LIKE A BILLION LIKES

Misty Riggs is a nobody. No, really, she is--that’s an undisputed fact, even by Misty herself. She’s not particularly brainy, she’s definitely not popular, and until now she hasn’t felt much drive to change that. But just as she’s starting sophomore year in her Texas high school, she gets a vague notion that she should try to stand out somehow before it’s too late.

After seeing the outpouring...
Misty Riggs is a nobody. No, really, she is--that’s an undisputed fact, even by Misty herself. She’s not particularly brainy, she’s definitely not popular, and until now she hasn’t felt much drive to change that. But just as she’s starting sophomore year in her Texas high school, she gets a vague notion that she should try to stand out somehow before it’s too late.

After seeing the outpouring of attention and clicks from her classmates to social causes, she decides the solution is to champion... something. It seems like gay rights would fit the bill as well as anything. Never mind that she doesn’t have any real passion about it--if it’ll help turn her life around, she’s game.

Her fuzzy plan involves a handmade T-shirt adorned with pro-gay messages in puffy paint and glitter glue. But when the slogan tee lands her in the office of out-of-touch Principal Segars and in hot water at home, she escalates her game. To the chagrin of Alixandra, who’s her BFF (and pretty much only F), Misty aggressively works to cozy up to Jacey, the weird guy in the grade above them who wears skirts, in the hopes that her well-documented show of tolerance will win her social-media fame and put her on the map.

But Misty’s maneuver only results in sparking an unexpected attraction between Alix and Jacey, an attraction that alarms Alix’s mom, Colleen, who’s the school guidance counselor. To Misty, losing Alix’s attention to Jacey is one blow too many, so she makes one final, desperate bid for glory--the terrible culmination of her burning desire to get recognized for something, for anything, no matter how she achieves it.

CHARACTER BREAKDOWN:

MISTY RIGGS—female, to play 15. Awkward, plain, unfiltered, naïve but thinks she’s the opposite. Eager to please up to a point. A bit beaten down. Believes there’s a better life out there for her, if she could only find it. Emotionally immature for her years.
ALIXANDRA BENSON—female, to play 15. Confident and at times commanding, but also guarded. Quick witted, cutting and sly. Likes to control situations. Emotionally mature for her years.
JACEY COLLIER—male, to play 17-year-old non-trans hetero male who self-identifies quite comfortably as genderfluid. Quiet but self-possessed, intelligent, always gauging the situation. Most everyone else is more focused on his identity than he is.
COLLEEN BENSON—female, mid/late 30s–40s. Attractive, warm, open, fairly direct, with a loneliness beneath; tries very hard to give whatever it is that anyone might need from her.
PERRY SEGARS—male, 40s–young early 50s. Cocky, pretty sure he’s irresistible, doing his darndest to keep a hold on a world he feels slipping away from him. Perhaps an ex athlete who abhors the idea of being behind or losing.
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LIKE A BILLION LIKES

Recommended by

  • Eugene O'Neill Theater Center:
    27 Apr. 2016
    It is the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's pleasure to recommend Erik Forrest Jackson and their play LIKE A BILLION LIKES as a finalist for our 2016 National Playwrights Conference. The play rose through a competitive, anonymous, multileveled selection process that took nearly nine months to execute. As one of 54 finalists out of more than 1,450 submissions, the strength of its writing has allowed this work to prosper in such a competitive selection process. Our readers especially responded to the way the humor highlighted the timeliness of the themes of the piece.

Development History

  • Residency
    ,
    Helene Wurlitzer Foundation
    ,
    2017
  • Reading
    ,
    Penguin Rep Theatre
    ,
    2016
  • Reading
    ,
    Piccolo Spoleto Festival
    ,
    2016

Production History

Awards

Winner
,
Southwest Playwriting Competition
,
Stage West
,
2017
Runner Up
,
Todd McNerney National Playwriting Contest
,
College of Charleston
,
2016
Winner
,
Robert Chelsley/Victor Bumbalo Foundation Playwriting Award
,
The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation
,
2016