This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Tue, March 26 2019 6:59 AM UTC +00:00.
“The most believable myth about racism is that it’s a conscious inclination in “mean” people." Mike says. “How do you prove it then?” asks Dave.
Mike and Dave; two childhood friends, are not allowed to play together because Mike is black and Dave is white. Twenty years later they meet once again in their grandfather’s backyards in Jennings, MO. (five miles from Ferguson, MO.) and talk about girls, the St. Louis Cardinals, and the literal fence of prejudice that divided their worlds when they were younger.
Inspired by true events, this production is intended to send a message of love and acceptance, and emphasize the importance of self awareness.
The Reason Behind the Title
The title was honestly the last thing to be written. We forced ourselves to not think of a title before the first draft had been completed because we didn't want to set anything in stone that could limit our message or make us feel confined. Once the first draft was finished we looked back through the text and picked out a few lines of dialogue from the script that we thought best captured the main theme. "The Other Side of the Fence" comes from a line spoken by Mike (Dom's character) when Mike is trying to help Dave (Kyle's character) step outside of his own opinion and viewpoint and see things objectively from his neighbor's point of view. We believe that a lot of problems in this world (whether they deal with simple everyday issues like fender benders or larger more complex issues such as racism and discrimination) could be solved if people could just learn how to take a step back from themselves every now and then.
Other titles considered...
On the Fence
What Came Before
Inspired by true events?
Growing up, I (Kyle) used to spend time at my grandfather's house in Jennings, MO. I remember staying with him for a short while one summer and playing ball with this kid who lived next door with his grandfather. I had been told by my grandpa that I wasn't allowed to go over and play with this kid in his yard so I invited him over to my yard to play instead. He told me that he wasn't allowed to come over and play with me either. He mentioned something about our grandparents not getting along. I'll never forget the way he told me he couldn't come over. This feeling of unease hit me as he looked back at his grandpa's house. There was something in his voice, how he said it. Most of the time when you're kids you don't really think about why the rules exist, you just know you have to follow them. Well, we ended up just throwing the ball back and forth over the fence. Still managed to find a way to have fun. But years later that memory popped into my head and something clicked. While I didn't know at eight years old why that particular rule existed, he did. Or he thought he did. And now, nearly a decade later, I suspect I do too. My grandfather was a great man, and I never once heard him say anything even remotely racist. But there was clearly hesitation in letting us play together from both of our grandparents. Was it fear of the unknown? Was it because we looked different? Or was it just a rule? That’s the thing. Discrimination is so often unspoken and made up of subtleties in real life. Often times it’s hard to tell. We decided to take the same approach with creating this play. Hatred and intolerance are not always yelled in your face, most of the time they are conveyed with a look or a word phrased a specific way. That small interaction with this kid stuck with me all these years. I don't remember his name, I wish I did. I've often hoped that I would run into him some day because if we'd had the words to articulate, investigate, and ask questions when we were younger, who knows how good of friends we'd be now. After a while I brought this idea to Dom and we got together and broke down how that conversation might go, if I were to run into this kid nearly twenty years later. Turns out, there was a play underneath that conversation. Certain liberties have of course been taken, names have been changed, most of the finer details come from our own imaginations and out of necessity for plot, but the heart behind everything, the setting, the rule itself, the way we still managed to play together, and the desire to talk to this kid from my childhood about that experience is absolutely true.
Risks and challenges
Honestly, this play is a beast. And we think the message it sends is important enough that it should be done right. We need a set, we need costumes, we need a rehearsal space, we need a venue to perform it in, we need to hire a stage manager, a director, and three other actors (Dom and I will be assuming the main roles) And we need to market the production. We sat down and crunched the numbers and while 2000 is a lot of money, this is LA. And if we can raise this amount, we can 100% overcome any and all obstacles in our path in order to make a huge splash in The 2019 Hollywood Fringe Festival.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter