Jennifer "Britts" Britain is 13 years old today. She has planned a party for herself and her best friend, Artie. Artie is 17, but he's more like 7. Britts is the brightest thing in his life. She teases him, big-sisters him and teaches him how to have fun. But now Britts is 13—she is a teenager, a young adult. Her peers remind her that it's time to put away childish things, including Artie. It's time for her to grow up. But what about Artie? He'll never grow up. This 30- to 35-minute play was written before the full-length Artie. Due to the success and dramatic impact of this short script, the author expanded it into the longer version. The plot is similar but with some differences; for example, this one-act version has four characters instead of six. However, the theme is the same: Why do so many of us treat handicapped people—and anybody else who is "different"—so cruelly? Why must we recede into our own narrow social world of friends as part of the rite of passage from childhood to adulthood? A Friend Like Artie will tear at your heartstrings—and your conscience. The message of A Friend Like Artie is similar to the theme of Artie: Growing up is painful.