that she would have kicked me off the cheerleading team but instead gave me a punishment for being so pathetic. How’d you feel, when someone like Scarlett insults you and you are powerless in front of her? Huh? (voice soaked with sarcasm) Well thanks a lot for helping me Lila! You really are an amazing friend! Yes it’s all your fault! You’ve proven that you’re a selfish, horrendous, terrible person! You were always jealous weren’t you? You- 

Lila (shushes EMMA and rubs temples and hollers back at EMMA) Yes Emma! I was jealous! Who wouldn’t be? Scarlett gave you the best stunt! Who wouldn’t want it? But unlike what you think, I wouldn’t try to sabotage you! 

Emma (crosses her arms and mutters under her breath loud enough for LILA to hear) She’s such a terrible liar. 

Lila (crosses her arms) You know I can hear you right? 

Emma Great, now we know that you aren’t deaf. (LILA remains silent and EMMA smirks) What happened Lila? Cat’s caught your tongue eh? (scoffs) Well I feel like my IQ is dropping around you. Don’t even bother to call me tomorrow to meet up to eat banana splits. 

Lila (expression changes from anger to sadness. She speaks slowly) But we’ve been eating banana splits every Thursday and Friday during the school term since we became friends… 

Emma (picks up a bag and slowly limps off stage) Well consider this the end of our friendship. 

Silence. EMMA exits stage and LILA stares towards EMMA’s direction. LILA’s jaw is clenched. 

Lila She’s… joking right? She… can’t. She won’t. (pause) She’ll come around right? (huffs and exits stage) 

Scene 5. 

EMMA enters the stage. Her ankle is wrapped with a bandage and she is limping across the stage to stage right. She is holding her books in one hand and her bag is hanging from one shoulder. Then enter LILA who is walking with SCARLETT. SCARLETT has a smirk plastered on her face. They walk towards EMMA. 

Scarlett Oh look who it is. The girls who couldn’t even do a simple backflip and made such a big deal out of it. Lila told me everything that happened between you guys yesterday. Aren’t you a big drama queen? I can’t believe I didn’t choose Lila before. (cackles) 

SCARLETT smacks EMMA’s books out of her hands. EMMA and LILA watch the books crash on the floor. SCARLETT grabs LILA who seemed like she was about to help EMMA pick up her books. SCARLETT sashays to stage left and is pulling LILA with her. 

Scarlett (whispers while putting on a fake smile) What do you think you’re doing? (LILA shrugs and SCARLETT sighs) Look if you want to keep the spot and hang out with me, you’ve got to stay away from that useless piece of filth. Do you understand? 

Lila I… uh… yes. 

Scarlett Good. Now I want you to stay focused. I don’t want… ugh… that pathetic friend of yours to get your mind out of the game. You need to practice harder and harder. Nationals are on Monday and I need you to put on your best show. If you mess up, you’ll regret it so bad. 

Lila (mumbles) But… I’ve been practicing so hard. You expect me to practice more? 

SCARLETT pats LILA’s back and LILA looks down and fumbles with her hands. 

Scarlett Come on now. We don’t want to be late for practise now do we? 

Lila (looks up at SCARLETT) Ya… I mean… no… let’s go. 

SCARLETT laughs maniacally before looking towards EMMA and sashaying towards downstage. 

Emma (whispers to herself) Look at Lila, she didn’t even have the courtesy to come up and support me today. Walking around with Scarlett… She really is a fake friend. 

Scarlett Okay Lila you know the routine and I want you to excel in it. Understand? 

LILA nods her head quickly. Two other girls appear onstage. They lift LILA up on their shoulders and LILA performs an amazing backflip. LILA then performs a cartwheel followed by a handstand. She finishes it off with a frontflip in the air and a split. The girls around LILA applaud for her.

Scarlett You did fine however you need to do much better. With a pathetic stunt like that we will never win. Imagine, our school losing its 49th streak of winning thanks to Lila. 

LILA and the girls around her stare at SCARLETT in disbelief. Even EMMA who was listening to their conversation was visibly shocked. EMMA takes a step towards SCARLETT but then hesitates and stops. LILA looks down at her shoes and rubs the tear forming in her eye. 

Scarlett Only the weak cry. 

Lila What do you have against me? 

Scarlett (cackles) Oh, it’s just that you are a terrible cheerleader and you don’t live up to my standards. 

SCARLETT turns around and walks towards EMMA. She pushes EMMA down to the ground and sashays offstage. 

Scene 6. 

EMMA groans in pain and LILA runs towards EMMA to help her. 

Lila EMMA! Are you okay? I’m so sorry. 

Emma You don’t need to apologize… It’s clearly not your fault. It’s Scarlett’s and I don’t want you to apologize for the mistake that she made. 


Lila (helps to lift EMMA up and looks down at EMMA’s ankle) Um… how’s your ankle.

Emma (rubs back of her neck) It’s been better. 


Lila Emma about yesterday 

Emma I don’t wanna talk about it… 

Lila But I’m really sorry. 

EMMA walks toward center stage and talks to LILA with her back facing LILA

Emma But it’s not your fault. It never was. I was wrong to put all the blame on you. 

Lila (looks back up and turns towards EMMA’s direction) Wait what? 

Emma I saw how Scarlett was treating you yesterday and today. During practice today I couldn’t help but notice how stressed you were. Now tell me the truth. (turns around to face LILA) Has Scarlett been threatening and pressuring you? Were you afraid to let her down? 

LILA hesitates for a moment and after a short while she slowly nods her head. EMMA walks toward LILA and holds LILA’s hand. 

Emma I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have blamed you. I should’ve put myself in your shoes before pointing fingers. I didn’t realize before that it was just an honest mistake and with all the pressure you just couldn’t focus. It’s all my fault… 

Lila Whoa whoa! I was at fault too. I should’ve been more careful. I’m sorry too Emma. 

EMMA and LILA smile and they hold each other’s hands. 

Emma However, it really is mainly Scarletts fault! (both chuckle) Next time Lila, don’t care about what others think about you and what negative things they say about you. Just ignore them all. (scratches back of neck) Um… do you forgive me though? 

Lila Of course Emma. Why wouldn’t I. After all, it was an honest misunderstanding. 

Emma (beams with joy) Thank you so much Lila! I don’t know what I could do without you! 

Lila (looks at the watch on her wrist) Um…It’s two-thirty. I don’t know if you… um…(both EMMA and LILA speak in unison) wanna head down to get banana splits? 

Emma (in unison) Wanna head down to get banana splits? 

Both girls break into laughter. 

Emma Of course Lila, I’d love to. 

They hug each other. 

Blackout. End

Ehsas Aggarwal (Class of 2026) loves writing plays and writes based on real and relatable issues. She loves making people go through emotional rollercoasters through her work. She also has no idea what else to add to her bio.