When Life Gives You Lemons, Make a Play

“Lemonade Tears” is the story of an insecure girl named Sophie who befriends a hispanic man named Jorge. As the story progresses, Sophie and Jorge become companions, as Jorge offers her lemonade when she visits hist store. Eventually, their friendship takes a sharp turn, with Sophie’s betrayal of Jorge. Although it is quite brief, the story explores numerous themes regarding friendship, belonging, racism and the human spirit.

“One of the themes of the story explores one’s sensitive side that becomes overwhelmed by an assumed social identity” English teacher Mrs. Hannett said. “The reader of the story primarily understands the regret at the end of the story where Jorge needs and has earned social acceptance but is instead treated with unexpected indifference.”

Furthermore, the story also reflects on prevalent social issues such as superficiality.

“One of the most prevalent themes in the story is about racism and the effect it has on human relationships,” senior Jiwon Yun said. “I think this is something that’s still relevant today, albeit not on such a large scale, and Sophia (the main character) is definitely very, very human. I think that’s something everyone can relate to.”

The story “Lemonade Tears” was written by senior Jiwon Yun, and was published in the DCDS literary magazine, Spectrum. Despite its short length, the story grapples with difficult issues being faced by society.

“[The] topics [of Lemonade Tears] are a little on the heavy side,” Yun said. “But I think they are still prevalent issues in today’s society and I think the main character’s reaction to them is something we can all relate to on some level.”

The play has received much praise from the DCDS Community and also won a national Scholastic Writing Award.

“Jiwon was born with the ability to string words and ideas together like pearls,” Mrs. Hannett said. “’Lemonade Tears is truly one of a kind and the first time that a DCDS student has written a story that has been adapted for the theater or film.”

Jiwon was motivated to adapt the story into a screenplay by the desire to write in more diverse mediums than a conventional story or poem. She is collaborating with Mr. Nahan and Mr. Salamin to create the final product, either a movie script or theater production, and with Mrs. Hannett and Mr. Sadler to complete the screenplay. In spite of her literary experience, the conversion of her piece to a different format has not been easy.

“It was my first time ever trying to write anything close to a screenplay, so it was definitely a challenge,” Yun said. “Trying to understand and apply things like stage directions or film cues was hard, as was trying to turn something I’d written from a narrator’s point of view into dialogue, since in a screenplay I can’t directly tell the story—the characters have to do everything.”

Additionally, the play, after its completion, could possibly accompany the DCDS Upper School Theater production as a vignette in the Eisenberg Studio Theater. Because of the story’s versatility, it could also be converted into a short film.

“I’m just excited to see something I’ve worked so hard to create come to life on a stage or a screen,” Yun said. “It’ll be my first time seeing my writing performed, so I’m really honored and grateful that I was given this opportunity.”

The conversion of a short story into a movie script has been unprecedented in DCDS history. As such a feat requires remarkable patience and technical  skill, the  DCDS community is excited for the script’s completion to see the play.

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