Student Production “Good Kids” Addresses Difficult Issues

Arman Chowdhury, Arts and Reviews Staff Writer

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Warning: Show contains subject matter related to sexual assault

As an active singer at Hall, I spend a lot of time in the choir room.  However, I do occasionally like to venture out and see what’s happening across the hall in the black box.  The plays I’ve seen there have lasted vividly in my memory, and brought me to really admire the work of our theatre department.  The actors and tech crew put an incredible amount of work into their crafts, which is obvious in the quality of Hall High’s productions.

Thus, I’ve been very keen to see Hall’s production of “Good Kids,” which is now playing in the black box.  It’s the first student-directed play of the year, and is directed by seniors Mariel Correa-Maynard and Cedrick Ekra.  Written by Naomi Iizuka, “Good Kids” deals with a case of sexual violence, loosely based on a real case that occurred in Ohio (the Steubenville High School rape case).  I am impressed with the bravery in the play selection, and am glad to see that Hall’s black box is confronting issues that are relevant and pressing.

The eerie posters around the school, as well as the videos of glitching cast photos on Hall Theatre’s Facebook, have created a dark and ominous mood around the play.  Hall Theatre’s Instagram page has a short screen recording of a text conversation between characters to promote the production.  The conversation, in which two characters talk about what’s going on in real time, whirls through feelings of frenzy, desperation, and shock.  Coupled with melancholic music, the conversation is haunting.  When I returned to the Instagram page later, I found another promotional screen recording, this one of a character using deeply disturbing hashtags on his Twitter.  These spaced-out dropped hints have left me itching to see the whole picture, and eager to attend the performance.

I think we have an audacious black box.  In the time I’ve known it, it’s always been bold,  and unafraid to go into abstract, uncomfortable, or heavy topics.  Now, it’s bringing an egregious problem in our society that many would rather not talk about, into the limelight.

I have always been impressed by the black box plays.  Our school’s actors fill the room with their incredible skill and passion, and conjure up a new reality before the audience’s eyes.  Walking out of the black box after a play, I am often silent, moved, and in awe.  I’m sure I’ll be no different after this one.

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