What’s in the minds and hearts of college students today? In 40 monologues and a few dialogues, this multicultural ensemble questions everything they encounter: social justice and gender identity, self-awareness and relationship boundaries, future prospects and roommate etiquette. What emerges is a humorous and heartbreaking portrait of a new generation struggling with higher education’s promise of “personal transformation.” Structured in three acts, the play begins with matriculation and ends with graduation. The monologues in Act I, titled “Great Expectations,” focus on encounters with new friends, financial aid, antidepressants, homework, sex, sleep deprivation and courses in physics and math. Act II, “Paradise Lost,” features parties, budding and broken relationships, unexpected encounters with race and religion, sexual orientation and hitting rock bottom. Act III, “Metamorphoses,” portrays students emerging from four years of challenge and change with surprising insights, political convictions and plans for a scary, uncertain future. The mixture of serious and comedic monologues captures the extreme difficulty—sometimes absurd and at other times overwhelming—of self-discovery and community-building. While the monologues convey the sense that students often feel alone in their quest for great success or simply survival, the ensemble itself presents a very different truth—at least they’re alone together.
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