Welcome to our Featured Play Spotlight. Today we look at Storied, a dramedy for high schools and middle schools where three teenagers enter a magical dimension and are pulled into a conflict between Good and Bad Ideas from classic tales. Who is to blame for the bad idea?
Over the course of their adventure, they encounter Alice and the White Rabbit from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Snow White’s formerly evil stepmother, the witch from Hansel and Gretel, Lady Macbeth, Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice, Santa Claus, and others.
In an exploration of the nature of stories, characters, and the responsibilities of creators to their creations, the trio begins to wonder… could they be characters in a story themselves?
Why did we publish this play?
There’s lots to love about Storied. I love plays that take characters from one genre and put them in another. Elizabeth Bennett and Santa Claus aren’t supposed to be in the same play, but what happens when they are? I also love plays that take unexpected turns. This play has a lot of humour, a wild ride (not unlike Alice down the rabbit hole) but things don’t end well for every character. Storied takes its subject seriously and that’s what moves it to a whole new level in terms of quality. Well worth a read in terms of interesting characters and exposing students to a work that prompts a lot of discussion.
Let’s hear from the author!
1. Why did you write this play?
Initially, I was drawn to the concept of a world populated by famous fictional characters because it gave me a big toy box to play in. But the toy box was so big that I was struggling to find a direction. But when it became apparent that I needed to kill off one of the main characters (because she was dominating the script more than I intended) the play suddenly found its direction as I began writing about the role of stories in life in death and the nature of the ideas that those stories contain.
2. Describe the theme in one or two sentences.
Storytellers have a responsibility to respect their ideas, because ideas are real things.
3. What is the most important visual for you in this play?
A sniper in a tutu menacingly baring his soul to two teenagers while the body of the girl he just killed lies a few feet away.
4. If you could give one piece of advice for those producing the play, what would it be?
Aside from the obvious-yet-I-can’t say-it-often-enough-because-it’s-such-a-common-problem “be loud enough for the audience to hear you,” I would have to say, “There’s a lot going on in this play–crazy outlandish stuff and really big, deep ideas–but it all coheres in the end. So embrace the absurdity, embrace tragedy, and give it all 110%.”
5. Why is this play great for student performers?
Storiedoffers powerful acting moments and challenges students to rethink how they view the act of artistic creation.
Want to learn more about Storied? Check out our conversation with Bradley to get the inside scoop!