THE BREAKOUT ROOM AND OTHER TALES
BY JOHN AND SARAH HAMAN
"Bad Radio Play"
BY (STUDENT NAME HERE)
The Breakout Room...
One-Act Drama for High Schools
37-72 minutes, flexible, at least 33 characters.
Vignettes in this "dramedy" include:
--"The Breakout Room," Three high-school kids in a Zoom room figure out how to break out of their stereotypes, then turn the tables on their teacher.
--"Zooming with Boomers": Two grandparents try to speak to their grandchild in a series of three online meetings, with hilarious results.
--"Doorbell Camera" and "Boogerman": Cameron, an odd, paranoid, superstitious homeowner with an overused doorbell camera hides a mysterious package belonging to a neighbor, setting off a neighbor war that plays upon Cameron's most powerful phobias and delusions.
--"Duologue" and "Duologue Meeting:" Two girls -- one struggling, one privileged -- find their troubled worlds collide when they both warrant a trip to the principal's office.
-- "When I Grow Up": A wild-eyed middle-school theater kid dreams of taking the acting world by storm by defying the standard limitations of gender.
--"Inclusion": A comedy skit about a group of earnest, enthusiastic people meeting to support and protect people of color, only to realize that their super-woke group contains nothing but white people.
--"Trio with Dog": Three women of various ages search for their souls, meeting in a park to discuss the mysterious person they have in common.
"Hey Dad": In a powerful story of redemptive love, a college freshman in a major time of need is compelled to call her estranged Dad for help.
And "Bad Radio Play," a concept for a student-written "bad" comedy scene that allows schools to showcase their homegrown talent within a professionally-written and tested script.
THE BREAKOUT ROOM AND OTHER TALES exists in three different formats: one-act, two- and three-, with performance length ranging from 37 to 72 minutes based on the scenes chosen.While earning plenty of laughs, the play can also address, in various production scenarios, estrangement ("Hey Dad"), class ("Duologue" and "Duologue Meeting"), race ("Inclusion"), gender identity ("When I Grow Up"), self-identity ("Breakout Room") and the desire of a young person to know how her life will turn out ("Trio with Dog"). One of the highlights of the play is the optional student-written scene concept "Bad Radio Play" for which guidelines are provided in the script. Light, easy humor ("Zooming with Boomers") is woven around the more poignant scenes to create a balanced night of theater. Written to be performed by kids as young as 13, and seen by all ages.
Scheduled school production by:
Lakeside High School in Hot Springs, Ark.
A production of this play is headed to the Chapter Select showcase at the 2021 International Thespian Festival after winning its state one-act competition. A funny and poignant, fourth-wall-busting vignette play for educational theater and both virtual and in-person performance, offering flexibility in both casting and scene selection. Productions of the play have been held or are in rehearsals in California, Arkansas, Virginia and Massachusetts. Thought-provoking stories depict Americans navigating the treacherous but still humorous landscape of daily life, in some cases relating to Covid, Characters struggle to "break out" of their limitations in search of love, happiness and security.