Welcome to our Featured Play Spotlight. Bungee Jump Bear Trap by Lindsay Price is a vignette-style dramedy with a gender-neutral cast that reminds us that sometimes risks are worth taking. And sometimes there are bear traps.
Risk comes in many forms (skateboarding without a helmet) and fears (raising your hand in class). There are dumb risks (don’t bungee jump into a bear trap) and smart risks. Sometimes you need to leap without knowing what the outcome will be.
Is safety really as simple as duct taping pillows all over your body and never going outside? Join the characters in this vignette play as they try to figure it all out.
Seriously though, stay away from bear traps.
Why did we publish this play?
We we looking for another middle school specific piece. In one of my conversations with middle school teachers, we ended up talking about how middle schoolers view and respond to risk. Risk is an amazing play topic because it has positive outcomes and negative consequences.
1. Describe the theme in one or two sentences.
How do you asses and approach risk?
2. What’s the most important visual for you in this play?
There’s a lot of humour in the play, but the biggest risk of all is when a character opens up to their friend about their identity and refers to the potential risk as a five okay fire. At the end of the scene the friend says “I’m not going to set you on fire.” Which is a vivid image that means, tell me everything and I will listen.
3. If you could give one piece of advice for those producing the play, what would it be?
As always with vignette plays, avoid blackouts. Use music and movement to transition. Blackouts will slow the pace of your play to a crawl. Also, use the subject as a springboard discussion about risk. Have students self-assess their relationship to risk. Do they consider risk positive or negative? Are the a risky person? Do they strive to take positive risks, why or why not?
4. Why is this play great for student performers?
Middle school students definitely need to think about their relationship with risk and figure out the difference between positive and negative risk. Plays are a great place to start that process!