OPTIONAL BOSS BATTLE

Like teens all over the world, Alonso and Ruben are forced into remote learning in March of 2020 due to the COVID pandemic. Icy acquaintances at their bougie prep school, they forge an unlikely friendship when new-in-town Ruben realizes he lives just around the corner from agoraphobic Alonso in Hackensack, NJ. A story about processing grief, forging connection, coming to terms with identity, and caring for one’...
Like teens all over the world, Alonso and Ruben are forced into remote learning in March of 2020 due to the COVID pandemic. Icy acquaintances at their bougie prep school, they forge an unlikely friendship when new-in-town Ruben realizes he lives just around the corner from agoraphobic Alonso in Hackensack, NJ. A story about processing grief, forging connection, coming to terms with identity, and caring for one’s mental health in unsettled times. CW: self harm, anxiety, discussion of suicide, family member death UPDATED DRAFT AS OF 7/1/24
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OPTIONAL BOSS BATTLE

Recommended by

  • David Hilder:
    29 May. 2024
    Superb, superb writing. Such a deep exploration of the aching vulnerability of teenage boys, especially this pair of them, each struggling to stay afloat as the world around them recedes at every angle. I'm incredibly happy I read this play. You will be, too.
  • Eric Pfeffinger:
    27 May. 2024
    Profound and affecting: an unsentimental yet tender story of humans fumbling toward growth, set in an all-too-vivid historical moment when everyone was plagued with fear and fatalism and a terror of interpersonal contact.
  • Iraisa Ann Reilly:
    6 Jun. 2023
    Malakow has a gift for crafting authentic teenagers dealing with big world problems. A heartfelt look at adolescence in the time of social distancing, and finding connection when it's nearly impossible to connect. A beautiful story crafted with empathy and heart.

Character Information

  • ALONSO
    16-17,
    Latine, Afro-Latine
    ,
    He/Him/His
    A junior in high school. Wound tight.
  • RUBEN
    16-17,
    Latine
    ,
    He/Him/His
    A junior in high school. Grungy hipster-type to piss off his family.
  • SONIA
    40's-50's,
    Latine, Afro-Latine
    ,
    She/Her/Hers
    Alonso's mom. Caring and concerned, but kind of at her wit’s end.
  • ISA
    40's-50's,
    Any Latine
    ,
    She/Her/Hers
    Ruben's mom. Still in the fog of grief.
  • CHASE ACADEMY ON ZOOM!
    Various, Array,
    Various
    Alonso and Ruben’s school is conducted through Zoom classes, as they’ve all been sent home from Chase Academy, a fictional New Jersey prep school, due to COVID-19. I envision these classes as being improvised and recorded on an actual platform such as Zoom and played during the show. I imagine there is a world in which you dramatize these Zoom classes onstage with a huge cast (think 15 more people). If you go that route, I would hope that world would seem very separate and alienated (onstage) from Alonso and Ruben’s IRL world. The two teachers (English and Science) are definitely white men.

Development History

  • Workshop
    ,
    Two River Theatre
    ,
    2021

Awards

Semi-Finalist
,
Seven Devils Playwrights Conferece
,
Seven Devils
,
2023