Photo from the play War.

War is about four guys in high school, all trying in their ways to be men. But since none of them really have any idea what that means, or how you’re supposed to do it, they really screw up. They’re disconnected from themselves, and everyone around them because they’ve been taught, as part of “being a man,” to be aggressive and invulnerable. Part of that disconnectedness is how we use language to reduce, disparage, and control others. So I invented a slang for the characters to speak, to point at the way we use words as weapons.

The play was banned in one British Columbia school district on the basis of the volatility of its language. In order to placate them, I was asked to change some of the words in the play. But when I pointed out that the controversial words were my invention, and that this remarkable request constituted censorship of imaginary language, the request was quickly withdrawn.

I was captivated by the characters in this play and decided that I wanted to spend a great deal more time with them. So I used the play as the template for a novel, entitled Skud.

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Contact Michael Petrasek at Kensington Literary Representation for performance rights information

Selected Production History:

Green Thumb Theatre; CAT Theatre, New York City, Honolulu Theatre for Youth.

Vancouver Jesse Award for Best TYA Production.


Review of War