For those of you who have had the pleasure of seeing Gerald Arthur Moore’s previous work then you already know is talent for tackling touchy subjects. This time around he has directed his focus on our troubled youth, and the system that has failed so many.
The story line follows Chris, a good kid with a caring girlfriend but no friends. When two teenage boys decide to take him under their wing Chris jumps at the chance, even when it results doing things very out of his character. Like so many other teens Chris is lead down a troubled path and before he even realizes how lost he is and his whole world changes. Sadly the system that is supposed to be there to help has actually stacked the odds against this young boy leaving the young boys fate in his own hands. The question is will he be able to find his way back or will he continue down that same dark path?
I love the message that Moore has based this play around. That if we would help these kids out when they are young, when they need and want our guidance, and then our jails would be occupied by far less people in years to come. Youth Criminal Justice Act points out just how little money is given to the people who are really trying to help out these kids and how the system isn't designed to help make the situation better but to just temporarily quite it down.
Moore chose great characters to get his point across including Raymond a lifetime prisoner who has decided to take his mistakes and uses them as a learning experience for those following in his footsteps. The only thing I can really complain about with his characters is that I didn’t feel as connected with them as I would have liked. Truthfully I felt more of a connection with Canton then the main character. This is mostly because the play takes place over a large span of time which means we jump a head quite a bit and cut in and out of scenes not giving us much time to really get to know the characters. However, I do honestly believe that I would get that missing connection through seeing these characters in front of me rather then reading about them in the screen play.
All in all I would say that this play without a doubt should be put into every junior high and high school out there. It offers a story that teens as well as adults can appreciate and many can relate to if not personally then through friends, family or even students. However due to the language, drug use, and sexual references used throughout the play I would suggest not taking a young child to see this play nor anyone who is easily offended. The ending of this play is sure to make some jaws drop and was an excellent way to push his point through right to the closing of the curtains.
I really hope that this play opens peoples eyes at how much can be done to prevent these kids from going down the same road Chris did. It only takes a little bit of time to make a world of difference. Thank you Moore for sending me this great screenplay I can not wait to see more of your work!