Original drama penned by playwright Alex Moon inspires introspection, education on social issues
McGRATHPR.com – Raising awareness for social issues through the creative conversation of the performing arts comes as second nature to teen playwright Alex Moon, a graduating senior studying at Scituate High School and a longtime student in The Company Theatre’s A.C.T. Conservatory. He’s learned this skill by engaging in the universal language of writing for theater, a rising arts platform for increasingly surfacing topics for social awareness and discussion.
The Company Theatre, about to embark on its 40th year as the South Shore’s regional home for quality theatre, is dedicated to spearheading important conversations through its A.C.T. Conservatory youth and teen programs and productions, soon to feature Moon’s drama The Werewolves, an original one-act play directed by Kevin Mark Kline. Kline will champion Moon’s careful research and writing on a company of Hitler youth cadets left to fend for themselves on the battlefields of WWII in the regional premiere playing May 18 and 19 in Norwell.
“I’ve been very lucky,” shares Moon. “The South Shore has an incredible pool of artists that help create new work. I’m honored that they’d take a chance on a young writer like me. Collaborating with The Company Theatre’s professional artistic team has helped shape this play into one that is sure to engage and affect audiences.” Support for a fully-staged production of a new work is a rarity for any teen playwright, but the compelling storytelling in The Werewolves, and his ambitious premiere of the piece off-Broadway last year, set it apart.
Moon has found Company’s production team process to be very exciting and eagerly looks forward to the play’s performances “We have a great team across the board. The directors have challenged me to continually improve and refine my work. I think the script has also challenged them in their own exploration. We are creating something very powerful and unique.”
The Werewolves takes place during the waning months of World War II. In an effort to conserve their remaining armies, the officers of the Third Reich put their Hitlerjugend to the test. Young male youth cadets undergo a grim transformation into a squadron of SS guerrilla operatives to be sent behind enemy lines, and then they are left on their own. As their situation deteriorates and tensions flare, they discover the harsh reality of their Nazi idealism. *The Werewolves contains adult content.
Director Kevin Mark Kline, a respected adult director across the region, shares that stepping into topics of warfare and prejudice are harsh territory. “I’ve invited the cast to come to the table with the understanding that we’re all here to work together as equals, whether amateur or professional, teen or adult. We take a really deep breath and remind ourselves that of the privilege we have in this opportunity to portray an important original work on stage while raising critical discussions for ourselves and the audience.”
Kline has created a stark visual narrative in the style of a cinematic historical thriller through daunting props, soundscape, concept images and video lending the true allusion of time and era in which WWII occurred. The set acts as an abstract vision, stripped down to moving pieces, with custom-crafted backdrops and a few pieces of setting-appropriate furniture. As director, it is his hope to blur timelines between that historical era and today, in the hope that audiences will make the correlation to our own current servicemen, and the consequences they are exposed to in the military.
Kline has come to understand, through Moon’s impeccable research, that these cadets were sacrificed to a lost cause. “These young soldiers were a band of brothers thrown out there without any understanding of why they were expected to hate or sacrifice. They were subject to a hierarchy of power, which often resulted in a ‘run fast – avoid ammunition’ mentality. We have an obligation to portray those souls as convincingly as we’re able to honor their true memory.”
Though The Werewolves requires exposed treatment of harsh topics, moments of relief surface, allowing the audience to reset their mindset in resolution, atonement and redemption. “A main character Hans intermittently halts the warfare, settling into a dark corner equipped with a notebook, pencil and flashlight. To write. To write to himself. In the form of a journal entry. The violence finds its opportunity to break. The introspective reflections that play out on stage infuse the truth that these cadets were just trying to survive.”
Playwright Alex Moon has written and directed multiple new works; including dramas, comedies, musicals, one acts and short plays. Most recently he directed his own work The Wreck of the Silence, a short play created for the Massachusetts Educational Theatre Guild 2018 High School Festival. The dramatic work, featuring American Sign Language (ASL), follows a single sailor left deafened and stranded after a great sea battle, as he tries to find his way back to his home and family. He is committed to bringing a lively new voice into the theatrical community, pushing the boundaries of contemporary drama with the help of his fellow artists. This fall, he’ll begin studying Dramatic Writing at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
A.C.T. Conservatory presents The Werewolves on Friday, May 18 and Saturday, May 19, 7:30 pm at The Company Theatre Center for the Arts, 30 Accord Park Drive, Norwell.
Tickets for The Werewolves are $20 for adults, $18 for students. For a complete performance schedule, to order tickets, or for more information, call the box office at 781-871-2787, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.companytheatre.com. The box office is open Monday to Friday from 11 am to 5 pm, and during all performances. Free parking is available on site, and the theatre is handicap accessible. For the latest information on programs and performances, please follow The Company Theatre Center for the Arts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.