MEET ME AT THE GATES, MARCUS JAMES

When a black, gay high school student finds a pink noose hanging in his locker, he puts it on and all hell breaks loose, especially after the administration steps in and "handles" the problem in a way that makes Marcus an even bigger target.

Adapted from the novella of the same name by Chris Crutcher (ALAN Award from The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents for Significant...
When a black, gay high school student finds a pink noose hanging in his locker, he puts it on and all hell breaks loose, especially after the administration steps in and "handles" the problem in a way that makes Marcus an even bigger target.

Adapted from the novella of the same name by Chris Crutcher (ALAN Award from The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents for Significant Contribution to Adolescent Literature, ALA Edwards Award, The Writer magazine Writers Who Make a Difference Award, Intellectual Freedom Award from the National Coalition Against Censorship).
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MEET ME AT THE GATES, MARCUS JAMES

Recommended by

  • Claudia Haas:
    14 Jan. 2018
    "Nobody's safe till everyone is safe." Tackling a play about a hate crime for young audiences isn't easy. Hoke manages to bypass the easy-platitudes and preachy elements that sometimes pepper these plays. Instead, we have smartly-written dialogue and nuanced turnabouts that are unexpected. An added bonus is the ensemble of teen characters that all change and grow as they discover how to be friends. This would be a grand choice for the high school one-act circuit.
  • Purple Crayon Players:
    22 Sep. 2017
    With MEET ME AT THE GATES, MARCUS JAMES, Donna Hoke shies away from neither the challenge of an adaptation nor the raw subject matter of Chris Crutcher's story. Even on the page (or in a staged reading), lines land like punches and characters sidestep the stereotypes that could easily tempt a lesser playwright. This is the kind of story that stirs up a fire within its audience and its artistic ensemble.

Character Information

  • Marcus James
    18,
    Black
    ,
    Male
    High school student, gay
  • John Simet (Mr. S)
    30s-50s,
    Probably White
    ,
    Male
    U.S. Government teacher
  • Andrea Bean
    30s-60s,
    Probably White
    ,
    Female
    high school principal
  • Matt Miller
    18,
    any but black
    ,
    Male
    Born again with guts
  • Roger Marshall
    18,
    White
    ,
    Male
    high school student, bully
  • Aaron Strickland
    18,
    White
    ,
    Male
    high school student, Roger's right-hand man
  • Raquel Stone
    18,
    White
    ,
    Female
    Roger's girlfriend, a follower
  • Marilyn Steelman
    18,
    any but black
    ,
    Female
    High school student, independent
  • Johnny Strickland
    17,
    White
    ,
    Male
    Aaron's brother, Marcus's boyfriend
  • Coach Bradley
    30s-60s,
    any but black
    ,
    Male
    This character is in voiceover, but, if cast, it can be an actual person

Development History

  • Workshop
    ,
    Purple Crayon PLAYGround Festival at Northwestern
    ,
    2017

Production History

  • High School
    ,
    West Seneca East Senior High School
    ,
    2018
  • University
    ,
    Paris Junior College Pyro Fest
    ,
    2017

Awards

Finalist
,
Anna Zornio Children’s Theatre Playwriting Award
,
University of New Hampshire
,
2017