We are in the midst of rehearsals for Atypical Boy, an unpublished play by celebrated Theatre for Youth playwright Laurie Brooks. The play tells the story of a world where everyone is the same - no contradiction is permitted. The number one rule: "Conformity is compulsory." An Atypical boy just doesn't fit in no matter how much society tries to force him or train him or torture him. The boy’s “differences” are manifested in an internal monster that finally appears in the form of a puppet. Society shuns Boy and he finds another world filled with two other people like him: Girl and Hugo, both have puppet monsters of their own.
We come to the Kickstarter community seeking financial assistance for two reasons. The first, we are lucky enough to have fantastic designers sharing their talent with us and we wish to elevate our set, costumes and puppets to match the imagination and skill of our fantastic designers. This will take more than our original budget. We have a cast of 11 actors to costume, two sets to build, and 15 puppets to create. We want to bring the strange worlds from the play to vibrant life for our audiences. This play and our youth audience deserve the very best.
Most importantly we wish to bring as many young people to our show as possible. We are currently planning a youth matinee on Friday, April 13th to allow for audiences from local schools to attend, but we have five other shows we wish to fill with youth from our community. This means a marketing and advertising campaign on a large scale to get the word out there. We will also use your generous funds to create and print a resource guide for the youth audience members in order to provide a way for the youth to continue to explore the play's theme after they view the play. Every dollar will help bring this wonderful play to as many young people as possible. The more we raise, the more we can do.
Why this play:
This play speaks to me on many levels, but the general vagueness regarding the location is particularly appealing to me. Nothing is named (no country, town, boy's specific issue/what morality one is supposed to conform to) leaving so much open to the audience's interpretations. In reading the play the story could be applied to any person who has felt the need to conform to society’s expectations. For myself, as a former high school educator, this play seemed an allegory for our current educational system which assumes that all students can be measured in the same way, that a standardized system of check-points and tests can interpret intelligence and understanding; a system that locks teachers into a limiting classroom which cannot adjust to students who cannot learn in the expected way. However, the play also speaks to any non-conforming thinkers – the artist, the scientist, the activist, the “other”, even the insane – those who are shunned and feared by a society that is taught those who are different are threats to their world. Considering recent events regarding bullying and youth suicides, the pressure to fit in and be normal seems at an all-time high for youth. Atypical Boy speaks to these very current issues and engages the audience in a dialogue. Perhaps the play can make just one person feel less alone in the world. Plus it has awesome puppet characters, and who doesn't love a play with puppets?
While this play is written as a play for youth, I think the play’s theme speaks to all ages. The best children’s theatre, after all, views children as small and savvy people rather than incomplete or undeveloped human beings.
Please visit our Facebook page or Binary Theatre's website for more information.
The Players and Production Team:
Atypical Boy by Laurie Brooks
Presented By Binary Theatre Company
April 12-15th at 7:30, April 13th and 14th at 2pm.
Kristin Blatchford, Set
Celeste Brown, Lights
Alyx Kleinsteiber, Costumes
Kaylynn Kanaga and Teresa Minarsich, Puppets
Canyon Stewart, Sound
Enza Giannone and Riley Braem, Movement
Chelsea Pace, Fight Choreography
Assistant Director: Riley Braem
Director: Teresa Minarsich
- (14 days)