Welcome to our Featured Play Spotlight. Among Friends and Clutter by Lindsay Price is a character-driven piece that is loved by students for its well-rounded characters and its wealth of comic and serious moments.
Among Friends and Clutter presents a montage of characters who experience the most important relationships in life: friends, family, and love.
Starting with seven classmates, the play explores what they imagine their lives will be, and shows what their lives eventually become. They grow, succeed, and sometimes fail.
Why did we publish this play?
So this goes back to the very beginning of Theatrefolk. Among Friends and Clutter is one of the first plays we published, and it’s over 20 years old now. The fact that it still gets done to this day amazes me. But it speaks to the question “how do we identify stories with longevity?” And the answer is relationships. It doesn’t matter what piece of technology comes and goes – moms are going to fight with their daughters. Couples will get together and break up. People start out as children, find success and failure. And that’s why Among Friends and Clutter is in our catalogue. It’s a play that looks at humanity. And that will never go out of style.
1. Why did you write this play?
Necessity is the mother of invention. I was supposed to direct a play and we didn’t get near enough actors for the parts. So instead of cancelling the production, I very naively said “I’ll just write one.” It’s the experience that made me realize I loved watching an audience respond to my words and changed the direction of my professional life.
2. Describe the theme in one or two sentences.
This character driven piece explores the most important relationships in life: friends, family, and love.
3. What’s the most important visual for you in this play?
We see these characters at the beginning of each section as grade two students, where they respond to the themes of the play as children would. I love how different productions have created “Mrs Morton’s Grade 2 class.” This is the visual that anchors the whole play.
4. If you could give one piece of advice for those producing the play, what would it be?
The play works best without blackouts or complicated set changes. Use a unit set and have the different scenes use the same cubes, risers, and other pieces. Bonus advice: do character profiles for each character! Your actors should fill in all the missing pieces that the script doesn’t answer.
5. Why is this play great for student performers?
It’s an excellent opportunity for students to dive deep into character development. How do human beings change over time? How do they embrace different types of relationships?