by Chris Ceraso and Lisa S. Brenner
In their exposé of Gen Z, The New York Times qualified its members as the “most diverse generation in American history". Recent Broadway hits have found a successful formula in productions showcasing the emotional turmoil of contemporary young people, yet the majority of these works represent predominantly white voices, both in terms of authorship and representation. Non-white characters tend to exist only in a world of colorblind casting rather than speaking to their distinct racial and cultural heritage.
This anthology helps correct that balance and presents a unique offering of plays written for multicultural teenagers by diverse authors who have spent a significant part of their careers working closely with young people in urban settings. The playwrights - among them award winners such as Chisa Hutchinson and Nilaja Sun - have created texts that are dramatic and comic, satirical and earnest, touchingly real, and amusingly surreal.
Varying in length and format, suitable for classrooms and youth groups of all sizes, the plays address such themes as ethnic and cultural identity; ancestry and assimilation; bullying and self-empowerment; disenfranchisement and alienation; parental pressure to over-achieve, youth activism and community-building; and the very real perils of daily school life in an era of gun proliferation.
Paperback, 272 pages