Welcome to our Featured Play Spotlight. who are we, who we are by Forrest Musselman is an excellent ensemble piece with a variety of movement and staging opportunities.
who are we, who we are addresses anxiety and depression in teens. Clay is having issues because of his mother’s failing health. At the beginning of the play he finds himself inside his own brain, where he meets other teens from his school who are also suffering. Clay learns to listen and ask for help as the first step on his road to recovery.
Why did we publish this play?
Teen anxiety and depression are topics we should be constantly talking about. Forrest’s play brings these issues to light in an incredibly theatrical manner. The message is timely and the ending is really on point.
Before publication this play was in competition at the Minnesota State High School League One-Act Play competition where it received 1st in conference, 1st in subsection, and 1st in section 1A. We’re not surprised it did so well.
It’s a lovely play with an ensemble cast and so many movement and staging opportunities.
1. Why did you write this play?
Clay’s story is based off of a real student of mine that was dealing with similar issues. I wanted to tell his story and explore other aspects of anxiety and depression.
2. Describe the theme in one or two sentences.
Anxiety and depression should not be suppressed or ignored. If you are having problems, take the first step and tell someone.
3. What’s the most important visual for you in this play?
When I did the show, I had glowing boxes that added a very cool visual element. I realize a lot of schools wouldn’t have this option, but you can still use the ensemble to create interesting stage pictures.
4. If you could give one piece of advice for those producing the play, what would it be?
Take some time to talk through all the different characters and identify with what they are dealing with. The more the actors can make these characters real, the stronger it will become.
5. Why is this play great for student performers?
It’s totally relatable to the various struggles they may be going through.
6. Why is this play great for online performances?
You may want to reconsider how to do the final scene between Clay and Annie since they can actually hug. Perhaps just give a line or two to Clay where he finally asks for help.