Drama. By Max Bush.
Cast: 4m., 7w. All characters but one are 17 to 19 years old. Matt's school work and personal life are deteriorating. His friends Doug and Carol attempt to engage him in school activities and dating, but he doesn't respond well. Someone else notices Matt isolating himself: Susan, the new girl recently arrived from China. Susan takes a strong interest in Matt, watching him in school, studying his drawings and attempting to talk with him. Matt is stunned when Susan seems to know extremely personal things about him. How could she know these things? Why does she look more American than Chinese? What does she want with him? To answer his intensifying questions he meets her in the park one evening. He finds out that her father is a Caucasian-American businessman in China and that her Chinese mother is a member of an outlawed "cult" called Falun Gong and has been imprisoned in a labor re-education camp. Susan asks Matt to help her demonstrate against the major American Internet company she believes is responsible for supplying information that led to her mother's arrest. Matt decides to help her, and their relationship grows—until Susan reveals her real plans. As international business becomes larger and more impersonal and civil rights in America and abroad are under threat, these two young people who are growing up in the new global culture realize that business isn't just business—it's personal. As they struggle through their isolation, pain, cultural differences, fears and prejudices, Susan opens Matt's eyes to a world much larger than he's seen before. And Matt awakens a new, vital life in Susan. But their relationship is threatened by the juggernauts of international politics, eroding social liberties, growing global megabusiness, and a sense of personal responsibility. Co-commissioned by Coventry High School (Connecticut) and Carbondale Community High School (Illinois). Area staging. Approximate running time: 1 hour, 40 minutes.