By Ev Miller.
Cast: 8m., 11w. "Sticks 'n stones/ May break my bones/ But names will never hurt me." The "names" used here, however, are to prove more devastating than "sticks 'n stones." In its tryout at a high school in North Dakota, this play attracted a tremendous audience turnout, an audience that gave the play an ovation, and then, as they were leaving the theatre, the provocative and useful discussion was just beginning. Matt Collins is an outstanding young high school English teacher whose reputation is flawless. The students love this excellent teacher and the parents are grateful for him. Collins has assigned a modern American novel, one that is certainly as pristine as any PG-rated movie. Even so, the mother of one of the students respectfully objects. Collins is half inclined to substitute another book. Then push goes to shove and suddenly Collins' back starts to stiffen. With the best of intentions, emotions begin to rise on both sides. This is further heightened when a national fringe group tries to use the differences here for their own purposes, and suddenly the young teacher is not only fighting for the right to teach what he thinks is worthwhile, he's fighting for his job. The issues are as current as tomorrow's newspaper and as old as the printed word. How much freedom does a teacher have in his classroom? In a dramatic conclusion there is a decision, but not even the actors will know what it will be until it happens. With exciting theatricality, the audience decides! Area staging.