This Flat Earth
by Lindsey Ferrentino
directed by Rebecca Taichman
Originally produced at Playwrights Horizons, New York, NY
March 16 to April 29, 2018
About the Premiere Production:
Synopsis: At a middle school in this seaside town, the unthinkable has happened, placing a bewildered community in the national spotlight. Stuck at home in a state of shocked limbo, Julie and Zander, two thirteen-year-olds, try to make sense of the chaos they witnessed, their awkward crushes, and an infinitely more complicated future — but the grown-ups are no help at all. An urgent response to our times, This Flat Earth is a startling and deeply felt story of growing up in our confounding world.
Artistic Statement: "Lindsey Ferrentino first sent us a draft of This Flat Earth about two years ago. Though the play was still very much in process at that point, we noted from these first pages that this play was excellent, totally devastating, and a hard-to-stomach snapshot of both a country and also a life in which we should – but can’t – control outcomes. In This Flat Earth, a small, coastal New England town suffers the unthinkable, when a local school shooting leaves nine children dead. The play follows two surviving thirteen year olds, Julie and Zander, in the weeks following this tragedy as their community, suddenly in the national spotlight and in a state of intense shock, tries to move forward. At one point, when the teens learn that shootings like this have happened before, Julie asks, “Why can’t the grown-ups just fix it?” It’s a devastating moment of clarity, and the heart of this play’s power, in which Lindsey brilliantly places the entire experience through the eyes of a thirteen-year-old on the cusp of understanding the world."
Grant Statement: What makes This Flat Earth so powerful is also what will make the rehearsal process so challenging. Because, in order to tell the story right, it’s crucial that the two actors we cast as these thirteen-year-olds are as close to the characters’ actual age as possible. Considering the emotional demands and acting chops these roles require, it’s hard to conceive of finding two young actors who can get there in a three-week rehearsal process. Working with young actors requires a great deal more guidance and meticulous direction, especially when dealing with such sensitive material. As we move toward production, the Edgerton Foundation's New Plays Award will enable us to give the play its best chance to reach its enormous potential. The story it’s telling is too important.
Set Designer: Dane Laffrey
Lighting Designer: Chris Akerlind
Costume Designer: Paloma Young
Sound Designer: TBD
Additional Funders Supporting The Treasurer: Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs