"I'm going to tell you a secret—and I don't want you to tell. The secret is about me—about my life—how it will never be the same again." In this honest and unflinching dramatization of teen-girl angst, a window is opened into the tumultuous and destructive world of girls' bullying. Abby seeks to gain acceptance as the newest member of the school championship volleyball team. As she and her teammates struggle to find a friend, a place in the group and themselves, their jockeying for position is sometimes humorous and often heartbreaking. Invitations are extended or withheld, individual friendships sacrificed to collective judgments, and alliances formed and changed daily as they careen from exclusion to isolation to acceptance and back again. Bullying in the form of gossiping, keeping secrets, using friendship as a weapon, name-calling, exclusion, spreading rumors, backbiting, clinging to cliques and manipulation become a prelude to dangerous behaviors such as depression, cutting, eating disorders, and premature sexuality. The adults in the girls' lives are either unable or unwilling to change their behaviors. Though desperately concerned, Abby's mother is unable to make contact with her daughter, while the volleyball coach and team mom enable rather than work to effect change. When faced with the consequences of their actions, the girls ultimately resolve—one by one—to change their behaviors. Based upon interviews with girls on the giving and receiving end of bullying, the play highlights the impact of "cyberbullying," the facilitation of mean-spirited behaviors through the use of cell phones, text and instant messaging, e-mail and chat rooms. The portrayal of the sobering reality of these girls' lives can start a conversation in homes, schools and communities, providing the opportunity to reveal the secrets and address the complexities which dominate the lives of many young women.
NotesWhen this play was written, instant messaging was popular; feel free to update technology references to reflect current social media trends.
- Type of Show Full-length Play
- Product Code SM7000
- Cast Size 9
- Min. Royalty Rate $100/perf
- Cost $10.95
- Approx. Run Time 60 min
- Target Audience Young Audiences | Middle School | High School | College and Adult | Family (all ages) | Praise Groups
- Performing Group Middle School | High School | College Theatre | Community Theatre | Professional Theatre | TYA | Touring Group | Praise Group
- Genre Drama
- ISBN(13) 9781583425336
- "The Secret Life of Girls proved to be an entertaining outreach project, spurring engaging, insightful dialogue between school audiences and the cast and moderators. A fantastic experience."
- Review by Steven Braddock, Niagara University Theatre, Niagara University, NY
- "Playwright Linda Daugherty tells the truth of destructive dynamics, and she tells it with wisdom, compassion, and sensitivity. The Secret Life of Girls offers both insight and hope."
- Review by Rev. Dr. Jeanne Stevenson-Moessner, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.
Hints, Tips, and Tricks
- "Doing team building exercises will help the cast become closer knit. Everyone faces different issues. Talk about them with your cast."
- Tip by Cory Ott, The Wadsworth Footlighters, Wadsworth, OH
Media Reviews"Take every female you know to see this play, then go somewhere and talk. It is a candid, stark, and artistically brutal look at bullying, peer pressure, self-abuse, and finding one's own value. … shocking and boldly written." -Better Than Broadway.com
"This play is not about real life. It is real life … If you have a daughter under 18, you need to see this show. And if she's over 11, you need to take her with you. Linda Daugherty's powerful script …[is] what many say the theater should be—a moment for reflection about what’s true and, in this case, dangerously hidden." -People Newspapers
"Totally sold out. [DCT] had to extend the run of The Secret Life to keep up with demand … [H]ealth professionals have jumped on board to participate in discussions that follow each performance. Linda Daugherty's world premiere … packs quite a shock." -The Dallas Morning News
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