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Fierce and True

Plays for Teen Audiences

2010
Author:

Children’s Theatre Company
Peter Brosius and Elissa Adams, editors

Fierce and True

A collection of plays written for teenage audiences from the leading theater for young people and families in North America

Fierce and True collects four of critically acclaimed plays commissioned by the Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis. Ambitious, surprising, and complex, they engage, challenge, and respect teenage minds. Fierce and True both redefines the field of theater for young people and provides an invaluable resource for theater professionals, educators, and the teens they serve.

Fierce and True is just that: a bold new anthology of work for teen audiences created by four distinctive theatrical voices. Each has brought their own unique theatricality to explorations of a whole range of questions that MATTER to teens today. In so doing, they have offered us the opportunity to blow open our thinking about what important and meaningful theatre for this audience might look like. Each is both a celebration and challenge to the artistry of our field.

David Saar, Artistic Director, Childsplay Theatre

Established in 1965, the Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) of Minneapolis earned its reputation as the flagship theater for young people in this country by staging plays that both entertained and challenged children and their families. Around the age of twelve, however, young people tended to stop coming to CTC, perceiving that they had outgrown what the theater could offer them.

In an effort to reach out to and engage these young people, the CTC began to commission and produce plays aimed at a twelve- to eighteen-year-old audience, focusing on the complexities, idiosyncrasies, and epic dilemmas in the lives of young people. Fierce and True collects four of these critically acclaimed plays: Anon(ymous) by Naomi Iizuka, The Lost Boys of Sudan by Lonnie Carter, Five Fingers of Funk by Will Power, and Prom by Whit MacLaughlin and New Paradise Laboratories.

Professional, full-length works not about teens so much as they are written for them, these plays speak directly to teens without pandering to them. Ambitious, surprising, and complex, they engage, challenge, and respect teenage minds. Diverse and utterly unique, these playwrights are bound together by the excellence of their craft and the power of their storytelling. Fierce and True both redefines the field of theater for young people and provides an invaluable resource for theater professionals, educators, and the teens they serve.

Fierce and True

Children’s Theatre Company (CTC), located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is widely recognized as the leading theatre for young people and families in North America. Winner of the 2003 Tony® Award for regional theatre, CTC has received numerous honors, including awards from The Joyce Foundation and The Wallace Foundation. It participates in the National Endowment for the Arts New Play Development Program, the Shakespeare for a New Generation program, the EmcArts Innovation Lab funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and the New Voices/New Visions 2010 series presented by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. CTC serves more than 250,000 people annually through performances, new play development, theatre arts training, and community and education programs. For more information about Children’s Theatre Company, visit www.childrenstheatre.org.

Elissa Adams is the director of new play development at the Children’s Theatre Company.

Fierce and True

Fierce and True is just that: a bold new anthology of work for teen audiences created by four distinctive theatrical voices. Each has brought their own unique theatricality to explorations of a whole range of questions that MATTER to teens today. In so doing, they have offered us the opportunity to blow open our thinking about what important and meaningful theatre for this audience might look like. Each is both a celebration and challenge to the artistry of our field.

David Saar, Artistic Director, Childsplay Theatre

Each of these selections has a distinctive voice, honoring adolescents as both actor and audience capable of understanding and engaging in today’s complex issues. This collection should be a welcome addition for drama and English teachers, as well as for their students.

School Library Journal

Fierce and True

Contents

Preface Peter Brosius
Introduction: Plays for Teens Elissa Adams

Anon(ymous)
Naomi Iizuka

The Lost Boys of Sudan
Lonnie Carter

Five Fingers of Funk
Will Power

Prom
Conceived by Whit MacLaughlin
Developed by Children’s Theatre Company and New Paradise Laboratories

Contributors