In these two plays for young audiences, award-winning playwright Erin Shields presents the challenges of friendship and communication.
In Mistatim, which is based on a concept from Sandra Laronde of Red Sky Performance, two eleven-year-olds strike up an unlikely friendship at the fence between one’s reserve and the other’s ranch. On Speck’s side, she’s carved names of family members into the wooden posts as she tries to piece together her identity. On Calvin’s side, he’s trying to train a horse in order to prove himself to his father. When Speck realizes she can communicate with Calvin’s horse Mistatim, the pair work to liberate the animal, and in the process learn about one another’s cultures.
In Instant, three teens find out how far they’ll go in their quest to be seen and heard. Meredith is a singer-songwriter who makes YouTube videos of covers in an attempt to gain Internet fame. But her friend Jay, a rising hockey star, can’t understand why she won’t post her original songs. When their classmate Rosie suddenly goes viral after a video is posted of her singing to raise money for her father’s medical bills, Meredith’s jealousy takes over and she pushes Rosie too far, triggering a near-deadly response.
“[Instant is] an important, perceptive play for our times.” —Lynn Slotkin, Intermission
“[Mistatim] vibrates with energetic freedom and thrilling eye-opening discovery.” —Jon Kaplan, NOW Magazine