Outside by Paul Dunn

Playwrights Canada Press

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Image Book Cover for "Outside"

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Inspired by the kinds of real-life stories that prompted the It Gets Better campaign, Paul Dunn’s play for middle-grade and high-school students brings the discussion around homophobia, bullying, mental health and gay-straight alliances directly to the young people who are on the front lines.

Daniel’s ready to talk. And his friends Krystina and Jeremy are ready to help. But is it too late? Set in separate but simultaneous lunch periods at two different high schools, the teenagers are faced with acknowledging what drove them apart. At his new school, Daniel speaks to the Gay-Straight Alliance about the bullying and depression that forced him to move. He looks back fondly at the bond he formed with Krystina and Jeremy in history class and the trauma he faced from anonymous text messages. At his former school, Krystina and Jeremy are setting up for their first GSA meeting while grappling with the guilt of not doing more to help their friend. For the first time Daniel has an appreciative audience, but his friends face an empty room. The narratives intertwine as Daniel gains more confidence in his queer identity and Krystina and Jeremy try to assess their boundaries as straight people who want to create a safe space. By talking about mistakes, abuse, a suicide attempt and a move, the teens find comfort in perspective and power in numbers.

Year Printed: 2017
First produced in 2015 at Roseneath Theatre, Toronto, ON

Running Time: 55 minutes

Acts: 1

Male Cast: 2
Female Cast: 1