'We, The Boys' prepares for New York stage 

Local teenage playwright wins contest and great opportunity

When Kelly P. Lusk’s parents gave him his first journal, they probably didn’t realize he would eventually be writing plays. In fact, the 18-year-old playwright himself seems a bit amazed at the fact that his newest one-act play, We, The Boys, will soon be performed at the 32nd Annual Samuel French, Inc. Off-Off Broadway Original Short Play Festival in New York City.

Lusk won his first Indiana Repertory Theatre competition for young playwrights last year with a comedic play about “crazy women” and was asked to perform at the Fringe Festival. He said that play was a blast to write and watch, but this year, Lusk wanted to take a risk by writing a more serious play with almost all male characters. He wasn’t sure how well the IRT judges would like it, but, after receiving first place from them, along with being given the opportunity to perform at the Samuel French competition in New York, there really isn’t any question about the quality of the recent Brownsburg High School graduate’s work.

The title of the play, We, The Boys, actually came to Lusk when he found a children’s note in a local playground telling a group of girls to “leave [the senders] alone.” Signed “We, the boys,” the tiny scrap of paper made quite an impression on Lusk, revealing the solitude and pain even the youngest human beings can experience.

Lusk explained that the one-act play reveals a slice of life of three different groups of characters that are going through some very rough times. Lusk believes that the characters’ interactions and the fragility of their relationships seem to show that “sometimes it’s best for us to get away from the ones we love the most” and that, at times, “things have to hurt before they can heal.”

Being chosen to be a competitor in the Samuel French festival is prestigious enough, but Lusk has the opportunity to go even farther. The cast will perform We, The Boys in front of a panel of judges consisting of New York area theater professionals, critics and educators on Friday, June 15. If chosen for the finalist competition, the play will be performed on the last day of the festival, Sunday, June 17, where members of the editorial department of Samuel French, Inc. will present publication contracts to authors of chosen plays.

Since all the performers and crew are volunteers, funds for the trip to New York are needed. To raise funds for this opportunity, the cast will perform the play on a few different local stages. Donations of $10 or more will be gratefully accepted at these performances. Community members who will be unable to make it to these shows can make contributions at www.firstgiving.com/brownsburgplayers.

For more on the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Original Short Play Festival: www.samuelfrench.com/store/off_off_broadway.php.

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