Welcome to our Featured Play Spotlight. Split by Bradley Hayward is an emotional, theatrical, ensemble-driven play that your student performers are sure to love.
Children of divorce are united through humor in this honest and theatrical look at the day to day reality of growing up in a family that’s been torn apart.
As these teenagers navigate a winding road that includes new bedrooms, new siblings and new responsibilities, they begin to put the pieces of their broken homes back together.
Why did we publish this play?
First of all the play has such a theatrical journey. The most important aspect of an issue play is how it’s theatricalized. Split has wonderful physical moments, like the symbolic rebuilding of the home at the end. It’s so lovely. Second, Bradley has such a keen ear for writing for teen aged characters – the voice of each character, and how they deal with the issue just leaps off the page. Lastly, it’s always a plus when issue plays include humour. Variety of tone is key and Bradley knows exactly how to use tone to great effect.
1. Why did you write this play?
While the play is inherently about divorce, that word is never uttered once in the entire script. I wanted to write a play that celebrates love, among family and friends, by showing what happens when that love is threatened.
2. Describe the theme in one or two sentences.
The play is about how people react when their lives are split in different directions, and the variety of approaches they take in order to put the pieces back together.
3. What’s the most important visual for you in this play?
The closing moment of the play, when the characters finally feel safe enough to set foot into the home they build together, always brings me to tears. It is my favourite moment in any of the plays I have written.
4. If you could give one piece of advice for those producing the play, what would it be?
All of the characters are well developed; however, they have a limited number of lines each to get their stories across to the audience. This makes it a great play for young actors to read between the lines of dialogue to come up with a back story for each character. I would suggest having each actor write a biography for their characters, which will help them with any motivation they might need while performing the play.
5. Why is this play great for student performers?
Since the scenes are so short, learning the lines should not be too difficult. This opens up student actors to really dig deep into every single moment they are on stage, and make each of those moments count.
6. Do you have any advice for people looking to perform this play online or socially distanced?
The entire play is split into short scenes, not unlike you would see on TikTok. I think it would be interesting to see an online production as though it was a collection of TikTok videos put together, and then have the final scene be the first time the entire cast of characters are together in one place.