Sunday, April 22, 2018

Play a Day: Inappropriate Relationship

Marcy Lovitch
For Sunday I read Inappropriate Relationship by Marcy Lovitch, and available at New Play Exchange.

The Police single "Don't Stand So Close To Me" was released in 1980. At the time it was a bit risqué, an affair between a teacher and a student. It's not graphic, it's suggestive, much like the novel that gets pretensionally named-checked by Sting ... a former high school teacher.

The scene of the crime is a car. So it is in Lovitch's play, a teenage girl waiting outside the school in the cold after dark, and "his car is warm and dry."

Interesting, the rule at the high school in question is that a teacher cannot give a student a ride without express permission from the parent. We work with students, and our code of conduct expressly forbids providing transportation for any student under any circumstance. There are also all of the new regulations involving social media. The best policy is just "no." No friending, no following, no contact outside the classroom under any circumstance.

The high school in Inappropriate Relationship, Seaview High continues to struggle with these rules, certainly the teachers are. There's an old saw, that even an animal doesn't shit where it eats. The men who teach at Seaview need to learn a thing or two about gossip in the break room (and believe me, I have heard these conversations) but they are not alone, it seems every character from the administration on down has an opportunity to make a bad situation worse. The playwright has created a gripping test-case in how not to handle an allegation.

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