Saturday, April 13, 2019

Good Kids—OCT’s Young Professionals Company—NE Portland

       “My World & Welcome To It”

    This searing, topical drama is written by Naomi lizuka and directed by Tamara Carroll.  It is playing at the Y/P Studio, 1939 NE Sandy Blvd., through April 28th.  For more information, go to their site at

    As I was talking to my friend, Dave, afterwards, as we were high schooled in the early 60’s, the worst trouble we could get into then was to be busted for drinking beer at a private party.  Now, we have…well, you’ll see as you view this play.  And the one major element missing from our world of yesteryear, to theirs of today—Social Media…it is the new god in town.  One dares not make an independent move without being blessed by the electronic hordes out there on Facebook and its many minions.

    But there is hope for the Future, as groups of students are vocally protesting gun violence and the corruption of our atmosphere.  Now, if they can just short-circuit the electronic conduits that control society and re-embrace a flesh & blood world, we may have found a path forward through this maze of cyber worlds, to the real one made up of human beings.

    This story is an ugly one, no doubt about it.  But one thing should be made very clear from the outset.  Having sexual relations with a female without their expressed permission/consent is wrong, is a crime, and is rape!  No, wearing provocative clothing is not a Yes, or permission, and anyone who takes advantage of a drunken or doped-up lady, is the worst kind of villain and coward!  And what of those who stand by and do nothing, or watch from the sidelines, as they pass on electronically and verbally, such an act?  Aren’t they equally at fault?!  I wonder how they justify such actions to themselves?!

    In this compelling story by Iizuka, we have the victim, Chloe (Allyson Giard), who has a major alcohol problem and doing all the right (or wrong) things to not only attract the jocks of a rival high school football team, but also gains the wrath of the “mean girls,” headed by Amber (Armita Azizi), mother-bitch of the in-crowd.  The affable quarterback of the team, Connor (Jasper Warhus), surrounded by his cronies, Ty (Emmett Ruthermich), who has a rocket in his pocket; Landon (Josh Bransford), the media perpetrator; and Tanner (Django Boletus), the too-late hero.

    Other friends and enablers consist of Kylie (Kayia Shivers), Skyler (Morgan Demetre), Madison (Makenna Markman), Brianna (Kate Daley) and Daphne (Zyla Zody).  There is also a mysterious narrator, Dierdre (Allison Parker), of these events, in a wheelchair, but to tell you about her, or the interactions in the story, would spoil discoveries an audience should make.  I will say that part of Dierdre purpose is to make sure the facts are straight, as one person’s perceptions of events may be another person’s lies.  Perhaps, Truth is in the eye of the beholder.

    Because of the sensitive issues involved, this would be a difficult play to cast and direct but Carroll has a sure hand in framing the events and has an amazing cast, every one totally convincing!  This story has the ring of truth, so the author certainly knows from whence she speaks.  This play is not for those easily offended, nor for very young children but definitely should be seen by Junior High and High School Youth, as well as parents. 

    One final note, much of the success of this program is due to the Education Director and head of the Y/P program, Dani Baldwin.  Also, she allows the plays that are presented to be chosen by the class, as was this one, so know that this is what Youth feel is important to be communicated to the world at large.  Kudos to all involved!

    I highly recommend this play.  If you do choose to see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.

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