Punk Rock, a heartbreakingly comic tale of the modern teen from Tony Award-winning playwright Simon Stephens (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), makes its Los Angeles premiere March 25 at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble. According to Odyssey, “this ferociously funny, complex and unnerving play peels back the layers of teen angst for a deeper look at what might make one of them snap.”
Set in the library of an English prep school, seven teens on the edge of adulthood wrestle with what seems like a life time of issues. With the world on their shoulders they grapple with the thought of leaving school and taking college entrance exams, sex, love, and all the problems teens face. All the while, the potential for one, if not all of them, to erupt is brewing just below the surface. These are the kids at the top of their class whose lives at any moment could go spiraling out of control.
According to director Lisa James, “The play’s pulsing, driving rhythm, like the music of the title, is what makes it so exciting. The characters are incredibly complex. Each one is hateful and cruel, but also loving and kind. Their hormones are raging, so they’re out of control. It’s a cacophony of emotion.”
That discordant mix of emotions is brought to life by the explosive young cast, including Jacob B. Gibson, Zachary Grant, Nick Marini, Raven Scott, Kenney Selvey, Story Slaughter, and Miranda Wynne.
Stephens based the majority of Punk Rock on his experiences as a teacher while drawing inspiration from the tragic 1999 Columbine shooting. Originally premiering at London’s Royal Exchange, the play made its Off-Broadway premiere in October 2014 as an MCC Theater production at the Lucille Lortel Theatre.
Punk Rock runs March 25–May 14 at the Odyssey Theatre located at 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd. in Los Angeles. A talkback with the cast is scheduled after the April 12 performance. For more information visit OdysseyTheatre.com.