JAC Publishing & Promotions

 
Middle School Moments by Jay DiPrima

ISBN #1-60513-197-0
JAC #2013-0001

Cast of Characters
Obviously, this is an ensemble piece, and the division of the monologues per actor is left to the discretion of each respective producer / director. The names included herein are used only as a reference to the original production and can be changed to fit individual casts.

 

From the Playwright

"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.

The show, as originally staged in its entirety, runs about 1 hour and 30 minutes. When we performed it for the New England Theatre Conference, we had no difficulty in cutting as they are essentially stand alone monologues within thematic contexts. Perhaps the best policy might be to work with the entire script and edit according to the strengths of your performers. Numerous pieces are not gender specific. The premiere had 34 actors, which utilized 13 male and 21 female roles, but this may vary according to the needs of your cast.

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.

Our staging was simple. We used several stair units and platforms to give separate playing spaces and levels. The monologuist held the dominant position while supporting cast members interacted and illustrated the story in the background. Occasionally the solo performer interacted with others. There are several larger cast and whole group scenes - monologue montage, ode to zits, lunch, the prom, I wish and American idol that require their own arrangements and help punctuate its integrity as a play rather than simply a collection of monologues.

In directing this show, we found it helpful to group the cast members according to their themes and allow them to experiment with its staging. It is amazing how trained thespians can articulate and express the nuance of meaning when given the opportunity. As directors, we could chisel away excess and add when necessary. Since the text resonated with these performers, they had a tremendous sense of ownership in both the process and the product.

For me, this was the ideal realization of Middle School Moments."
— Jay DiPrima


Middle School Moments—Themes
EDUMACATION
Monologue Montage
Questions (Suggested Opening)
Clowns
Substitutes
Rubricized
AWOL
Ghetto
Sped
WHO AM I?
Good Girl, Bad Girl
Loser
Music
Shy
Check
Alien
RELATIONSHIPS
So Cool
Breaking Up
Stuck
Honesty
Domination
Not Much, Just Chillin’
Fair Weather Friends
Stare Down
Invisible
MY BODY, MYSELF
Hair
Zits
Tattoo Me
Sleep
Lunch
The Prom
FORGIVENESS
Forget Me
I Didn’t Do It
Late
Raunchy Rumors
Prejudice
I Wish
American Idol

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Middle School Moments by Jay DiPrima

$5.75/individual copy

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$35/performance royalty

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About this Playwright

Jay DiPrima is a teacher at Gloucester (MA)'s O’Maley School Performing Arts. He has a background in both history and performing arts, with a doctorate from New York University in educational theater. He is the creator of Beauport Anthology, monologues from 16 local historical characters. He is a founding and producing member of Fishtown Players, a Gloucester based theatre company.

 
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