Our Play

Written by:

Jessica Moss

Cast Size:
14

Roles For:

  • LGBTQ+: 3
  • Men: 6
  • Women: 8

Genre:

Drama

Themes:

Death
Friendship
Harassment
School
Violence

Length:

80 min.

Year Written:

2022

Synopsis:

Uh hi.

Yeah.

Welcome to…this play that we’re doing. Our Town. We’re gonna show you some…well, like, I’m just going to show you around our rehearsal. We go up in a month. We’re not ready. But here we are.

(The cast of a high school production of Our Town rehearses).

Characters:

BECKY – Real Stage Manager. 16. Organized. Needs a list. Shy. Someone much happier behind the scenes than onstage. Feels tremendous pressure to succeed. Working on a play for the first time.

MARY – Mrs. Gibbs. 16. Character actor who wishes she was an ingénue – in life and on stage. Insecure about appearance. Her dark side scares her, even though most people would not realize she has one. Very ambitious, dreams of being a serious theatrical actor. Extremely sensitive. Allison’s best friend? In love for the first time.

SAM – Rebecca Gibbs. 16. Non-binary, uses they/them pronouns. An artist. Makes their own clothes. Some kind of ‘dark’ aesthetic – this could be goth, this could be punk, this could just be that they like horror movies or Edward Gorey’s art. Introspective, startlingly wise, confident enough to be still, confident enough to be different, confident enough to be themselves. This confidence is not easy; it was really, really hard-won. Also on a championship winning robotics team. Sam was in a traumatic school incident (at another school) in 8th grade.

WILL – Dr. Gibbs. 17. Athlete with performance ability. A positive thinker. Charmed and charming. A little bit of a golden boy, or at least a golden aura. Elastic and loose-limbed, like a slinky.

ANTON – Howie Newsome. 16. DJ is a good real-life friend, but he has an online community that he is closer to. Tried out because DJ did. A gamer. Analytical. A follower at this point in his life, and a natural collaborator. You wish you got to do a group project with Anton. Starting to think he could be a leader.

REID – Constable Warren. 17. Recently got in trouble for stealing equipment from the school gym. He might be doing the play as a punishment, or at the suggestion/mandate of a guidance counsellor. Huge, huge baggage. Impulsive, intimidating, prone to explosion. But he is softer than he lets on.

ALLISON – Emily. 16. A class clown who occupies the position of a cool girl: a unicorn. People tend to think she has no problems; she has a feeling that that is a huge reason behind her success and wants to keep them thinking that way. As ambitious as, and constantly in competition with Mary, who is her best friend.

TAYLOR –Stage Manager. 17. This role can be cast male, female, or non-binary; pronouns can change as appropriate. Cannot take a compliment (deeply craving compliments). Terrified of failure. Struggles with dissociation: is life real? Am I real? Scared, but deeply craving to reveal a deep silliness, giddiness, anything vulnerable. Self-deprecating.

SABREENA – Simon Stimson. 16. Wants to fit in. Intense difficulty with school (recently diagnosed ADHD) but doesn’t tell anyone about it. Started the school in the middle of the grade nine year and feels she never fully caught up to anyone. Deeply loving and in need of a place to put her ability to love. Disorganized, but extremely capable; hyper-focused when she cares about something.

DJ – Mr. Webb. 17. This role can be cast male, female, or non-binary; pronouns can change as appropriate. Stoner philosopher. “Yeah, man”. Doesn’t have to study to make excellent grades. A lover of beauty; desires experience. History buff. Learning about the cosmos. Lonelier than he lets on.

CLAIRE – Mrs. Webb. 17. Emily’s best friend. Very insecure about cystic acne; has tried Accutane and it hasn’t worked. Swim team – has non-stop wet hair, and her acne is aggravated by the chlorine. She regularly hits her cheeks, or licks the backs of her hands and puts them on her cheeks, to try and stop the burning feeling. Emily is trying to stop her from doing this.

GREG – George Gibbs. 16. Loud. Appears confident. “How dare you”. A vicious and cultivated sense of fashion. Pop culture expert, but has great throwback knowledge for movies, fashion, dances, music of the past (particularly club kid culture). Physically not dominant, but dominates every room he’s in. Being harassed by hockey players.

EMILY – Mrs. Soames. 17. Claire’s best friend. Wants to be a doctor. Extremely studious and grades focused. Has a 10-year plan, and it requires getting into a top college. Doing the play to boost extracurriculars. From a wealthier family than most of the others. Has two cats: Bowtie and Hairy Styles.

COOKIE – Joe Crowell. 17. Bradley Cooke, called Cookie. First play ever. Hockey player. Quiet until he’s not. His dad recently passed away from cancer. Has the aura of someone who has lived through a tragedy- but is that just what everyone is putting on him?

First Produced:

University of Southeast Missouri, February 2024

Resources:

The play can be accessed by emailing the playwright at jessie.moss@gmail.com

Notes:

Please cast with a mindful and sensitive eye to diversity, and represent the diversity in your community.

WINNER of the 2023 Lanford Wilson Prize.

Warnings:

The play contains mentions of school violence, school shooting, bullying, depression, and suicide.