Drama. By Robert Inman.
Cast: 5m., 4w., 3 either gender. It's October, and members of the high-school drama club are preparing for auditions for their fall production. Emily (white), the most talented member of the club, is sure she will get the lead. Then Tasha (black) transfers in from another school and quickly demonstrates her acting ability. A rivalry develops, with Emily—struggling with serious problems at home and desperate to win a college scholarship—feeling threatened. When Tasha auditions for, then wins, the lead, Emily accuses the drama teacher, Mr. Brady (white), of giving it to Tasha because she is black as part of an effort to quell long-simmering racial tensions in the school. That sets off a storm of racial conflict that divides the drama club, spreads through the entire school, and culminates in a riot. Mr. Pettigrew (black), the principal, looks for ways to defuse the volatile situation and pressures Mr. Brady for ideas. Emily's friend Flora (black) tries to be a peacemaker, but her situation is complicated by the fact that her father is a fiery community activist. Students wrestle with the complexity of their relationships, their prejudices and themselves. At Flora's urging and with Mr. Brady's encouragement, members of the drama club pull their theatre family back together with the help of a heartfelt apology from Emily and its acceptance by Tasha. The students write and present a play they hope will illustrate to the rest of the school that broken places can be mended with understanding, compassion and commitment. Premiered at Children's Theatre of Charlotte. Bare stage with props. Approximate running time: 90 minutes.