Good Kids

Good Kids

Good Kids
By Naomi Iizuka
Directed by Wade Hair
Starring Will Hornbeck, Catherine Murphy, and Olivia Roman
Breakthrough Theater
Winter Park FL

What a pile of 1999 names! We’ve got a Skyler and a Madison and a Brianna and a Connor. It looks like Ashely and Dylan couldn’t make it, but the rest of the gang showed up. They all live in Smallville, USA; it’s a tract town where there’s little to do except cheer for high school football and drink until you puke. The HS Queen Bee Amber (Casey Litzenberger) puts on a party, and no “randoms” are allowed. Well, drunk Chloe (Murphy) showed up with her boyfriend David (Gabe Figueroa) but not too many clothes. She’s already got a few sheets blowing, and both her and David are made unwelcome. They get split up and the football team takes Chloe home for some Passed Out Woman fun and games. As one linebacker comments, “It’s not rape if she’s passed out.” Indeed, but you would think at this point in history everyone knows tweeting crimes is a bad idea. Wheelchair bound Deirdre (Olivia Roman) archives the whole event; she was disabled in a similar incident a while back and provides the voice of the profit screaming against the storm. There’s little to no adult influence amount these kids, and only the unloved outcast Skyler (Alexia Correa) offers any voice of reason to this gang.

This is a bitter, bitter cast. Amber’s enforcer Madison (Bianka Kureti) defines herself as a “Queen Bitch” and I can’t argue. The nastiest footballer Ty (Christian Andrew Santiago) feels tense and about to explode while QB Connor (Hornbeck) looks like he feels more guilt than anyone else, but his teammate Landon (Conner Vidman) takes positive delight in the assault of Chloe. That leaves wussed out Tanner (Michael Durand) as the other almost sympathetic sportsman; he drove Chloe home and looks like he’s about to be sick over what happened. But the number one idea in the air is this: “How to get over this and not end up in jail?” These kids could soon be your elected representatives.

It’s a spare set but nothing more is really needed. It took effort to get names tied to players; apparently this generation assumes you know everyone from Facebook. It’s also a good look at how the always connected generation views what might be charitably called “Hijinks:” everything is fair game and consequences be damned. If this level of callousness offends, just remember what they said about our generation way back when. The anger and spite on stage maybe exaggerated but we’ve all seen this interaction in real life. The team guys keep saying “it wasn’t like that…” but never offer a non-criminal version of the digital evidence. Deirdre is angry and grinds her axe, but she’s left undeveloped as are all the other crimes involved here: serving alcohol to a minor, drunk driving, and kidnapping. This is a dark and bitter world many of us have passed through; the only difference today’s kids face involves the detailed permanent record they create for themselves.

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