THE WRESTLING SEASON
Commissioned by and premiered at the Coterie Theatre, Kansas City, Mo, January 2000, directed by Jeff Church.
The breakthrough play of the Millennium, developed at The Kennedy Center’s New Visions/New Voices in 1999 and featured at New Visions 2000/One Theatre World, a National Festival for Young People and Families at The Kennedy Center, in Washington, DC. Winner of the 2001 Distinguished Play Award from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education.
“This important new play reveals the search for identity that is at the heart of growing into healthy adulthood. Every high school student can benefit from it.” – Sidney Horowitz, Ph.D DAPS Yale University School of Medicine, Dept. of Psychiatry.
The WRESTLING SEASON tackles subject matter seldom addressed but vital to every young adult: the search for identity and the peer pressure that accompanies it. Using only the setting of a wrestling mat, eight young people struggle with the destructive power of rumors and how others see them. This is Matt’s year to excel on his high school wrestling team, but innuendo about his friendship with Luke causes Matt to question himself and his priorities. Kori wants to be accepted for who she is, not the way she looks. Melanie copes with a reputation she cannot grow beyond. Jolt and Heather ultimately regret having too much too soon, and Nicole has so little self-esteem that she agrees with everyone. The action is overseen by the Referee, who comments on the action from inside and outside the drama. Using images, movement, and sound, cast members function as a chorus and as individual characters whose stories are interwoven into the play to create a theatrical event that challenges and reveals their search for identity.
I am often asked how playwrights can approach writing scripts that explore territory likely to be considered controversial? If you know (or suspect) your play will raise some controversy it’s okay to be worried or even afraid but don’t let that stop you. If the work lives in the authentic world of young adults, if you’ve done your homework and if you truly care about issues that challenge young adults, that’s what’s important. You must be willing to write a play that will be difficult to produce. When I wrote The Wrestling Season, I thought no one would get it, like it, or produce it. I wrote it because I cared deeply about the ideas and characters and was driven to write the story. When that passion is present, trust it. The road may be long but it will be worth the journey. Disclose, disclose, disclose. When presenting a play with challenging issues, it is crucial to reveal any content that may be controversial. Do not be apologetic. Believe in the quality and worth of the work.”
“Laurie Brooks’ The Wrestling Season [is] so energetically stylized that it defuses any hint of peachiness or soap opera.”
~ Time Magazine (11/15/04)
“The Wrestling Season asks only that that teenagers be allowed to feel their own way to an honest understanding of their own personal identities, and recognizes the emotional challenge as a great feat of sportsmanship itself. “
~ Seatlle Weekly (1/10/02)
“For one of the few times in theatre, audience members can truly feel as if they are voyeurs in the world before them.”
~ PitchWeekly, Kansas Coty, MO (2/10/00)
Good theater ought to entertain, but sometimes it can teach a lesson or two at the same time. With The Wrestling Season, Mockingbird Theatre provides us an opportunity to get the best of both worlds.
~ Nashville Scene (4/28/04)
Available from: Dramatic Publishing