Time and time again, we hear about ordinary people who become extraordinary human beings in the face of traumatic experiences, placing others before themselves in selfless and fearless acts of courage. During two simultaneous therapy sessions, one for students and one for staff, and guided by two grief counselors, we experience the events of a school shooting through those who experienced it firsthand. Blue stage lights mark flashbacks, and ensemble casting allows each character to tell their story. Aftermath allows directors to address the importance of inclusion and recognize the signs of abuse and mental illness through rap and dialogue that is taken directly from actual transcripts and 911 calls. Ultimately, we see how a community overcomes the loss of classmates and friends and how they can begin to move on and cope in the aftermath of such a tragedy. It is not a political play, but rather celebrates the humanity and heroism that people often demonstrate in times of unbelievable trauma. “One of the very few, if only play for high schools that addresses the horrific epidemic of school shootings.”
Cast: 7m, 6w
Some roles are flexible/interchangeable
"Students grew tackling an emotionally relevant topic…"
When I first read about this play, I was hesitant to try to tackle it with my students because it is such a tough topic for any educator. Smith offered a perusal, and I asked my advanced theatre students if they were interested in doing a table read of it. They loved it and two students requested to direct it. It is a great show to allow students to explore their emotional range with a situation they have sadly imagined themselves having to go through. We took it to our regional play festival and earned 3rd place. If you and your students want a deeply moving piece, I recommend Aftermath. ★★★★★
Freedom High School - Oakley, CA | Date: 1/27/2023
AFTERMATH 1st Thirteen Pages
“If you are looking for a great play for teens with the flexibility of adapting the cast size and material content to fit your specific needs, then this is among the best! Whose High School is it Anyway? explores themes from jealousy and insecurity to bullying and sex through a collection of humorous, satirical and serious scenes and monologues which may be cut and adapted to fit your school and your cast. Jonathan Turner Smith uses his extensive experience working with youth to craft relatable characters and situations that will challenge student actors and provide insights into the trials and tribulations of teens in a typical modern high school.” Publisher