Saturday, July 30, 2011

Weekend Read: Sophistry

In honor of my reading this evening, I wanted to share a little of how I came to write The Last Year. I read Jonathan Marc Sherman's Sophistry and loved it. I thought the characters were real and the story was true. Yet, it was stuck in the 90s. Sure I could mount a production of the play but some of the discussions including the big deal a new ATM machine are dated, making it a period piece. So I set out to create "The Great American College Play." And Sophistry was my inspiration for the piece. The play follows a group of students as they react to the accusations of sexual harassment by a gay teacher on his male student. Similar to my play, Sophistry includes the "stock" stereotypes that we all know and, occasionally, love. There's the stoner and the smart girl and the jock. And of course, the closeted gay student. The original production premiered in 1993 with Sherman and some young actors including Anthony Rapp, Ethan Hawke, and Steve Zahn.