Saturday, July 9, 2022

"Forget About Me (The Breakfast Club Play)" reading at Purple Rose Theatre Company

Next weekend, the Purple Rose Theatre Company in Chelsea, MI, will present a concert reading of my new script Forget About Me (The Breakfast Club Play) via Zoom on Saturday, July 16 at 10:30am. This reading will be directed by Rachel Keown, Purple Rose Artistic Associate, and feature Rhiannon Ragland & Skylar Causey.

This will be the first opportunity to share the work with a larger audience. The piece has only been read twice before, for a small, invite-only audience of friends and shortly after for our NEMOFA playwriting workshop in late 2020. These were also, of course, presented online.

The working title was John Bender Is the Villain, a play on the title of Kimberly Belflower’s John Proctor Is the Villain, a contemporary (and very popular) takedown of Arthur Miller’s sainted protagonist from The Crucible.

As with that play, two generations have very different opinions about the message sent by beloved classics. In the case of Forget About Me, a mother and teenage child discuss their recent trip to the local drive-in to see The Breakfast Club. They went to a drive-in because it is late 2020 and there’s a pandemic quarantine going on.
Brief Synopsis: A Gen X Mom and her high-achieving, high school senior spend a night together at home. Cake is baked, drugs are consumed, and lines are crossed, while they debate teen movies, whether or not John Bender is the villain, and wait for that thick envelope.
So, my play is like No Exit only there are a lot more laughs, pop culture references, and they get cake.

The pandemic has been hard on everyone, the quarantine was something different. Did that actually happen? I was lucky, my work continued, I even started grad school which was easier because I did not need to travel an hour (both ways) to get to my classes. But I watched as my high school age children struggled to maintain a sense of self as events were first canceled then never scheduled.

Our eldest lost their senior year, no plays, no concerts, no special celebrations of achievement. All that time and effort, building reputation and honing their skills, to at last work alone in their room on college application projects and materials that might or might not carry them away from us and onto an uncertain future.

Then there is us, the Generation they called X,  raised in the shadow of the Boomers, our own childhoods making us very different parents with very different children. It’s funny, it’s as though the Strauss-Howe Theory of American Generations has failed its first test. The Millennials are as “Recessive” as we are, it’s Gen Z who are the new “Dominant” generation.

Or maybe that just seems to be the case in my house.

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