Light and Shadow

Lost in the Shadows

By George Elliott

‘Lost in the Shadows’ is an original play written by George Elliott in 2014. It concerns a very real problem that faces our country every day - that of human trafficking, prostitution, abuse, and violent assault against teenagers. The play follows the life of a 16 year old girl, Tiffany, who runs away from home after being sexually abused by her stepfather. She seeks solace and advice from a young woman she views as a friend who is in fact a victim turned predator in disguise. We follow these young women, along with their pimp, a 25 year old man, down a very dark path of betrayal, drugs, unconscionable abuse, and finally death.  ‘Lost in the Shadows’ will soon begin production of a film adaptation.

The cast of 'Lost in the Shadows' (the play version) after the final performance at the Portland Center for the Arts.

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People's Shadows

Synopsis

“LOST IN THE SHADOWS”  SYNOPSIS By: George Elliott  
TIME: THE PRESENT - PLACE:  PORTLAND, OREGON 
TIFFANY, a 16 year old attractive white girl kneels down next to the lifeless body of MYLES, a 19 year old extremely seductive white female that Tiffany used to call ‘friend’. In that moment Tiffany realizes that she cannot trust anyone. Living her life, regardless of how bleak, is better than not living. This screenplay follows a teenage girl Tiffany who sinks into the depths of her tolerance and finds herself making life and death decisions. In the battle for her own life, she finds herself facing an ambiguous future with a pimp and something between love, survival and terror in her heart. Digging deep, she arms herself with the courage to overcome her past and summons the determination and grit necessary to outwit the seducers and manipulators that threaten her existence. It is up to her to find a way out of a life of prostitution, drugs, abuse and unspeakable degradation. Tiffany’s mission becomes crystal clear; save her unborn child.   It all begins with a broken adolescent, Tiffany, running away from her middle class home after another sexual attack by her stepfather.  He has continued to rape and abuse her while her mother feigns ignorance. Tiffany finds herself homeless, crashing with friends from house to house until that option is exhausted.  One day a high school classmate introduces Tiffany to a former high school cheerleader named Myles.  Myles is no longer in school but her reputation lives on as a legendary cheerleader.  Myles appears to be flush with cash, wears chic clothes and drives an amazing car. Finally, Tiffany sees some hope.   Myles is an only child raised by a wealthy single father in an upper-class suburb of Portland. Her father is convicted of embezzlement and sentenced to prison. Poor Myles is dumped into the foster care system at the age of 16. Within a few years, Myles meets ROMEO and is swept off her feet.  Romeo is a well-dressed extremely handsome white man in his early 20’s with a lean physique and dangerous eyes. He impresses her with his overwhelming charisma, charm and rapt attention towards her. He lavishes her with the finer things of life that she lacked during her time in foster care and their whirl wind romance begins. Romeo proposes marriage and they embark upon a life together; each with separate ideas of what that will require.   With his talk of undying love for her and the promise of their future together, Romeo coerces Myles into “the life”. She begins to groom Tiffany shortly after their meeting with the promise of possible work as a model. Myles takes her to lunch, shopping for new clothes, and they engage in girl talk focusing on Tiffany’s past and her current need for shelter. Myles explains that modeling opportunities will transpire only if her husband meets Tiffany and believes she has what it takes.   Myles brings an eager-to-please Tiffany to meet her husband Romeo. They are staying at a posh hotel. Myles is unaware Romeo was recently released from State Prison. While incarcerated, Romeo was mentored by a notorious pimp who had quite the reputation as the most clever, brutal and successful pimp on the west coast. With this influence and guidance, Romeo plunges full speed ahead with a steely determination. Romeo believes he has his life all sketched out; but he refuses to recognize the darkness that reigns within his soul. He leads the girls down a shady and chilling path into his life’s dream until he makes a fateful mistake. This leads to his ultimate collapse and the demise of Myles.   Tiffany, a survivor, is bloodied and bruised and now must confront her uncertain future alone.  Pregnant and knocked down she remains a far cry from being knocked out.