Popular high school senior John has a secret: He loves books. But he's afraid to tell anyone, for fear it'll ruin his "angry-cool" rep. When his mother remarries, John is suddenly stepsiblings with Lexie, an honor student who couldn't be more his opposite. Their many differences, from their upbringing and skin color to musical interests and friends, lead each to make flawed assumptions about the other. But when John and Lexie least expect it, they discover the old adage "never judge a book by its cover" still rings true. Mixing powerful storytelling and contemporary music with stand-up comedy "rants" about culture and society inspired by such literary classics as To Kill a Mockingbird, Invisible Man, and Brave New World, this imaginative new work by noted playwright Laurie Brooks (The Wrestling Season) asserts that if you look beyond the surface, you'll see that the world is what YOU make it...and the time to start creating it is NOW.
Commissioned by The John F. Kennedy Center Inaugural Family Season, 2006
Recipient of the Distinguished Play Award from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, 2008
Photos by Carol Pratt, The Kennedy Center, Washington, DC
From Laurie: LIKE A ROCK CONCERT
For the premiere of Brave No World, I wanted us to create the opening scene like a rock concert complete with lighted stanchions, fog and microphones downstage. The result is reflected in the photo above left.
On opening night, we hoped for a big reaction from the audience but had no idea if that notion would bear fruit. None of us could have predicted the thrill of what actually happened. As soon as they heard the driving beat of the drums and bass set the tone and fog create the mood, the audience rose to its collective feet, cheering so loudly and for so long they didn't hear the first five minutes of the opening!