AVAILABLE FROM DRAMATIC PUBLISHING COMPANY
In a fantastical world, not unlike our own, where conformity is compulsory, Boy cannot conform. Others make a desperate attempt to fix him, but neither them or he can change his nature. Labeled a monster by the experts, Boy is shunned until, heartbroken and alone, he disappears into the world of monsters. There, Boy struggles with Hugo who is ruled by his monster side, and is drawn to Girl, who is still in touch with her true feelings. A metaphor for invisible disabilities and disenfranchised youth, this play asks the question - Will Boy hold onto his humanity and accept himself or will he become a monster. A cautionary tale that presents a comic anti-model of behavior, this entertaining fable for all times and all ages reveals the beauty and danger of being different in a world where conformity is valued and individuality is feared. Pre-show audience interaction by the Ensemble sets the tone for this highly original play and a unique experience called "The Forum" is built into the running time of the play to actively involve the audience is exploring the timely issues of belonging, conformity and individuality.
Cast: 2 or 3 men, 1 to 3 women 1 to 4 either gender, a total of 7
Atypical Boy was developed at a workshop and reading in March 2008 at Arizona State University's School of Theatre and Film
Financial assistance from this premiere production was generously provided by the Jim Eisenreich Foundation for children with Tourette Syndrome, the Missouri Arts Council MAC and ART KC Fund
"This wacky romp incorporating clowning technique and unorthodox storytelling mixes imaginative writing with serious questions... a rare example of interactive theatre that actually works."
Robert Trussell, Kansas City Star
In theatre history, the Ordinary was something like our modern day director, with one difference: He followed the actors during the performance, side-coaching the action. In this play, The Ordinary enables the characters to tell the story, directs and punctuates the action with a percussion instrument, accompanying the "ta-rums" and underscoring moments in the play.
Atypical Boy is a cautionary tale of a world that presents an intimodel of behavior. The movement is stylized and not intended to be realistic. Ideally, the play takes place as close to the audience as possible so that there is little distance between the players and the audience.
The "monster" inside Boy is not meant to be his perceived or real disability but the result of society's expectations and efforts to normalize him.
Ensemble members play all parts except Boy, Girl, The Ordinary and Hugo. The Ensemble is mean to be dressed identically - immaculate, prim - but nothing quite matches. Everything is slightly, comically off. The movement and language are stylized but wacky, as thought they think they are perfect but they're not. The boy is disheveled, random and radically different from the Ensemble.
The play may be presented (like the premier) with a 10 to 15 minute pre-show experience where Ensemble members attempt, in silent European clown fashion, to "Perfect" the audience's setting, posture and facial expressions in comic style. Examples: snatching away a hat, switching audience seats, sitting in someone's lap, All in good fun to warm up the audience for the comedy to come.
In the premiere, Boy had paper in his pocket which he tore into heart shapes and offered to the audience at moments indicated in the script.