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Eight-year-old Devon is having a terrible day. His mother yelled at him, his teacher thinks he’s a pain and his classmate Adam punched him. Finally, Devon has a fight with his best friend, Stephanie, over who will train Sam, his dog, for the upcoming neighborhood dog show. Stephanie storms off saying, “I hate you, you’re the worst friend ever.” Devon is feeling thoroughly sorry for himself when the closet door creaks open and out stumbles The Hurt, a funny little fellow in an oversized coat, who won’t go away. Although Devon tries to ignore his Hurt, then push it back into the closet, it is only when he accepts The Hurt that he understands the nature of feelings. An engaging, humorous, action-filled story of how Devon, with the help of his loyal dog, learns to deal with his Hurt and reconcile his friendship with Stephanie, Devon’s Hurt shares a serious message about dealing with feelings, resolving conflicts and becoming a friend.

Written especially for the younger set and their families, this play won the Aurand Harris Memorial Playwriting Award.

Forum:

Devon’s Hurt After-Play Forum

Designed and written by Laurie Brooks

  For Pre-Kindergarten to Second Grade

At the end of the play, the facilitator introduces him/herself and invites the audience to participate in the forum. The actors gather on stage, still in character. The facilitator asks the children in the audience to raise their hands if they remember the character’s names.  Go through each character’s name to remind the children. The characters move among the audience allowing the children to pet Sam.

Workshop/Forum Goals:

*To create a safe non-judgmental environment where children can express their feelings and share ideas about the play and the ideas the play raises.

*To encourage responses, questions and curiosity without giving pre-arranged answers or opinions.

*To promote emotional growth through understanding emotions and the consequences of actions that can be the result of these feelings.

*To promote empathy toward our own and other’s feelings.

Facilitator:  If you were to tell a friend to come to this play what would you say it was about? 

            Audience responds.  Facilitator listens to several ideas.

Facilitator: Anything else?  What happened in the play?

            Audience responds.  Several ideas are heard.

Facilitator: What happened after that?

            A dialogue is created between the Facilitator, the actors and the audience about what the children saw. The facilitator never makes a judgment of right or wrong but maintains an encouraging attitude. The facilitator brings The Hurt forward.

Facilitator:  Who is this? 

            Audience responds.

Facilitator: How do you think The Hurt knows Devon?

            Audience responds.

Facilitator:  How did Devon feel about The Hurt when he first appeared?  How did Devon Feel about The Hurt at the end of the play? 

            Audience responds.

Facilitator: What kinds of feelings did you have during the play?

            Audience responds. According to the thoughts generated above, the actors freeze moments of emotion that occurred during the play. Facilitator may prompt the  audience with the following…

Facilitator: (referring to specific moments from the play as actors build those moments).

How did you feel when…

            Facilitator calls on children to respond.

Facilitator:  What do you think Devon could do differently the next time his Hurt appears? 

            Audience responds. 

Facilitator: Thanks so much for all these good ideas.  You’ve been a terrific group.  Be good to yourselves and others.  Now give the cast of Devon’s Hurt and yourselves a big hand.

            Actors step out of role and take their curtain call.

Available from Dramatic Publishing