Sometimes it’s easy to see the world as your own personal sinking ship. It’s way easier to look into our own whirlpool than look out at what’s going on with others. I don’t care about them. Why should I? They’re not like me. They’re wrong.
In this one-act middle school vignette play, characters come face-to-face with the fact that there are other people in their boat. Some are different. Some only seem different.
Who will learn to paddle together? Who will spin in circles? Who will realize we’re all in the same boat and we always have been?
Let’s hear from the author!
1. Why did you write this play?
Boat is the third play in a trilogy of vignette plays I wrote about middle school life – the others being Hoodie and Box. Middle school is a time when students are so focused on themselves and how they present in the world. To that end, for this play I wanted to put the emphasis on looking outward rather than inward.
2. Describe the theme in one or two sentences.
The theme of the play is empathy. How do we empathize with others? How do we realize that we’re all in the same boat and always have been?
3. What’s the most important visual for you in this play?
The first visual that comes to mind is two boys who hate each other, find common ground in a fear of falling elevators, and cling to each other for dear life.
4. If you could give one piece of advice for those producing the play, what would it be?
The opening movement section will take practice – walking in lines can be tricky because it’s hard to get everyone moving at the same pace and the same foot stride. I’d suggest video taping your efforts so students can see when the movement is sharp and crisp and where it looks messy. That’ll be way better than trying to verbally explain any issues. Also, when the two groups are on stage, think in shapes and levels. Make sure the audience can see everyone at the same time, and create an interesting stage picture at the same time.
5. Why is this play great for student performers?
This play is about middle schoolers, with middle school aged characters, and addresses middle school issues. It’s great for them!