GREAT WHITE

Fourteen-year-old Brooke is in trouble. Her sixteen-year-old sister, Ivy, is manic and increasingly violent, and their mother, Gail, refuses to acknowledge the danger. As Brooke struggles to hold her family together, she copes by tracking a great white shark. This leads her to Luis, a troubled fifteen-year-old boy intent on swimming out to meet the shark in the ocean. As their friendship deepens, Brooke becomes...
Fourteen-year-old Brooke is in trouble. Her sixteen-year-old sister, Ivy, is manic and increasingly violent, and their mother, Gail, refuses to acknowledge the danger. As Brooke struggles to hold her family together, she copes by tracking a great white shark. This leads her to Luis, a troubled fifteen-year-old boy intent on swimming out to meet the shark in the ocean. As their friendship deepens, Brooke becomes increasingly aware of the shark drawing closer in her own life: that her sister, in a manic fit, might kill her. Set in present-day southern Florida, between coastal floods, Great White is a coming-of-age drama that explores unremitting love for family, and the consequences of inaction.
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GREAT WHITE

Recommended by

  • Molly Blackburn:
    2 Dec. 2021
    Great White is a play you will not be able to walk away from. Deborah Yarchun explores the struggle with mental health and family in a sensitive and compelling way. The use of distress calls throughout the play is a powerful statement that provides insight into the mental wellbeing of all of the characters and allows the audience to move through the same emotions the characters are.
  • Cheryl Bear:
    10 Jul. 2021
    A powerful story of the love for family, the struggles one copes with and the danger that encroaches as the trauma builds. Well done.
  • Audrey Lang:
    30 Mar. 2021
    This is such a deeply theatrical play and I'm aching to see it performed. The characters are complex and challenging. It can be hard to empathize with people in circumstances we don't fully understand, so it is especially remarkable that Yarchun has depicted a family struggling with mental illness in a way that lets us in and truly does bring us to feel for each character, even and especially when their actions (or inactions) are upsetting.

Character Information

  • Brooke
    14,
    Female
    Gifted, mildly obsessive.
  • Ivy
    16,
    Female
  • Gail
    38,
    Female
    Brooke and Ivy’s mother. Somewhere stuck on the edge of confronting reality and being in denial.
  • Luis
    15,
    Latino
    ,
    Male
    A kind of strange, but brilliant boy.

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    Nora's Playhouse
    ,
    2019
  • Reading
    ,
    Capital Stage Company
    ,
    2018
  • Reading
    ,
    Great Plains Theatre Conference
    ,
    2016
  • Reading
    ,
    Workhouse Theatre Company
    ,
    2015
  • Reading
    ,
    Strange Sun Theater
    ,
    2015
  • Reading
    ,
    The Playwrights' Center
    ,
    2014

Awards

Runner Up
,
Henley Rose Playwriting Competition, Second Place
,
Yellow Rose Productions
,
2018
Honorable Mention
,
Relentless Award
,
American Playwriting Foundation
,
2016