I am a firm believer of supporting people following their dreams and, if possible, helping them get a little closer to them. I recently sat down with a fellow friend of mine, Sarah Shear, to talk about her dreams. To give a little background on my talented friend, she graduated with me from undergraduate at Wagner College in 2015. She majored in Theatre Performance and also studied playwright in London with Marina Caladrone. Sarah has had two plays premier at Wagner and one of them, "Stupid Girl", was honored at the 2015 Staten Island Playwrights Forum.
Now, Sarah has created a whole new baby of her own, "SCUM: A New Play". The synopsis of the play is about four gamer friends (three guys and a girl) that are stuck in a bomb shelter during nuclear war. All four characters must learn how to deal with their own survival skills coming in the way of working together, and with each one having a different power dynamic, things are bound to get messy. The idea of having all four characters be gamers comes with the mindset of "what does it mean for a gamer to win?". For some, it might mean dying happy but for others it might be being the last one alive.
The inspiration behind "SCUM" was the Doomsday Clock, actions that people do that are dangerous not only for them but others, the fact that her grandmother actually has a bomb shelter, and what would actually happen if the world ever went into nuclear war. Sarah has also put a piece of herself into the show, by having some of her fears manifest into the play. One of my favorite aspects of the show, is that the main character, Bekah, has not learned that she does not have to please everyone and feels sheltered by her surroundings. I can predict that many of the audience members will be able to identify with this, even myself. Another huge inspiration was the English playwright, Sarah Kane. She never shied away from depicting the trauma of war and how uncomfortable witnessing violence may be. But most importantly, Kane taught her how to never shy away from the truth.
It took Sarah just three days to create the first draft of the play! And with a month and a half of readings, her audience agreed that there were no more changes that could be done, the play was ready. The actors that helped her with the private readings all said that the male dynamics of the characters were very interesting, and every actor made specific connections to the characters. That made the play feel even more special.
The first public reading of the play was on April 14 at The Chipped Cup in Harlem. Having been received with rave reviews by her audience, Sarah has gone forward in creating a fundraiser in the hopes to raise the enough money to create a proper production of "SCUM". You can follow this link and help out in any way you can! Depending on how much you donate, you get different perks! For example, if you donate $20, then you will receive $10 off your ticket for the show! If you want to be kept up-to-date with everything related to the show, then you can follow their official Facebook, Instagram, and subscribe to the newsletter on their website.
"SCUM" is about what you would expect, scummy people, and Sarah says that "if you do not feel like scum leaving the play, then you missed the point". The playwright's purpose is to open the eyes of privileged people, to make them see that they have no idea how good they have it compared to others. And, to top off this fantastic play; Sarah will be playing the lead role of Bekah in the NYC run! You all have supported me in following my dreams, now help me in supporting Sarah's!