Some variations possible. S.E. Hinton, who wrote this modern classic when she was 16 years old, comments: "The Outsiders, like most things I write, is written from a boy's point of view. That's why I'm listed as S.E. Hinton rather than Susan. (I figured most boys would look at the book and think 'What can a chick know about stuff like that!') None of the events are taken from life, but the rest—how kids think and live and feel—is for real. The characters—Dallas, who wasn't tough enough; Sodapop, the happy-go-lucky dropout; Bob, the rich kid whose arrogance cost him his life; Ponyboy, the sensitive, green-eyed Greaser who didn't want to be a hood—they're all real to me. Many of my friends are Greasers, but I'm not. I have friends who are rich, too, but nobody will ever call me a Soc—I've seen what money and too much idle time and parental approval can do to people. Cool people mean nothing to me—they're living behind masks and I'm always wondering "Is there a real person underneath?" This entirely practical stage adaptation deals with real people, seen through the eyes of young Ponyboy, a Greaser on the wrong side of life, caught up in territorial battles between the have-it-made rich kidsthe Socsand his tough, underprivileged "greaser" family and friends. In the midst of urban warfare, somehow Ponyboy can't forget a short poem that speaks of their fragile young lives:
Nature's first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. "Robert Frost wrote it," Ponyboy tells Johnny. "I always remembered it because I never quite got what he meant by it." Cherry, a beautiful Soc, comes to share a special sensitivity with Ponyboy as she discovers that he remembers poems and needs to watch sunsets. At the same time, Cherry's attracted to the older, tougher Dallas, and in a sense she's caught in the violent space between the Greasers and the Socs. While the Socs appear to have everything, the only thing a Greaser has is his friends. As these young people try to find themselves and each other, as the sadness of sophistication begins to reach them and their battles and relationships reach a resolution, Ponyboy's dying friend, Johnny, sends him a last message … I've been thinking about the poem that guy wrote. He meant you're gold when you're a kid, like green. When you're a kid everything's new, dawn. It's just when you get used to everything that it's day. Like the way you dig sunsets, Pony. That's gold. Keep it that way. It's a good way to be. This is a play about young people who are not yet hopeless about latent decency in the midst of struggle.
Nature's first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower; But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief,
so dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay.
- Type of Show Full-length Play
- Product Code O41000
- Cast Size 18
- Min. Royalty Rate $100/perf
- Cost $10.95
- Approx. Run Time 120 min
- Target Audience Middle School | High School | College and Adult
- Performing Group Middle School | High School | College Theatre | Community Theatre | Professional Theatre | TYA
- Genre Drama
- ISBN(13) 9780871292773
- "This piece was beautiful -- in the last days of production and the first time I read it, it brought tears to my eyes. The students enjoyed a story with which they were familiar and a script to which they could truly connect."
- Review by Shannon Mallrich, Triad High School, Troy, IL
- "It went over very well. The drama played well to a wide age range and we had many positive comments. This adaptation represented Hinton's work very well and the action moved quickly."
- Review by Greg Holt, Black Hawk Children's Theatre, Waterloo, IA
- "A beautiful coming of age story that any generation can relate to."
- Review by Laura LaChappelle, Bradshaw Mountain High School, Humboldt, Ariz.
- "I saw the play performed years ago in Texas and knew I'd like to direct it someday. It is faithful to the novel and was written for high school students to be performed in a high school setting. Our school had never done a drama beforeÑour audiences loved it!"
- Review by Jamie Miller, Byng Schools, Ada, Okla.
- "The Outsiders is a great adaptation of S. E. Hinton's novel. It is told through the eyes of Ponyboy, who moves the story along at a good pace. The show moves quickly and is very easy to stage. It is a great show for your young men with a variety of experience!"
- Review by Chris Murphy, Concordia Lutheran High School, Fort Wayne, Ind.
- "Big hit. Our middle school enjoyed it as they were studying the novel. Great opportunity for getting boys interested in theatre."
- Review by Susan Kahn, Norwell High School, Ossian, Ind.
- "Well written and relatable to students. My students loved these roles and were very sad when the production closed. The audience reaction was amazing! A standing ovation at each performance."
- Review by Vance Hays, Pike Central High School, Petersburg, Ind.
- "Excellent choice for middle-school audiences; great show to feature talented young performers, particularly males. Material is easy to relate to and show is relatively easy to produce."
- Review by Wayne Marek, Eau Claire Children's Theatre, Eau Claire, Wis.
- "The Outsiders is a classic yet contemporary story. This adaptation allows for a simple set and can accommodate a large cast. Audiences love the characters and so did the actors! I felt the cast really understood the message and brought it to life in this play."
- Review by Rebecca Coons, Dallas Center-Grimes High School, Grimes, Iowa
- "This is a very powerful and timely piece. The characters are clear and believable. The use of memory adds an interesting element to the production. Many of our audience were in tears at the end. It contains a message that is important for our times."
- Review by Rebecca Sartor, Rutland High School, Rutland, Vt.
- "The script is smart, fast-paced and faithful to the original novel. What a wonderful way to introduce a timeless piece of Americana to a new generation."
- Review by Debbie Ragonese, The SEEALL Academy, Brooklyn, N.Y.
- "The Outsiders is very well written and young people just love itÑboth those in the cast and those in the audience. Many good roles to create an excellent ensemble."
- Review by Lorna Stratton, ICHTYHYS, Brantford, Ontario, Canada
- "This is an extremely popular novel studied in many English classes, so performing the play at our school was a great experience for the cast and student audience. It was perfect for schoolwide observance of "Bullying Prevention Week" November 15-19."
- Review by Margo Benedetto, Centralia High School, Centralia, Wash.
- "The Outsiders powerfully presents the problems and issues faced by young people. Kaukauna High School's production with simple area staging and stark lighting focused on the feelings and emotions of the characters."
- Review by Brenda Hostettler, Kaukauna High School, Kaukauna, Wis.
- "The Outsiders is a great play for middle school or high-school students to perform. The kids really care about the characters and the situations in the show."
- Review by Ava Grimm, Molina High School, Dallas, Texas
Hints, Tips, and Tricks
- "Use a real fence to crawl under for the drive-in. Also, when Ponyboy goes into soliloquy, we recorded those at a studio and played them as voice overs."
- Tip by Jamie Miller, Byng Schools, Ada, Okla.
- "Keep the set as simple as possible. Lighting makes this showÑuse "specials" to focus on the different areas of action."
- Tip by Mike Chappell, Huntsville High School, Huntsville, Ala.
- "It takes imagination and work, but adapt the staging for surround-theatre. Seat the audience facing a wide centre aisle and stage the rumble right there. Wow! Create a "cheer" for Greasers and Socs and get the audience to participate."
- Tip by Lorna Stratton, ICHTHYS Theatre Productions, Brantford, Ontario, Canada
- "For the fire scene, you can accomplish a lot with very little. Blackout completely with the exception of red, yellow and orange lights filtering offstage. Add a fog machine and a few crackling sound effects and you are in great shape!"
- Tip by Crystal Braeuner, Gibbs High School, Corryton, Tenn.
- "Everyone on stage froze while Pony was speaking."
- Tip by Rebecca Sartor, Rutland High School, Rutland, Vt.
|StoryBook Theatre Society||Calgary||Alberta||2/9/2018||2/24/2018|
|Duncan Smith Theatre||Holmdel||New Jersey||7/20/2018||8/4/2018|
|Global Concepts Charter School||Lackawanna||New York||5/17/2018||5/19/2018|
|Alexander Central High||Taylorsville||North Carolina||2/23/2018||2/24/2018|
|Alvarado H S||Alvarado||Texas||3/1/2018||3/9/2018|
|Haltom H S||Haltom City||Texas||3/10/2018||3/10/2018|
|Carroll County High School||Carrollton||Kentucky||3/23/2018||3/24/2018|
|Twentynine Palms High||Twentynine Palms||California||1/19/2018||1/27/2018|
|Peters Twp Hs||Mcmurray||Pennsylvania||5/3/2018||5/5/2018|
|Waukee Senior High School||Waukee||Iowa||5/3/2018||5/4/2018|
|Putnam City North Hs||Oklahoma City||Oklahoma||2/22/2018||2/24/2018|
|Moffat County High School||Craig||Colorado||3/15/2018||3/17/2018|
|Cristo Rey Jesuit High School||Chicago||Illinois||4/28/2018||4/29/2018|
|The Pastime Theatre||Winfield||Alabama||3/8/2018||3/11/2018|
|Duarte High School||Duarte||California||4/27/2018||4/28/2018|
|Timber Creek H S||Fort Worth||Texas||4/19/2018||4/21/2018|