Dan Kehde is a playwright, librettist and director who, for the past 15 years, has served as co-founder and managing director for The Contemporary Youth Arts Company of Charleston,WV, an organization dedicated to giving young artists hands-on opportunities to bring new works to the American stage. A nearly unfunded, for-profit theater company, CYAC has produced over 50 new works in the past 15 years including 15 new Scarpelli-Kehde musicals, more than thirty new plays and eight touring social action one-acts. Together with his persevering wife, Penny, Dan continues to work with the young people of CYAC while constantly striving to challenge the ever-changing lists of new actors that come into the company. Dan is currently working on new pieces of musical theater with composer/collaborator Mark Scarpelli, as well as continuing to create and produce three or four new plays of his own each year.
9 m, 9 w
When Jeremy Wong, a 15-year-old gay student, is savagely beaten and killed by two fellow students, the whole school reels from the blows. Reporters from all over the country descend on the town. Deep divisions among the students emerge as the student council debates whether or not to hold a memorial service. The brutal murder forces each student to search his or her own conscience and beliefs. Some react with denial, some make excuses, some are outraged, and some are frightened. Others respond with courage and caring, while a few start to question and change ...
1 m, 5 w, 1 flexible, extras and audience members
Rick, an intelligent ninth grade student athlete, has his first sexual encounter with Amanda, a senior. He has four more relationships before he graduates. By the spring of his senior year, when he tests HIV positive, he has inadvertently exposed more than fifty of his classmates to AIDS. That number has little impact on most audiences until the end of the play when fifty audience members are called to the stage from the names on cards they are handed. When the name on the card is read by the actor playing the doctor, the audience member holding the card shou...
4 m, 4 w, extras
Sam and Billy are two wheelchair-bound kids who have been mainstreamed into a regular high school. Billy is a poet who, under under the pseudonym of "Minotaur" for half man, half beast, exchanges romantic e-mails with Miranda, one of his classmates. Sam is a rebel with devastating wit, who fights against the double standards that excludes them from some activities. When Billy reveals who he is to Miranda, she is stunned at first, but they become friends, and he asks her to the prom. Sam attends with a teacher. But when Sam goes to the chem lab to smoke a ciga...
By Dan Kehde
This powerful drama takes on the subject of date rape. Four girls meet throughout the school year in the girls bathroom, in the mornings when it is off-limits to students. It's their secret refuge where they share stories, tease and argue with each other, but above all, support one another. When one of the girls, a freshman, reveals the name of the guy she is seeing, her sister, a senior, is horrified as he is the boy who raped her in eighth grade. By the end of the school year, they have all grown, learned, and are ready to leave their refuge for good. This play deals with a difficult a...
The thoughts, hopes, fears, dreams - the important things in the lives of teens - are explored honestly in this collection of 18 monologues. For humor, two of our favorites are "Studs," about trying to don a tux for the first time while running late for the prom, and "Bubbacar," about a teen's first car which is so ugly it should only be driven at night. We can all identify longing for Saturdays after tough school days in "Making It to the Weekend," or laugh at the frustration in "The Proper Way to Wear a School Uniform." In addition to those typical "teen pr...
By Dan Kehde
By Dan Kehde