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The Outsiders: A play based on the book by S.E. Hinton.

The Outsiders: A play based on the book by S.E. Hinton.
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: S.E. Hinton
Adapted by: Christopher Sergel
Publisher: Dramatic Publishing
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 80
Pub. Date: 1990
ISBN-10: 0871292777
ISBN-13: 9780871292773
Cast Size: 8 female, 10 male (flexible), extras as desired What people say:

About the Play:

The Outsiders is a full-length drama adapted for the stage by Christopher Sergel from the novel of the same name by S.E. Hinton. The story of a boy who finds himself on the outskirts of regular society, which she started writing at the age of 15 in 1965, remains as powerful today as it was the day it was first published in 1967. Written by a teen and for teens, this modern coming-of-age classic centered on two rival teenage gangs continues to be the best-selling young adult novel of all time. She comments:

"The Outsiders, like most things I write, is written from a boy's point of view. That's why I'm listed as S.E. Hinton rather than Susan. (I figured most boys would look at the book and think 'What can a chick know about stuff like that!') None of the events are taken from life, but the rest – how kids think and live and feel is for real. The characters – Dallas, who wasn't tough enough; Soda Pop, the happy-go-lucky dropout; Bob, the rich kid whose arrogance cost him his life; Ponyboy, the sensitive, green-eyed Greaser who didn't want to be a hood – they're all real to me. Many of my friends are Greasers, but I'm not. I have friends who are rich, too, but nobody will ever call me a Soc – I've seen what money and too much idle time and parental approval can do to people. Cool people mean nothing to me – they're living behind masks and I'm always wondering, Is there a real person underneath?"

This entirely practical stage adaptation of The Outsiders is a poignant and heroic story about class, broken homes, protecting one's turf, and of belonging, friendship, and maintaining hope in the face of struggle, a powerful reminder of what young people encounter. It's a searing story of real kids of every sort, from destitute outlaws, gas station workers, and high school dropouts (the Greasers), to the college-bound, have-it-made rich kids (the Socs) in tough situations with consequences seen through the eyes of young Ponyboy. Narrator Ponyboy Curtis is a Greaser more interested in books and movies than fighting. He struggles with right and wrong in a society in which he believes that he is an outsider. His second-oldest brother Soda Pop is a high school dropout working at a gas station. Oldest brother Darry is a young man trying to keep the three together following their parents' deaths in a car crash. Territorial battles between the Socs and Ponyboy's tough, underprivileged "Greaser" family and friends are just a part of life. But even in the midst of urban gang life, somehow Ponyboy can't forget a short poem that speaks to their fragile young lives:

Nature's first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower; But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief,
so dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay.

"Robert Frost wrote it," Ponyboy tells best friend Johnny, who is unloved at home and traumatized from a recent fight with some Socs. "I always remembered it because I never quite got what he meant by it."

Cherry, the upper-class go-between spanning the worlds of the Greasers and the Socs, comes to share a special sensitivity with Ponyboy as she discovers that he remembers poems and needs to watch sunsets. At the same time, Cherry's attracted to the older, tougher Dallas, and in a sense she's caught in the violent space between the Greasers and the Socs. While the Socs appear to have everything, the only thing a Greaser has is his friends.

As these young people try to find themselves and each other, as the sadness of sophistication begins to reach them. A brawl between the two gangs ends in disaster and sets off a series of events that will change their lives. While some Greasers try to achieve redemption, others meet tragic ends. Ponyboy's dying friend, Johnny, sends him a last message… "I've been thinking about the poem that guy wrote. He meant you're gold when you're a kid, like green. When you're a kid everything's new, dawn. It's just when you get used to everything that it's day. Like the way you dig sunsets, Pony. That's gold. Keep it that way. It's a good way to be."

The Outsiders is based on the dramatic and enduring work of fiction that inspired the 1983 film featuring an all-star cast including Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Ralph Macchio and Tom Cruise. It is a play about young people who are not yet hopeless about latent decency in the midst of struggle.

Cast: 8 female, 10 male (flexible), extras as desired

What people say:

"S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders is a perfect tale of teenagers as told by a teenager. Playwright Christopher Sergel has done an admirable job of staying true to the story." — Maui News

"It's a nearly universally read novel. Everyone will have an image, a vision or a longing. ... It's a very rare situation when literally every middle-schooler or upper grade-schooler will know the story. You're working on a hot stage." — Jeff Church, producing artistic director of The Coterie Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri, one of America's top theatres for young audiences

About the Playwright:

Susan Eloise Hinton is one of the most popular and best known writers of young adult fiction. Her career as an author began while she was still a student at Will Rogers High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Disturbed by the divisions among her schoolmates into two groups – the Greasers and the Socs – she wrote The Outsiders, an honest, sometimes shocking novel told from the point of view of an orphaned 14-year-old Greaser named Ponyboy Curtis. Since her narrator was male, it was decided that she use only her first initials S.E. Hinton so as not to put off boys who would not normally read books written by women.

Christopher Sergel (1918-1993) was the president of the Dramatic Publishing Co. for over twenty years and a Broadway playwright. A graduate of the University of Chicago, he was an adventurer and sportsman who spent two years as the captain of a schooner in the South Pacific and during World War II served as a lieutenant commander in the Merchant Marine. His primary interests, however, were writing plays and managing the play-publishing company his great-uncle Charles Sergel founded in 1885. He wrote more than a dozen plays, is known for his adaptation of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird and Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio, which was seen on Broadway.

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