CLARA RANDOLPH is a seventeen-year-old high school senior growing up in the small town of Merryville, Georgia. Clara has dreams of leaving her small town life behind to attend college at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. To do so, Clara competes in the Miss Georgia Teen USA pageant—and wins. This is the first scene of the script.
Clara is the poster child for abstinence in Merryville. If she screws it up, she knows that she will be the subject of scrutiny from a town unforgiving of liars. In a way, Clara’s fighting against the town throughout the story.
The story begins with Clara in a Georgia Teens Fighting Against the Type meeting, a group promoted by Miss Georgia Teen USA, which advocates celibacy. In these meetings, Clara upholds a certain innocence that promotes her views of anti-teenage pregnancy. Clara believes that teenage pregnancy can make a child feel unwanted, or that the child was a mere mistake. Her mother, JANE, had Clara as a teenager and Clara never wanted to be like her mother. Clara’s immature father immediately walked away from the situation, leaving Clara to be raised by just a mother. For that, Clara has always been resentful of her father. Even as her father grows up and tries to make amends, Clara does not want anything to do with him.
Upholding her duties as Miss Georgia Teen USA and a Georgia Teens Fighting Against the Type advocate, Clara takes an oath to remain pure until marriage to avoid unwanted pregnancy. Clara is held to moral turpitude in her contract with Miss Georgia Teen USA. If she abides by the guidelines in the contract, the pageant will cover the cost of tuition and housing at the college of Clara’s choice. Since Clara is not affluent by any means, this is her ticket to college. Clara is a likable character, albeit slightly in tune with her preacher instincts, because she merely wants to attend college and escape the world she lives in where teen pregnancy is so prevalent.
The inciting incident begins when Clara and her boyfriend, BEN, are shown having sex for the first time together. Ben gives Clara a promise ring, expressing his love for her. They commence in lovemaking, not sex. Stealthily, Ben hides a camera in one of Clara’s teddy bears to record the incident.
Plot point one shows Clara fighting off morning sickness that she claims is merely the swine flu. Plot point one assists to ask the central dramatic question: how will Clara deal with her hypocrisy in the spotlight?
Ending the first act reveals that Clara is indeed, pregnant after having sex with Ben. Clara’s reputation is at stake now. Clara has just broken her contract with Miss Georgia Teen USA. Clara is a hypocrite. Clara’s best friend, MELISSA, stands by Clara through thick and thin, even though she disagrees with Clara’s choices.
Moving into the second act, Clara visits an abortion clinic in a different town with Melissa. Clara mistakenly walks into a room where an abortion is going on, which turns Clara off to the idea. From here, Clara’s problems grow.
Clara decides to tell Ben that she is pregnant. Ben first becomes angry with Clara, wondering how one condom breaking could make him a father. Ben calms down, asking Clara what she is going to do, about the baby and the pageant. Clara does not have answers at this point. Ben promises to stay by Clara’s side with whatever decision she decides to make.
Ben visits a reporter’s office with the tape he made of Clara and himself. Ben does this because he receives a large sum of money, something more important to him than his relationship with Clara. The reporter, BECKY, becomes the central antagonist of the story. Becky begins to dig up dirt on Clara to find every gritty detail of Clara’s so-called “moral” life. Becky even finds RICKY, Clara’s peer whom she has been having sex with on and off for almost two years. The friendship and love between Ricky and Clara is not fully revealed until the end of the story. But Ricky is the real love of Clara’s life, not Ben.
At the midpoint of the story, the sex tape between Ben and Clara surfaces on the internet and television.
At the all hope is lost moment, Clara’s school begins to scream at Clara during lunch about her hypocrisy, now that it is officially revealed that she is fraud. The scene becomes violent; Ricky steps in and pulls Clara away to safety from her angry peers. Ricky tells Clara that she should just own up to her actions and admit to her mistakes.
Clara visits the Miss Georgia Teen USA offices and apologizes for her actions. She realizes that her tuition to Tulane is off the table, but still wants to own up to what she believes is right. MISS TURNER, is angry that Clara was so irresponsible with such a big honor. Miss Turner asks Clara to read the article Becky published regarding high school sex. Clara is the star of the article. In return, Clara asks Miss Turner to come to graduation, as Clara knows that this is where she has to make it right.
The resolution to the story is at graduation. Since Clara is valedictorian, she is required to make a speech to her peers and their families. In this speech, Clara admits to her mistakes. She discusses how she lost her virginity at age sixteen with Ricky, not six months ago with Ben. Clara apologizes for advocating something that she did not fully believe in. In this moment, Clara is sincere; her hypocrisy is less than evident. But Clara finally admits that having a child at such a young age is not the worst thing that could have happened to her. Clara acknowledges that Jane did it, and Jane is the most sincere and honest person she knows. Clara aspires to be like Jane. Clara says that she plans on keeping the baby and attending Tulane. She implies—Why not have it all? The crowd gives Clara a standing ovation for owning up to her mistakes.