Imagine that every time you open a book, letters play tricks on you. They flip, they reverse, they jump upside down. Every sentence you read takes so much effort—so much energy—because the letters don't behave. By the time you reach the end of the sentence, you've lost its meaning. You're embarrassed and feel stupid. This is what two young people with learning differences face in hard 2 spel dad. Still grieving and angry over the heroic death of her fireman father, 13-year-old Pamela hopes to make a "fresh start" when she and her mother move to a new town to help care for her grandfather. Pamela has a learning difference, dyslexia, and so, she thinks, does her new skateboarding friend Zak, 15 years old and still stuck in middle school. The two young people struggle to read their class assignment, Romeo and Juliet, but when, after watching the modern DVD version, Zak passionately retells the entire story, Pamela concocts a scheme she is convinced will show how smart Zak is. When this backfires, Zak, humiliated and angry, seeks solace in prescription drugs and alcohol with near tragic results. But hope triumphs as, finally, Pamela accepts her father's death, Zak's learning difference is diagnosed and addressed and they both look forward to starting high school. hard 2 spel dad dramatizes the loss of self-esteem, isolation, and risky behaviors that all too often accompany learning differences. The play will give audiences an understanding of what it feels like to learn differently, the school's critical role in accommodating learning differences, and the strength, courage and perseverance of those who turn these differences into distinctions. Premier production at the Dallas Children's Theater.
Read an Excerpt
- Type of Show Full-length Play
- Product Code HA8000
- Cast Size 8
- Min. Royalty Rate $90/perf
- Cost $10.95
- Approx. Run Time 60 min
- Target Audience Young Audiences | Middle School | High School | College and Adult | Praise Groups
- Performing Group High School | College Theatre | Community Theatre | Professional Theatre | TYA | Touring Group | Praise Group
- Genre Drama
- ISBN(13) 9781583426876
- "hard 2 spel dad tells the story of dyslexia and learning differences from the inside out. If you're on the fringes of learning differences and the students they affect, your awareness and empathy will be heightened by this play. If you live on the inside of this world, hard 2 spel dad will leave you saying, "Wow! Someone finally gets it!" hard 2 spel dad is a gift to those who work in the field of learning differences. This is a significant public awareness piece that the professionals in our organization have embraced. The tragedies and triumphs in this drama ring true for those of us working in the field. It should be required viewing for parents, students, teachers and administrators everywhere."
- Review by Michelle Bufkin, M.P.A., C.A.L.T., QI President, Academic Language Therapy Association
- "We can each find something of ourselves in the characters as they stuggle to find a solution before it is too late and self-esteem is destroyed. Parents, educators and all of us with learning challenges are inspired by hard 2 spel dad to open doors and seek solutions."
- Review by Gladys Kolenovsky, Adminstrative Director, Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, Dallas, Texas
- "Every teacher and parent should see hard 2 spel dad. Every kid, tooÉ It's a naked plea for understanding. For compassion. For recognition of the many kids that don't fit into a cookie-cutter notion of what it means to be smart or accomplished. And it is told with the passion that can only come from those who have lived with these challengesÉ While the project is filled with a sense of purpose, the script feels emotionally realÉ Even if you don't have a loved one with a learning difference, the show is a must-see for the way it promotes understanding of those who do. It's a cry in a darkened theater to remind us of how precious all our children are. And how important it is for teachers, parents and friends to be at the ready with a lifeline. Like this play."
- Review by Nancy Churnin, Dallas Morning News
- "hard 2 spel dad is most memorable, and I do hope it will get to every school in the countryÉ I was very impressed with how accurately the play depicted the lives of students with dyslexia and their familiesÉ The play was very powerful, honest, loving and helpful. As one student with dyslexia said, "Wow! That was too personal!"É The Academic Language Therapy Association knows it will make a difference in the lives of our students."
- Review by Joan Hogge, M.A., C.A.L.T.
- "hard 2 spel dad is edgy, empathetic, at times humorous and always thought-provoking . [It] is a story about families coming together and understanding one another. It is about growing up and self-acceptance. The message that individuals have unique gifts despite learning differences empowers and uplifts. The characters learn about who they are and how they learn."
- Review by Marilee Vergati, Dallas Examiner
Media Reviews"hard 2 spel dad is edgy, empathetic, and at times humorous and always thought provoking. The message that individuals have unique gifts despite learning differences empowers and uplifts." -Dallas Examiner
"Every teacher and parent should see hard 2 spel dad … Every kid, too. … Even if you don't have a loved one with a learning difference, the show is a must-see for the way it promotes understanding of those who do. It's a cry in a darkened theatre to remind us of how precious all our children are. And how important it is for teachers, parents and friends to be at the ready with a lifeline. Like this play." -Dallas Morning News