Written by Reese Thompson
Directed by Margaret Grace Hee
Starring Erin Margaret Pettigrew, Matthew Bovee,
Produced by Squire Lane Theatrical
in association with Baby Crow Productions
Forest Theatre @ Greenside Venues, Infirmary Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
Previews 4th – 6th August 2017 @ 16:10
Run 7th -26th August 2017 @ 16:10 (No performances Sundays)
Tickets on Sale 20 April 2017
A new play by Reese Thompson exploring gender
expectations and misogyny in American culture.
Set against a backdrop of small-town gossip amplified by social media, limitless shame, and the hell-fire of the confession booth, KIDS PLAY is a darkly funny account of the pressures to be both normal and exceptional in a world hostile to misfit girls and queer boys, when nothing is quite so momentous as friendship, nor so utterly monstrous as ourselves.
Jenn, 13, wants two things from God: 1) to be pretty, and 2) for Andrea to be her best friend. Jenn’s arch-nemesis, Patrick, dutifully preps for the Junior Regional Spelling Bee – though what he really wants is to dance. Meanwhile, Andrea, also 13, just wants someone to tell her if she’s still a virgin after those awkward encounters with Jenn’s douchey stepbrother over summer break.
Making their way through an obstacle course of double-standards, internalized sexism, and impossible beauty regimes, the three discover that what they need in life is an accomplice.
#BFF4NOW #KIDSPLAY4EVER #EDINBURGH70
ERIN MARGARET PETTIGREW
A theater and dance artist from San Francisco, Matthew graduated from UC San Diego with dual degrees in Theater and Dance. In NYC he has worked as a performer and movement director with The Flea Theater, Pipeline Theater Company, Ma-Yi Theater Company, Ensemble Studio Theater, Movement Workshop Group, The Next Stage Project, New York Theater Workshop, and Columbia Stages. Regionally, he has worked at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Old Globe, San Diego Rep, Hollywood Fringe Festival, and San Diego Dance Theater. He has been a teaching artist in NYC as well as at the Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse. Thrilled to be playing with these crazy kids on this excellent play.
Joy is a NYC based actress/singer. She received her BFA in Musical Theatre at Avila University and an MFA from The New School for Drama. Joy has worked with Ugly Rhino Productions, Baby Crow Productions, Mastodon Theatre Company, Mount Carmel Theatre Company, Matthew Corozine studio, Theatre for Young Americans, RWS and Associates Entertainment, (Dutch Wonderland, Santa’s Village, Hot Spring Arkansas Six Flags, and industrial appearances all over the country). She also did a feature called “Purification” directed by Joe Ciminera, which premiered at select theatre on the East Coast.
“Bratty, insolent and wise, Kids Play is a mash up of John Hughes, Jean Genet, and Jem and the Holograms.”
— Stephen Karam (author of Speech & Debate and The Humans)
“Reese (Thompson) is a truly original new voice in the theatre — exploring areas no one else is, saying things no one else would, and finding both humor and meaning in the madness of contemporary life. To be so unique in outlook and talented in execution is beyond rare in emerging artists. His work speaks to our moment with deep wit and insight, and is always a theatrical delight.”
— Christopher Shinn (author Four, Dying City, and Teddy Ferrara)
“Reese is a truly original new voice in the theatre”
— Christopher Shinn
FROM THE DIRECTOR
“Cinderella, dressed in yella,
Went upstairs to kiss her fella,
Made a mistake and kissed a snake,
How many doctors did it take…
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7–”
– Reese Thompson, Playwright, Kids Play
Shall we “unpack” this…. I’m pretty sure we are talking about abortion here. Do you recall playing this “innocent” clapping game when you were child? What did it make you feel? What did it make you do? What did it teach you? I guarantee that your younger self reacted much differently and was unaware that this rhyme was commenting on rape culture.
Today is January 20th, the day after the inauguration of President Donald Trump. Millions of people, are marching in protest of his At this moment it occurs to me that kids play has become painfully more relevant. It examines the pressures of gender performance in American society and how it robs us of individuality and shapes our development.
Judith Butler once said, “We act as if that being of a man or that being of a woman is actually an internal reality or something that is simply true about us, a fact about us, but actually it’s a phenomenon that is being produced all the time and reproduced all the time, so to say gender is performative is to say that nobody really is a gender from the start.”
Kids Play confronts the consequences of gender performance in modern culture through a satirical and approachable lens. As society continues to speed up with the advent of new technology and we become more and more dependent on the media as a model of self worth, the human race is becoming emotionally stunted. We are incapable of processing what is happening around us, therefore people become reactionary which leads to the creation of chaos and destruction of relationships and culture.
I feel extremely fortunate to have met Reese Thompson in the MFA graduate program at the New School for Drama. We have discovered an unexpected artistic kinship over the past several years that is entirely fulfilling. Reese is relentless in his examination of what we have come to accept as social norms. I got my first taste of kid’s play in during our first year in the program. The initial iteration was only 10 minutes, but upon hearing the piece it became apparent that Reese was navigating unexplored territory in highly inventive and theatrical way. There was something entirely nostalgic and disturbing in the text that I was aching to unlock.
The physical life of Kids Play is like none other that I have encountered and lends itself to a highly devised and collaborative approach. Much of the underlying pain and irony that exists in the story is expressed through physical language as opposed to text which is unique to Reese’s work. As a director I am a firm advocate of cultivating an inclusive rehearsal environment where every participants ideas are valued. a kids play has lived several lives with a variety of casts and it has revealed the universal connection that this play speaks to. Our cast is comprised of three beautifully generous actors, Matthew Bovee, Joy Donze and Erin Margaret Pettigrew. I have has the great pleasure of working with them all multiple times and am elated to be working with all three on this project. Their collective energy is like a bomb that is waiting to explode with rainbow sparkles. Our producer Kevin is one of the kindest and most driven human beings I have encountered. Without his belief in this project we would not be where we are today.
Kids Play is an aggressive and thrilling piece of theatre, but it is also a deeply sentimental and touching story about the trials and tribulations of growing up in the modern world.
Margaret Grace Hee
Director, Kids Play
BEHIND THE SCENES