sExtOrtiOn, A lonely outcast hatches a scheme that draws his entire high school and its Middle American community into the harrowing world of teen sexting. Posing as a girl on a social media site, he entices his classmates to send him compromising photos and videos, then “sextorts” them into physical encounters with the threat of exposure. Suggested by an actual teen “sexting” and extortion scandal, sExtOrtiOn...
sExtOrtiOn, A lonely outcast hatches a scheme that draws his entire high school and its Middle American community into the harrowing world of teen sexting. Posing as a girl on a social media site, he entices his classmates to send him compromising photos and videos, then “sextorts” them into physical encounters with the threat of exposure. Suggested by an actual teen “sexting” and extortion scandal, sExtOrtiOn digs beneath the superficial and sensationalistic treatments in national media accounts to explore the roots of adolescents’ fluid sexual identity, experimentation, and recklessness, plus the consequences of bullying, pack behavior, and hidden violence. sExtOrtiOn takes place over a year during which none of the “sextorted” boys reveals what is happening until the central character inexplicably turns himself in. Over the course of the play’s 90 minutes, the nine characters of sExtOrtiOn struggle to make sense of the story’s myriad unanswered questions & to disguise what is actually happening.
RE: sExtOrtiOn The underlying story of this fictionalization made national news in 2009 & actually happened at a school where I formerly taught in the 70s. The central character is now serving a 20 year prison sentence, tried as an adult for what he did as a minor. Its storyline involves the desperation of "otherness" that drives young men to acts of violence, and the community response that denies the very existence of the problems that fuel them. The gay subterfuge of the sexting [a boy posing as a girl to solicit naked pix & video from other boys] makes it unique. Although fielding elements of high comedy & the absurdity of teenage life, the hard questions the play poses regarding sexual assault and extortion, are difficult to process.
The Boys: [in their 20’s to play teens]
Donny Doirko: DD, small, dark, a troubled loner.
Buck Cummings: BC, jock, control issues.
Bennett Benjamin: BB, jock, tallest & biggest of the boys, object of desire.
Bradley Michael White: the BMW, golden boy athlete, promised to Brenda.
Brent Dodge: BD, average teen, marching band geek, Britany’s boyfriend.
Quin Quimby: QQ, out gay male teen.
The Girls: [in their 20’s to play teens]
Brenda Fenton Flair: BFF, cheerleader, promised to Brad.
Britany Gray: BG, cool girl, office monitor, Brent’s girlfriend.
The Adult: Mr. Zee: the administrator, also voices Quin’s offstage dad.
RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes without intermission, 53 pages text [12 pt type]
The Adult: Mr. Zee: the administrator, also voices Quin’s offstage dad
Can be played by:
30s, 40s, 50s, 60s
At TAI, NYC sExToRtiOn Staged Reading... Sun. Aug 26, 2012 FEATURED IN THE 2nd READING: Maria Becvar, Matthew Jellison, Asher Jordan, Jonn Jorgensen, Spencer Scott, Seth Shirley, Dan Tracy, Joshua Warr, Quinn Warren
At ThomasPress, NYC sExToRtiOn 1st Reading Sun. May 6, 2012 FEATURED IN 1st READING: Lily Ali Oshatz, Josh Doss, Josh Gray, Robert Meksin, Eric Percival, Spencer Scott, Alex Tissiere, Dan Tracy, Quinn Warren, Stage Directions: Jonn Jorgensen
At TAI, NYC sExToRtiOn STAGED Reading 11/25/2012 CAST: Eric Hickok, Jonn Jorgensen, Robin Ray Panganiban, Kelly Rypkema, Spencer Scott, Seth Shirley, Chantal Thomson, Dan Tracy, Joshua Warr