By Laurie Brooks
Cast: 4m., 4w., 1 either m. or w. The Wrestling Season tackles subject matter seldom addressed but vital to youth and their families: the search for identity and the peer pressure that accompanies it. Using only the setting of a wrestling mat, eight young people struggle with the destructive power of rumors and how others see them. This is Matt's year to excel on his high-school wrestling team, but innuendo about his friendship with Luke causes Matt to question himself and his priorities. Kori wants to be accepted for who she is, not the way she looks. Melanie copes with a reputation she cannot grow beyond. Jolt and Heather ultimately regret having too much too soon. And Nicole has so little self-esteem that she agrees with everyone. The action is overseen by The Referee, who comments on the action from inside and outside the drama with hand signals and commands. Using images, movement and sound, cast members function as a chorus and as individual characters whose stories are interwoven to create a theatrical event that challenges and reveals their search for identity. The Wrestling Season was commissioned by the Coterie Theatre and developed at The Kennedy Center's New Visions/New Voices and New York University's Program in Educational Theatre. Simple set.