1997: Inside Out

Written by Joan Holden
Music & Lyrics by
Directed by Dan Chumley

INSIDE OUT featured

And band members

Poster Design: Danielle Dragon


Ever been in someone else's shoes?

This year's 50-minute, fast-paced musical uses a classic "trading places" tale with a comic twist to highlight several normally unfunny themes: drugs, police harrassment of youth, racism, gay-bashing, and the hostile, dismissive treatment that youth, especially minorities, report they experience from adults in the city. INSIDE OUT is scripted by veteran SFMT playwright Joan Holden, working under a Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation playwrighting grant. Songs and music are by prominent jazz-hiphop musician Dred Scott. But the content, the storylines, most of the scenes and much of the dialogue are draw from short plays created in workshops earlier this year by high school age youth.

Ever wondered what's it like on the other side?

You know, what's it like inside somebody else's skin?

In the workshop phase, co-produced by the SFMT and the Theatre Arts Department of San Francisco State University, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, teams of professional actors and advanced acting students worked with teens in five after-school programs for at-risk youth. The young people were asked to dramatize how they see the city, and what they would like to change. The five plays, ranging from farcical to deeply tragic but all dealing with serious themes, were directed by the workshop teachers and performed by the youth themselves at TEEN CITY: THE SECOND ANNUAL YOUTH THEATRE FESTIVAL held Feb. 9 at the Cowell Theater. We got a great audience response and certificates were presented to the youth groups from Supervisor Leslie Katz. (Please also feel free to contact us about next year's youth workshops if you feel there may be interest among at-risk youth at your school.)

For the touring play, the workshop teachers turn back into actors, bringing their fresh experience with youth to the high--school-age characters they play. In Holden's script, says director Daniel Chumley, the characters are more developed and some ideas are more clearly articulated, than the quickly-created originals, "But the content is what the kids gave us; what they want adults to understand. The idea is to take what they created, develop it, and reflect it back to thousands of kids and adults all over the city." Last year GOTTA GETTA LIFE toured ten schools to an enthusiastic response from students and faculty alike, and was also well-received at a variety of community venues.

What would you see?


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