Broken Rainbow. From: Surface, Mary Hall. Most Valuable Player and Four Other All-Star Plays for Middle and High School Audiences. Smith & Kraus, 1999. ISBN 1-57525-178-7. $16.95. 320 pp. A 6-12 Reviewed by Nancy Hovasse. Set in “a middle-income neighborhood in Montgomery County, Maryland (or any suburban area near a large city)” Broken Rainbow is an honest observation of contemporary suburban life from the perspective of teenagers from disenfranchised minority groups. African-American Gina (seventeen) and her brother, Damond (nineteen), live next door to Italian-Jewish-American Joel Cohen (eighteen) and his mother. Joel and Gina discover a common love for music and are in the very early stages of friendship. Joel and Damond's lives intersect with much less harmony when Joel goes to work for the same trash collecting business as Damond, and the two are assigned to work the same truck. Driven by his concern for the environment, Joel sees this job as an opportunity to make a difference. Damond, on the other hand, sees the job as simply a means to an end. The relationship is further strained as Damond taunts Joel with racial slurs, then fails to show up for their work shift. Joel is finally pushed too far when Damond is awarded a coveted managerial internship. The play requires a flexible set design that allows for fluid movement between the multiple locations called for in the story. A great piece for touring because of the small cast size (four actors), the script invites much discussion and could be the catalyst for exciting postshow activities with proper facilitation.
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