SIDES: MY ABANDONMENT
Based on Portland novelist Peter Rock’s novel of the same title, MY ABANDONMENT is the story of thirteen-year- old Caroline and her father, Will, who are found living in Forest Park, a temperate rainforest abutting the city of Portland, Oregon. When authorities pluck them from their hidden world, where they lived peacefully and practically, Caroline and Will must embark on an increasingly erratic journey in search of a place to call their own.
Right click to view and download the sides for your role.
James (please also prepare an additional scene – below)
Minister – please also prepare a short original sermon (30-60 seconds) if you are a real minister
Tiffany – please also prepare “Valerie” sides
In their more than four years living in the park Will has been able to create a stable and loving environment for Caroline, homeschooling her and teaching her how to be self-sufficient. Their interactions with society are limited to the basics of survival and trips to the library until one day a runner discovers their camp. Will and Caroline are taken into custody by social services, where their relationship and way of life is scrutinized.
In a progressive move by social services, the two are relocated to a horse farm on the outskirts of Portland where Caroline can attend public school and Will can earn a modest living. The transition for them both is tough and Will starts to feel monitored and manipulated into living a way that feels forced upon him. He feels his ideals and morals he feels are eroding, and his need to live off the grid comes creeping back.
Caroline sees things differently and as she is coming into her own, shestarts to want a place to land and to try school. She makes a few friends her own age and sees a life for herself outside of Forest Park. But as herroots start to deepen at the horse farm, Will’s start to come undone, and one morning they leave without a trace.
Fueled by fear and paranoia, Will isn’t sure where to take Caroline and in a series of poorly planned moves they wind up in the snowy mountains of Oregon trying to find a place to call their own. With his judgment clouded by his own need for solace, Will and Caroline find themselves in the middle of nowhere without the proper gear and in danger. Caroline is forced to step up and use the skills her dad has taught her to get them out of a life and death situation.
When they land in a friendly community full of folks not too different from themselves, Caroline finds that she may have to make a choice about how she wants to live. As spring comes, it becomes apparent to her that perhaps what she wants and what her father needs may be down two separate paths.
DALE – Long-time RV park resident who takes Will in when he is injured and offers help. Cautious but generous. Tries to welcome them into the very remote community where she’s built a simple life for herself.
MR. WALTERS – Ranch owner who partners with social services to offer Will and Caroline a rural placement where Will can work and Caroline can attend school. Very interested in their story and invites them to church with him. Tough but kind.
BLANE – Veteran who relates to Will’s troubles. Tough but soulful. Possible marine or medical background.
ISAIAH – Small town teen with with a passion for animals and 4H Club. Welcoming to Caroline.
JAMES HARRIS – Liberal social worker who tries to help Will and Caroline re-integrate into society after being discovered. Sincere and likeable.
VALERIE – Foster girl who is distrustful of Caroline. Rough around the edges and due to her past experiences.
TIFFANY – Foster girl who is friendly and sympathetic to Caroline. Plays the peacemaker in a group home setting.
MINSTER – Small town preacher who passionately leads his congregation and welcomes new church members
DOCTOR – Female doctor who completes Caroline’s intake physical for social services. Professional and thorough.
PORTER – Older man who lives in a small rural community and teaches Caroline about beekeeping.
SELFIE STICK WOMAN – Young woman sitting next to Caroline on the bus who provides a glimpse into modern life – a strange fascination for Caroline after her relative isolation.
DETECTIVE – Plain-clothes detective who approaches Caroline while she appears to be traveling alone at a bus station.
RUNNER – trail runner who first spots Caroline in the woods, leading to the dissolution of Will & Caroline’s life in Forest Park
POLICE OFFICER – Portland Police Bureau officer who arrives at Will & Caroline’s camp with social services to assess the situation. Possibly interacts with K-9 unit.
DEBRA GRANIK (Director) is the Academy Award® nominated director and co-writer of WINTER’S BONE, which was nominated for four Oscars®, including Best Picture, and launched the career of Jennifer Lawrence. Granik and co-writer Anne Rosellini were also Oscar® nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. Her first feature film, DOWN TO THE BONE won Granik the Best Director prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. Granik completed her first feature documentary, STRAY DOG, which screened on Independent Lens in 2015 and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award.
LINDA REISMAN (Producer) was the Executive Producer on the Academy Award winning THE DANISH GIRL, which starred Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander. She previously served as Producer on Academy Award winning AFFLICTION, which starred Nick Nolte, and on LIGHT SLEEPER (Willem Dafoe, Susan Sarandon) both for director Paul Schrader. Reisman was Executive Producer on MOTHER NIGHT (Nick Nolte) and Producer of WAKING THE DEAD (Billy Crudup, Jennifer Connelly, Exec Produced by Jodie Foster) for director Keith Gordon. Reisman served as the Head of Production for Francis Coppola’s Zoetrope Studios and was the Executive Producer on JEEPERS CREEPERS, NO SUCH THING, ASSASSINATION TANGO and PUMPKIN. Reisman’s career began as an Associate Producer on THE COMFORT OF STRANGERS and PATTY HEARST, and she was the US Consulting Producer for Julie Taymor’s TITUS. Her films have premiered at the Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Sundance, Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals. Ms. Reisman is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Producers Guild of America.
ANNE ROSELLINI (Producer) is the Academy Award nominated producer and co-writer of WINTER’S BONE, which was nominated for four Oscars®, including Best Picture, and launched the career of Jennifer Lawrence. Rosellini and co-writer, Debra Granik were also Oscar nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. Her first feature film, DOWN TO THE BONE won the Best Director prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. Rosellini recently produced her first feature documentary, STRAY DOG, which screened on Independent Lens in 2015 and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award.
ANNE HARRISON (Producer) Anne Harrison is a New York based independent film producer. Most recently, she was a producer on THE DANISH GIRL, which received multiple Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations. The film won an Academy Award for Alicia Vikander, and Anne was nominated for a BAFTA. Her previous films have won awards at the Sundance Film Festival, been nominated for Independent Spirit Awards and have premiered at Venice, Toronto, AFI, and Austin. Anne started her career working with the celebrated director Martin Scorsese, where she worked on such films as Goodfellas, The Age of Innocence and The Grifters, to name a few.