Theatrefolk - The Drama Teacher Resource Company

Theatrefolk Featured Play – The Super Non-Heroes by Taryn Temple

Welcome to our Featured Play Spotlight.  Have you ever wanted to be a super hero? The Super Non-Heroes by Taryn Temple is a fabulous middle school play that looks at friendship, acceptance and discovering yourself.

Have you ever felt like you don’t belong? Powerless Charlie sticks out like a sore thumb in a school full of superheroes. Smellinator can’t control her powers and forgot to do her Villain 101 homework. Golden Boy won’t follow protocol. And Toxic Sludge is, well, toxic sludge.

When a supervillain attacks the school Charlie must dig deep within herself. She may not be a superhero but she discovers her unique talents to save the day.

Why did we publish this play?
This play is an absolute gem. Not only is the writing smart and funny, not only are the characters amazingly vivid (who wouldn’t want to play a super-hero?) but there’s a message about friendship, finding your true self, and acceptance that is played perfectly. I highly recommend this script.

Let’s hear from the author!

1. Why did you write this play?
At some point we all feel like if we were different somehow life would be easier. We would fit in better, we could easily do something we struggle at, etc. That feeling is universal. So I wanted to show that even people that the rest of us would perceive as “super” can have those feelings, too. Having special talents or abilities doesn’t guarantee that everything is super all the time.

2. Describe the theme in one or two sentences.
Be kind to people, especially those that are different from you. And we are stronger together than we are by ourselves.

3. What’s the most important visual for you in this play?
When Charlie asks to sit with different groups of people but they all turn her away so she sits by herself. Then Reflector and her group of friends walk across the stage in front of everyone and sit with her so she’s not alone.

4. If you could give one piece of advice for those producing the play, what would it be?
Have fun and play with the “superhero” stereotype (go big, lots of bright colors, super music, epic battles, big gestures, larger-than-life personalities, etc.) but also find and highlight the moments that show these characters as “normal” kids struggling with their everyday lives.

5. Why is this play great for student performers?
First of all, it’s fun! Your students will get to play unique characters with quirky super powers and wear bright, colorful, superhero costumes. Secondly, your students will be able to connect with the characters. I think often middle school kids can feel lonely, like no one understands what they are struggling with. Despite having super powers, the characters in this play are battling many of the difficulties your students face day to day, things like fitting in socially, succeeding or failing at school, the culture of popularity, standing up to bullying, and trying to work as a team with people you don’t always get along with. The conversations that can happen as you bring this show to life will help students realize they aren’t alone, and that others are fighting these battles daily, too.

Products referenced in this post: The Super Non-Heroes

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