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Speech & Debate

Speech & Debate
Your Price: $14.95 CDN
Author: Stephen Karam
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 97
Pub. Date: 2008
ISBN-10: 0822222868
ISBN-13: 9780822222866

About the Play:

Speech & Debate is a full-length comedy by Stephen Karam. Three misfit teens band together to uncover the truth about a sex scandal that's just hit their town.

Three teenage misfits in Salem, Oregon reluctantly form their school's first speech and debate team after discovering they are all linked by a sex scandal that's rocked their town. When one of them sets out to expose the truth, secrets become currency, the stakes get higher, and the trio's connection grows deeper in this searching, fiercely funny dark comedy about what, if anything, it means to be an adult.

Speech & Debate was first produced Off Broadway in 2007 by Roundabout Theatre Company as the inaugural production at the Roundabout Underground's Black Box Theater in New York.

Cast: 2 women, 2 men

What people say:

"…savvy comedy…bristling with vitality, wicked humor, terrific dialogue and a direct pipeline into the zeitgeist of contemporary youth… Karam has a keen ear for how teens talk, move and think, how they view each other and the adult world…and uses both the advantages and perils of cyberspace to make amusing, original points…." — Variety

"A triumph… hilarious, cliché-free, and immensely entertaining… Stephen Karam's dark comedy seems to be about a frumpy girl, a nerdy guy and an openly gay guy who band together to disclose the truth about a teacher who preys on his male students. But that topical plot is almost window dressing. The play's real accomplishment is its picture of the borderland between late adolescence and adulthood, where grown-up ideas and ambition coexist with childish will and bravado." — New York Times

"A strong, rangy play…beautifully nails the indirection and crossed-wire communication of teenagers bubbling over with contradictory needs and insecurities."New York Newsday

"Karam comes through as a writer whose voice is clear, laugh-out-loud funny and uncannily tuned to the way teens talk." — New York Daily News

"One of the top ten plays of the year… Even if you're not fluent in IM, you'll LOL at this subversive comedy… Mordant misfits Diwata, Solomon, and Howie come together via circumstance and learn valuable lessons: Sometimes you've got to 'hold it in,' as The Crucible's plucky Puritan Mary tells a sexually confused Abe Lincoln. And sometimes you need to crank up [the music], strip down to a nude body stocking, make like Martha Graham, and let it out." — Entertainment Weekly

"Flat-out funny… Sex, secrets and hypocrisy are the themes that tie the play together… Stephen Karam has an outstanding ear for how young people talk." — Associated Press

About the Playwright:

Stephen Karam is an American playwright. He is best known for writing Sons of the Prophet, which was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize. He grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania and is a graduate of Brown University.

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