Theatre and connection are more important than ever. These resources can help your theatre group address current events.
By Deborah Ann Percy and Arnold Johnston
Cast: 6 m, 5 w
It's About Us!
A group of high school drama students known as the Rainbow Project is tasked with developing a show to promote the acceptance of diversity. Throughout their rehearsals, important issues like grades, jobs, family commitments, and prejudices are all explored. But art mirrors life a little too closely, and rising tensions threaten the production. In the end, they realize that with all human enterprises, “it’s about us.” This insight allows the show to go on. This drama speaks to its target audience of adolescents and young adults in their own language, with humor, irony, directness, and without posturing or preaching. The story, characters, and dialogue also appeal to adult audiences, featuring an intriguing play-within-a-play structure that underscores the relationship between onstage action and real life. About an hour.
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By Tom Quinn
Cast: 2 m, 2 w (playing 18 roles)
Freedom Riders is set in 1961 as two young women from Harvard try to decide if they should join the Freedom Rides of the 1960s. As you travel along you will meet Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Bobby Kennedy, Theodore Roosevelt, W.E.B. Dubois and many others who fought both for and against our nation's struggle for Civil Rights. Experience sit-ins and lunch counters and the dark days of Jim Crow. Learn the history as four performers bring this struggle alive though the words of historical figures, song, and recreations. The struggle for Freedom is the struggle of all Americans to accept our differences and celebrate the triumph of freedom. The Freedom Riders helped show America the way and can inspire young people today to see the value of freedom and the courage it takes to make a difference.
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Divided We Fall: A Series of Teenage Monologues
Everyone has some burden, but shared pain is always easier to bear. This monologue-based play is sure to strike the hearts of teens, showing them that any frustration, embarrassment, loneliness, and grief they are experiencing is not limited to them alone. Some major issues within the dozen monologues include a girl’s concern about her body image, a boy who feels smothered by his girlfriend, a girl who runs to escape her home life, and a boy who feels guilty after failing to defend someone who needed help. Each actor, while wearing a hooded sweatshirt that symbolically confines him in his own world, remains onstage the entire time, occasionally serving as a member of the chorus, thus an integral part of a true ensemble piece. The play will help remind students that although they may think they are all alone there is, in reality, love and support all around.