By Nancy Pahl Gilsenan. Based on the book by John Knowles.
Cast: 8m. John Knowles' classic tale of two high-school boys standing on the threshold of war and adulthood comes to the stage. Gene Forrester is a careful, studious young man, full of fear of the future. As America is about to enter World War II, Gene attends summer school at Devon in New England. There he meets a remarkable young man whose love for life defies the reality of draft boards and battleships and challenges the adult world. This is Phineas, an exceptional athlete and a consummate charmer. The two become the best of friends, playing blitzball and jumping out of trees. It seems the perfect match until the fear in Gene and the world around him can no longer tolerate the life in Finny. The two face each other, both figuratively and literally, on a tree limb overlooking death, and Gene pushes. "My war ended before I ever put on a uniform," Gene says. "I was in active duty all my time at school; I killed my enemy there. Only Phineas never hated anyone." This is the story of both learning to face the world and face oneself. Although the era and anxiety belong to 1942, the search for a "special and separate peace" is timeless. Area staging. Approximate Running Time: 70 minutes.