Oceanway Middle School has been working on my newest play Funhouse since September. They received Superiors at their District festival and were invited to perform at the Florida State Junior Thespian Festival. I was happy to be able to see them perform (I thought they rocked it! ) and talked to them about their experience after the show.
Lindsay: All right! So, I have in front of me, this is the cast of Funhouse. Hello, Funhouse!
Lindsay: And they have just performed. Woohoo!
Lindsay: So, these guys have been working on this play, and this is the director right here. Say hi.
How long have they been working on the play?
Director: Since September.
Lindsay: Since September! This has been such a long journey for you guys.
So, I wanted to get your thoughts on that, and apparently, we’re doing a what? What’s it called?
Cast: “How do you feel?” circle.
Lindsay: “How do you feel?” circle. So, I’m going to start over here. So, I’m going to say, “How do you feel?”
Girl 1: Awesome.
Girl 2: Hahahahaha!
Girl 3: Good.
Girl 4: Experienced.
Girl 5: Ecstatic!
Girl 6: How dare you? You took mine!
Girl 7: Amazing!
Girl 6: Relieved.
Girl 8: Confident.
Lindsay: How about you?
Boy 1: Pumped. Psyched out of my mind.
Girl 9: Energized.
Girl 10: Confident.
Girl 11: I am so proud of us.
Lindsay: Yeah, me too!
Girl 12: Pumped up!
Girl 13: Shaky.
Girl 14: I feel changed for the better.
You guys have been doing a very unique thing, right? Funhouse is not your ordinary play, and somebody tell me what it was first like, what was it first like when you read it?
Girl 6: The first, like, when I read it, it was kind of confusing.
Lindsay: Why was it confusing, do you think?
Girl 5: Well, because there were a bunch of scenes…
Girl 5: …very short ones, and we didn’t really understand the message until later.
Girl 8: Like, there’s not many speaking scenes. You have to interpret it yourself, how you feel about it.
Lindsay: Excellent. Yes?
Girl: Like, when I was reading it and I knew I read (0:01:36.0 unclear) like, “Ahh!”
Lindsay: That’s a good way.
Boy 1: It’s like she said. A lot of things, you have to interpret. Everyone’s going to play it their own different way because it’s how you read it.
Okay, now that you’ve been spending all this time on it, what do you have to say about Funhouse? Tell me something about the Funhouse.
Girl 3: I think that we’ve learned a lot as people and as actors. We learned to work together as a team.
Lindsay: You guys really worked well as an ensemble which is so important.
Girl 2: I learned that it’s hard for people there and I’m happy to experience it – well, not having experienced how people get bullied, but like, having to show people what it’s like to get bullied.
Lindsay: Yep! Behind?
Boy 1: I feel weird because people always come up to you and tell you how it’s so amazing and you don’t feel it because you put so many hours into it. It’s almost like you’re just doing it over and over again.
Lindsay: It’s different.
Boy 1: The moment you see something, it’s like something clicks in you now. It’s different.
Girl 2: I don’t want it to end.
Lindsay: Oh! Yeah?
Girl 14: I think that we have (0:02:27.2 unclear) a long journey and it turned out awesome.
Girl 7: I think that I’ve learned a lot about bullying because I thought it was, like, nothing. But now, I’m just kind of like whoa.
Lindsay: Yeah. Lots of different kinds, yeah.
Girl 12: I learned that, like, bullying, it’s an everyday thing. It happens everywhere. It happens to everybody and it can happen in so many forms. Like, cyber-bullying.
Girl 12: And it could be behind your back and physical and by just taunting to your face.
Girl: I think that it’s good. I think that other people should read it and get to experience it so they get to know what bullying is like and it’s like they can change it.
Girl: I think that the (0:03:05.1 unclear) like the play, like, when you titled it…
Girl: You titled it very weirdly.
Girl: Not weirdly. Differently.
Girl: So you have to really think about it. And then, when I saw it, I was like, “Now it’s making sense.”
Lindsay: Good, good. Yes?
Girl: Okay. I’m just happy they haven’t said one negative thing about technical anything.
Lindsay: No. Tech was awesome. Tech was awesome.
Girl: Well, I think that a very important lesson is that, if you’re ever bullied, that you’re not alone and that you need to stand up for yourself.
Lindsay: I’m so excited that that’s what that last message of the play is. You guys, I’m so proud of you. You rocked!