by Naomi Iizuka
An inventive drama that questions the roots of sexual assault and rape culture among ordinary teenagers
SUNY Brockport | October 2016 | Geva Theatre Directing Fellowship, Rochester, NY
"Something happened to Chloe after that party last Saturday night. Something she says she can't remember. Something everybody is talking about. Set at a Midwestern high school, in a world of Facebook and Twitter, smartphones and YouTube, Good Kids explores a casual sexual encounter gone wrong and its very public aftermath. Who's telling the truth? Whose version of the story do you believe? And what does that say about you?"
Featuring Sara Anzalone, Peyton Barrus, Bianca Blissett, Ryan DiPaola, Jake Dion, Stacy Hyson, Ben Johnson,
Gabby Sexton-Dwyer, Nicole Sudyn, Megan Tremaine, Nick Winger, and Chantal Yawson
Scenic - Paul Schneider, Costumes - Gail Argetstinger, Lighting - Gary Musante, Sound - Daniel J. Roach
Stage Manager - Dalton Pitts, Assistant Stage Manager - Chris Standhart
Program Directors Note:
Good Kids is a deceptively radical theatrical take on a far-reaching contemporary issue (some might say epidemic) referred to as “rape culture.” Naomi Iizuka, the playwright, fully engages the unique capacity of live performance to make complex characters and events worth watching and thinking about in new ways. She places the storytelling in the hands of characters impacted by the social pressures and taboos that seem to perpetuate sexual violence — not peripheral characters offering opinions or political angles.
In the play, you will meet a group of teenagers whom we have worked hard to bring to life with humanity and nuance. In our process, we have found more questions than answers and explored our own intuitive responses to the play’s themes and events. In doing so, we discovered that no one character in the play holds the whole truth. Rather, each player in the story has their own background, fears, dreams, and — importantly — bias.
Our task in bringing Good Kids to life was not to promote a single message or answer the play’s central question: Who is responsible? Instead, we ask you to be as honest as the actors strive to be, to allow your own bias to surface, so that together we can better understand ourselves and our own cultural context. We ask not only how seemingly normal teenagers in a small American town could find themselves devastated by violence, mistrust, and shame but also how our own perspectives might shape such events and be shaped in return.
-- Katie Lupica