Spread the Love: Split by Bradley Hayward

Written by Craig Mason

This week we spread the love for Split by Bradley Hayward. Recorded live at the 2012 TETA Conference in Houston, Texas.


Lindsay: Welcome to Spread the Love!

We are here at the Texas Educational Theatre Conference and we’re talking about Split by Bradley Hayward. Split is we have a collection of teen characters who are all dealing with the aftermath of divorce – new bedrooms, new siblings, new responsibilities.

For me, the only way to address an issue in a play is with theatricality and with emotional variety. I guess that’s two things, but they’re both really, really important. And Bradley knows this, and Bradley incorporates to so well in Split.

We do not have the one piercing note of constant sadness. It’s filled with action and it’s got an ending that affects me just reading it, let alone seeing the play. Great, great stuff.

Craig, what do you like about Split?

Craig: I don’t like Split. I love Split and I love ensemble-driven plays, especially at the school level, and this is a fantastic ensemble play. It’s ensemble in the sense that all of the characters have, more or less, equal roles and the success of the play really depends on all of them – all of the actors getting together and working together well as a team.

The characters start the play isolated from one another but, by the end of the play, they’ve joined together and built a new foundation for themselves. It’s also a very, very physical play. It offers itself up to all sorts of creative, clever staging opportunities.

Bradley saw an in-class production of the script and he took some wonderful video that shows you exactly what I mean. Have a look.

Kayla: My name’s Kayla.

Natalie: I am Natalie.

Kayla: We just did the play Split.

Boys: You split the banana in half.

Boys & Girls: You split the banana in half.

Boys & Girls: You split the banana in half.

Natalie: We’re at East York Collegiate Institute.

Kayla: And what we liked about it was that it was very cool to see the coming together of the actors showing a play about splitting apart.

Girl: Those with Mom, this way. Dad, that way. Upstairs and to the right. Second door on the left. Wait for clearance. Those moving, veer right. Those sharing, veer left. Stop for Grandma. Slow down. Turn for Grandpa. Speed up. Wait here. Wait there. This way. That way. Speed up. Straight ahead. Speed up. Straight ahead. Speed up. Straight ahead. Speed up. Speed up. Speed up. Lift off!

Natalie: I liked how much humour there was. It was actually quite funny considering, like, the theme was actually very serious.

Girl: That’s quite a fast heartbeat you’ve got there.

Boy: Everything about me is fast. Sometimes I feel everyone else is moving in slow motion.

Girl: Would you like to hear it?

Boy: I already can. Ba boom! Ba boom! Ba boom! It goes like that all day long.

Girl: There’s a pill I can give you.

Boy: No, don’t! I want to hear it.

Girl: It shouldn’t beat that fast.

Boy: But I like it. Ba boom! Ba boom! Ba boom! I can count down to the next time I get to see Dad. Ba boom! Ba boom! Ba boom!

Natalie: I liked the experience of actually doing the play because, according to our teacher, they normally don’t do plays like this…

Kayla: It’s a very mature grade ten class to be doing such a wonderful play.

Natalie: It was really fun. It was a unique experience.

Boy: Mom, where are you? Dad, where are you? Come back!

About the author

Craig Mason