Cast: 2-4+ females, 6-9+ males (10-11 performers, extras easily added)
"Nobody's safe till everyone is safe."
When Marcus James, a black, gay high school student, finds a pink noose hanging in his locker, he refuses to be the target of racism and homophobia, and defiantly puts the noose around his neck. That doesn't sit well with school administrators, who would love to sweep the incident under the rug and focus on the upcoming sports championship. Their solution: feign concern and put the target on Marcus. As the threat to Marcus increases, he finds that sticking to his convictions may just win him some unlikely allies in his ongoing fight for acceptance.
WHY YOU SHOULD PRODUCE THIS PLAY
High schools are a hotbed of cliques. Reports of hate crimes in high schools regarding race, religion, and gender-identity make the local papers daily. Producing this play gives a high school a safe place to address these issues. The play will resonate with both the cast and the audience.
"There's a principle to stand on, and I'll stand with you, but don't expect great numbers standing with us. Most will just say it sucks and be happy to let it fade."
Producing the play can help put the brakes on letting these issues "just fade away." The play is largely comprised of teen actors which makes them readily able to relate to their characters and be successful in their roles. What's heartening is how Hoke uses the ensemble of teen characters - she allows them to change and grow as they discover how to be friends. It's a voyage of discovery that we want for all teens.
In these days of "instant everything," Hoke quickly throws you into the storyline and continues with a fast pace that drives towards an ending that brings initial sadness and finally hope. The play does not dwell on platitudes: it's witty, sometimes irreverent, thoughtful, and poignant. She avoids the pitfalls of the "high school stereotype" and brings an honesty to all of her characters - even the challenging ones. Created especially for teen performers, the play is a welcome addition the high school/college theatre canon.
TO ORDER A COPY OF THIS PLAY, READ AN EXCERPT, AND/OR PRODUCE IT, PLEASE GO TO YouthPLAYS
DONNA HOKE Ensemble playwright at Road Less Traveled Productions, Donna Hoke’s work has so far been seen in 46 states and on five continents. Plays include Brilliant Works of Art (Kilroys List), Elevator Girl (O’Neill finalist, Princess Grace finalist), The Couple Next Door (Princess Grace semi-finalist), and Safe (winner of the Todd McNerney, Naatak, and Great Gay Play and Musical Contests). Donna is also a New York Times-published crossword puzzle constructor; author of Neko and the Twiggets, a children's book; and founder/co-curator of BUA Takes 10: GLBT Short Stories. She has received an Individual Artist Award from the New York State Council on the Arts to develop Hearts of Stone, and is a two-time Artie Award winner for Outstanding New Play (Seeds, Sons & Lovers). In its final three years, Artvoice named her Buffalo's Best Writer—the only woman to ever receive the designation. Donna serves on the Dramatists Guild Council and also as New York State regional representative. In addition, she is a blogger, advocate, and moderator of the 12,000+-member Official Playwrights of Facebook. For more information on Donna Hoke and her plays, please go to: http://www.donnahoke.com
You might also like: Salvation Road by D.W. Gregory: https://www.claudiahaas.com/your-next-high-school-college-play/salvation-road-by-dw-gregory