Joe Calarco


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Short play, One Act

By Joe Calarco

Six young Northern Virginia students find themselves thrust into a complex world, a world made of poetry, reenactments, the guiding words of Frederick Douglass, and the personal experiences of the students themselves. The heart of this complex world is the death of Freddie Gray, an event that forces each of these students to confront their own relationships with issues of race. As one young African American student, Jasen, finds himself compelled to seek justice, the others are forced to confront how close to home the issues of Baltimore actually are.

Production Notes

Cast of Characters
(4W, 3M)
JASEN — Male, 17yo, African American. A student. Smart. Thoughtful.
Passionate. Unsettled.
JAYNE — Female or non-binary, 17yo, white. A student. Smart. Aware.
Focused— maybe too much at times.
LIZZIE: — Female, 17yo, white. A student. Smart. Accomplished.
DARLENE — Female, 17yo, African. A student. Observant. Private,
quiet, with a lot going on underneath the surface.
DJ — Male, 17yo, white. A student. Hiding some things that he shouldn’t
have to hide.
LENA — Female or non-binary, 17yo, African American. A student. A

spoken word poet. An activist.

MR. COOPER — Male, Anywhere between mid-20s and mid-50s.

PLACE: Northern VA

Time: April 2015


Joe Calarco

Joe Calarco is a multi-award-winning director and playwright. He has served as Director of New Works at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia, and as Resident Playwright at Expanded Arts, Inc. He was a Joseph Papp Artist in Residence at Second Stage, is one of New York Theatre Workshop’s “usual suspects,” is a Drama League directing fellow, is an Associate Artist at Barrington Stage Company, and is a member of The Dramatists Guild. Joe’s current works include I Am Rafiq (w/ collaborators Mohamad Alrefai and Kholoud Sawaf), The Circus in Winter (book writer w/ composer/lyricist Ben Clark), A Rhythmic Me (stage musical and screenplay, w/ collaborators Jared Grimes and Mark Meadows), and Spring Break (second in Joe’s series of plays for teens which follows the same 19 students through a year of their lives which starts with the currently published Winter Break). Published Works: Shakespeare’s R&J (Broadway Licensing/Dramatists Play Service - Lucille Lortel Award winner, produced in the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Belgium, Israel, Brazil, Peru, China, South Korea), Walter Cronkite is Dead (Broadway Licensing/Dramatists Play Service, Best Stage Monologues of 2013), In the Absence of Spring (Broadway Licensing/Playscripts - inaugural production of Second Stage’s New Plays Uptown series, Best Stage Scenes of 2004), two collections of plays for...[FULL BIO]