Stan is a social pariah. He is beaten up at the school bus stop, never chosen for any team, and ignored every day at lunch. Then Chloe enrolls at the school. Being called names? No problem. She has flippant retorts and happily collects the offensive epithets in a notebook. Someone in her face? Her dad taught her how to physically twist a bully’s arm. Amid her tough, cool exterior, however, she also has compassion. Stan and Chloe become allies and gradually fall in love, and as is often the case with first loves, they feel as if everything good in their world is because of each other. Social Pariahs is a portrait of how your first love can affect your life, no matter how old you grow. It is a story of how teenage sorrow, bravery and beauty can stay with you forever. A powerful and dramatic play.
With Playwright Jared Mallard
What inspired you to write this play?
I think it has a lot to do with the definition of love and how it changes with time. How people you meet only briefly in life can have a huge impact: like first loves, short friendships, people you meet at camp as a teenager. All these people are on your map of life for a blip but can leave huge emotional impacts on you as you grow up.
What's your favorite part or line in the play? Why?
CHLOE: Did you know that the stars we see in the sky burned out millions of years ago? What we look at is essentially a picture of the past. Those stars don't exist anymore, just the light from them.
STAN: I like that thought.
CHLOE: Me too.
I love this because it captures the essences of what the play is about. Our impact on others and how it can last even after we are gone.
Where did the characters come from? Are they based on people you know?
Not really, but there are definite fragments of people I have met in my childhood and teenage years. When I wrote this, I tried as hard as I could to remember being a teenager. I couldn’t recall many specific moments and if they were there, they were tiny pieces. What I do remember is the emotions. We remember emotions much better than moments.
What did you try to achieve with this play?
Well, the actors who have worked on this play would say that I am trying to make the audience weep like little babies. While this was never my intention, it is also important to have “light” in my work. A fellow playwright used that word with me recently and really liked it. Light can be the hope leaves us with, or it can be the morality of it. I try to have a bit of “light” in every play. Even one as heart wrenching as this one.