This production put on by Concordia College Theatre will certainly be a crowd pleaser as the company opens up its spring season with “The Metal Children,” a wickedly thought-up play by Adam Rapp.
Rapp’s real-life experience of having his novel “The Buffalo Tree” banned in a Pennsylvania school loosely sets up his scheme for his play.
This daring piece of theater outlines the adventure of a young New York novelist who discovers moral outrage from local teens due to the banning of his young adult novel, “The Metal Children.”
The outrage produced from the novel constructs an “entertaining and thought-provoking” storyline for the play, director David Wintersteen said. “‘The Metal Children’ is a play of ideas.”
“The Metal Children” follows youthful author Tobin Falmouth on his journey to the “heartland” of Midlothia to defend his young adult novel after complaints from local church members who proceed to get the novel removed from the curriculum.
In the fictitious novel, Falmouth writes about a group of pregnant teenagers who one-by-one mysteriously disappear.
After each teenager departs, a metal statue of her appears in a deserted cornfield. The highly suggestive and absurd subject matter in the novel leads to a revolution of rebellion and imitation by local youth.
As Falmouth prepares his defense for a town hall meeting, he discovers outlandish behavior from locals in the town.
Spotting graffiti from terrorizing pig-masked juveniles to a flock of liberating teen pregnancies, Falmouth quickly learns the behavior from these teens’ actions are just mere imitations of the highly inappropriate subject material found in his novel. Falmouth gets himself caught in a risky situation that will leave audiences wondering how this fictitious book could lead to such irrational behavior.
The production is geared toward college students as the material is presented for mature audiences. The subject matter of the play provides ideas on censorship, literature and art for audiences to think about.
The theme of this novel has created a “culture war” among baby boomers and millennials, along with the effects of censoring a novel after locals have been exposed to a liberal culture in a conservative town.
The play unravels the idea of “the impulse of censorship,” Wintersteen said. Rapp paints the picture of how influential art and literature can really be.
The venue holds 106 people, so “the production will be intimate” with the actors and viewers.
“If you go on a date to this play, you will definitely have something to talk about after,” Wintersteen said.
WHEN: 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 2 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: Concordia College’s Lab Theatre
PRICE: $5 for students
MORE INFO: concordiacollege.edu/student-life/theatre-arts/theatre/