While I am sure all you theatre nerds are either sick with the cold or working on your winter production (maybe both) the YATC board is super happy you took the time to read our blog. We have tried to create a space for our company to tell a small portion of what they do and inform our faithful followers what is up in the world of youth theatre. January is maybe one of the more exciting months of the year because it’s when our press release comes out. You will get to see it here in just a few minutes but don’t be sneaky and take a peek before you have read the rest of this introduction. I promise it’s worth it.
YATC wanted this season to be less about audience entertainment and more about education. As young members of the community we all have different topics that interest us. For some the concept of feminism and the ever-present issue of slut-shaming has come into our view. Others religion was the central theme of this year's season. We wanted to give you a sum of the social justice issues that we are facing as youths today. The shows this year will hopefully be followed by controversial conversations with partners and kids on the car rides home and maybe even a few steps towards action. We hope to push our audiences outside of their comfort zones and think critically about the plays and their meaning. We are very excited to present to you the Young Americans Theatre Company season 9!
Starting off this year will be Punk Rock by Simon Stephens, directed by Company Manager Sam McHale. This show is set in a private school outside of Manchester, England, where a group of highly-articulate seventeen-year-olds flirt and posture their way through the day while preparing for their A-Level mock exams. With hormones raging and minimal adult supervision, the students must prepare for their future and survive the savagery of high school. Punk Rock is an honest and unnerving chronicle of contemporary adolescence. YATC hopes this show can be both surprising and eye-opening about serious issues involving today’s youth.
Following that will be a one act festival entitled: Misspoken Narratives. This couplet of shows focuses on the power behind simple words such as “slut” and “abortion,” and their effect. The first show will be What We Talk About When We Talk About Planned Parenthood, directed by Meg Ruppel and written by Alexa Derman. The two main characters Kitty and B may dip in and out of addiction and struggle to pay rent, but at least they have a system: she's entertaining and exciting, he's responsible and realistic. But in the aftermath of a necessary but difficult decision, their codependent routine is called into question. Can they find a way to love each other, or is their relationship all but over? Following that will be another show following the same themes that has not been determined yet, directed by Ray McCann and Ricky Spaulding.These two shows are presented to inform audiences of all ages of the current culture surrounding sex and femininity. YATC hopes to both entertain as well as educate the audience on ways to take action and learn about issues such as those features in these two plays.
YATC’s final production of the summer is The Stonewater Rapture, written by Doug Wright and directed by Ruby Daniel. Set on the front porch and in the living room of a conservative Texas home, the play tells the story of two teenagers whose sexual awakening has been severely hampered by the fundamentalist fervor that runs like power lines through the Bible Belt. The play follows Whitney, the well-meaning preacher’s son, and Carlyle, a vivacious eighteen-year old with an imagination to rival the rest of her puritanical upbringing. Together they struggle to wed their simplistic religious doctrine with the often painful complexity of the real world.
We thank you all for taking the time to read our possibly obnoxiously angsty descriptions of these very angsty shows.
May Bowie be with you. The Young Americans Theatre Company.