These monologues were originally devised over several years to supplement a much-needed gap in performance texts for students in middle and junior high schools with large casts. After teaching students of this age for over ten years, I began to craft these monologues based upon their stories and voices. Several other middle school performing arts teachers tested these scripts with their students and gave valuable feedback. The most satisfying feedback was that the performers felt as though the material authentically reflected their voice and perspective. Although these contemporary monologues can be used in acting classes, the response from other educators suggested its use as a tool for discussion of issues in health classes, language arts, social studies and guidance departments. Upon further reflection, our performing arts department recognized its potential as a full-length play. Its success was affirmed, not only by their peers, but also by numerous teachers, principals, counselors, school committee members and our district superintendent. We were also asked to tour the show, headlined at one of the New England Theatre Conferences, and have now received many requests for its production rights. As indicated in the stage directions, the method of grouping these monologues according to theme (in sequence and space) allows several other supporting cast members to help dramatize the individual pieces. In this manner, the discrete monologues become part of a larger whole and are thematically connected. Each piece can be augmented and segued by a selection of music appropriate to the text and audience. For me, this was the ideal realization of Middle School Moments.- Jay DiPrima
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