Speech & Debate

Synopsis: Frustrated by the hypocrisy they see in their parents, teachers, and the entire school board, an unlikely trio set out to find a common truth and make their voices heard as they revive a defunct school club and take on the world.
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director(s): Dan Harris
Production: Sycamore Pictures
Rotten Tomatoes:
105 min


[man] We have a conspiracy

on our hands here in Salem.

Salem was once a jewel

of the western coast,

shining example of America.

We were a community of people

who taught our children

good morals

and leadership values.

But someone in Salem

has decided to live

by his own rules,

rules written by Satan himself.

Our mayor has found time

to sex up interns,

but for three years,

no one has fixed the pothole

in front of my house

on 63 Nancy Street.

But this is obviously only

a symptom of the real problem.

The real problem

is immortality itself.

- Immortality?

- Sir, do you mean immorality?

I'd like to request

a time extension

due to being interrupted

by Miss Martino here.

Denied, and that's not

my last name.

What exactly is

your complaint, sir?

With our mayor having used

his office as Gomorrah

and with parents still reeling

from the filthy,

nude forest dancing

in last year's production

of The Crucible,

I'm disgusted to learn

that this school plans

to perform Once Upon

a Mattress this year.

Now, not only does

that sound like a porno,

upon further investigation,

this mattress show

also glorifies an unwed mother.

- So...

- [Marie chuckles]

No, go ahead and laugh,

'cause that's very funny.

Unsafe sex is very funny, right?

Shame on you, Ms. Martino.

- Sir, stick to your topic.

- No one here is named Martino.

I'll stick to my right

to free speech. How 'bout that?

Or did you already menstruate

on that part

of the Constitution?

I think you mean

the Bill of Rights.

Sir, watch it.

We have our little league team

in the audience.

Good! This is for them!

They need to hear it...

Okay, that's it. Bobby, do me

a favor. Get him out of here.

Brothers, stay

the F away from me!

Watch your language.

Don't provoke him, Joan.

You threatening me, new woman?

Yes, I'm threatening you.

What are you gonna do about it?

This is what

I'm gonna do about it.

I'm gonna use my free speech

to make sure

the kids of this town

don't end up degenerated

like the mayor.

You people talk and talk

and do nothing!

I speak for the parents

of this town

when I say stamp out

the sin and the porn plays,

or you're gonna turn to salt,

and this town's gonna end up

being just another...

- [Bobby] Let's go.

- Devil-worshiping, homosexual,

pill-popping paradise

for all of America!

[Bobby] Come on.

[message sent tone playing]

[message received tone playing]

[message sent tone

playing continuously]

[principal Bellingham]

Despite the outburst,

it looks like we already have

pre-approval from

the department,

so with that decision, we'll

conclude tonight's meeting.

Thank you all for coming, and...

Hey. Your mom's new

to the school board, right?

So's mine. I'm Diwata.

- Di-what-a?

- Diwata.



Children of the board unite,

right, Howie?

My private blog. It's getting

a lot of hits lately.

You should check it out.

[parent] I don't

recognize your authority.

I don't recognize it.

- [indistinct chatter]

- [door slams open]

You afraid of, brother?

You afraid of shining

a light on some truth?

[phone sliding on floor]

[message received tone playing]


Don't take my arm so tight.

It's not necessary.

Come on.

[indistinct chattering]


You caved to a crazy man?

[Marie] I didn't cave.

I was outvoted, sweetie.

[Diwata] Once Upon a Mattress

is the musical version

of Princess and the Pea.

Censoring it is like

putting pants on Elmo

so no one sees

the nothing between his legs.

Elmo doesn't wear pants?

I'm kidding.

Oh, God.

[message received tone

playing continuously]

[message sent tone

playing continuously]

[message sent tone playing]

[message received tone playing]


Yeah, I'm threatening you.

What are you gonna do about it?

[man] This is what I'm

gonna do about it.

I'm gonna use my free...

[Susan] Solomon!

Shut that off,

and do your homework!

Degenerated like the mayor.

You people talk and talk

and do nothing!


Come on. Leave him alone.

I voted for the changes.

Isn't that enough?

That guy and his argument

were both crazy.

[Susan] I thought you were

against sex before marriage.

[James] No, I... I am,

but I'm also against

not having sex after marriage.

[Susan] Give me a break.

[piano music playing]

Sitting at

My Casio keyboard

Thank God it's built

To prerecord

Otherwise, I couldn't play

And sing at the same time


[electronic music playing]

Son of a b*tch.

I want to thank all

of my fans who posted comments

on the new video

of my current acting reel

and have been sending me

good-luck vibes

for the big audition tomorrow.

Sadly, under pressure

from local psychos,

my drama teacher,

a man I'll call gay guy

with a neck beard,

in order to protect

Mr. Walter M. Healy's


has caved and agreed

to "purify" the plot

of Once Upon a Mattress.

As a result of this lunacy,

the character of Lady Larken

will no longer be pregnant

out of wedlock.

We have a state-mandated

teen-mothers program

at our school,

but the board thinks

an unwed storybook mom

is too scandalous?

Lady Larken and I

aren't both perfectly pretty,

and I don't have

her perfect soprano voice.


But the truth is...

the Lady and I have

a lot more in common

than you'd ever guess.

So, Mr. Healy...

this hot flow is for you.

Mr. Healy

You're a crap sandwich

I'm pure and

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Stephen Karam

Stephen Karam is an American playwright and screenwriter. His plays Sons of the Prophet, a comedy-drama about a Lebanese-American family, and The Humans were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2012 and 2016, respectively. The Humans won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Play. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Speech & Debate" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 19 Jun 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/speech_%2526_debate_18641>.

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