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Speech and Debate

Stephen Karam
Our Time Players | Theatre 54 | New York, NY

Directed by Alexandra A. Ward
Scenic Design by Alexandra A. Ward
Costume Design by Ashley Benson
Lighting Design by Jessica Wall

Projection Design by Silas Carter
Photography by Jessica Wall

Frustrated by the hypocrisy they see in their parents, teachers, and the members of the school board, an unlikely trio set out to find a common truth and make their voices heard as they revive a defunct school club and take on the world.

When the Republican mayor of Salem, Oregon, is caught in a sex scandal involving underage boys and the Internet, a local high school student sits up and takes notice. Intelligent and aggressive Solomon, a nerdy sophomore wants to investigate homophobic closeted men in positions of power in the state capitol. Howie, a gay high school senior is disgusted by the Puritan culture of Salem, in which he can’t get a Gay-Straight Alliance sponsored at school, but he can get picked up by a teacher in a chat room. And Diwata, a frumpy young diva with adult burdens and a grudge against the Drama teacher who refuses to cast her, is the nervous witness to an illicit student/teacher encounter.


When the three students realize that they each have a piece of the same scandalous puzzle, purposes are double and triple crossed, conversations explode, secrets are bartered, and ultimately, and in spite of themselves, an alliance is formed. The genuinely emotional story of misfit teens who explore sexuality, identity, and personal power, as they learn to deal with misunderstanding and dismissal from the adult world.

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