The Emerald Circle A 7+ With a seamless flow of action between a cemetery and the basketball court on the protagonist’s driveway, The Emerald Circle explores an adolescent’s emotional journey toward healing. Fourteen-year-old sweethearts David and Sandy meet secretly late at night in the local cemetery. Their innocent romantic encounter turns into a night of terror when the two are forced to defend themselves physically against a man who appears from the shadows in an attempt to kidnap Sandy. Bush repeats the pivotal scene of the play several times. With each playing he exposes greater detail, forcing the protagonist to relive the experience and choose whether or not to confront the painful truths surrounding the horrific event. In the context of the anthology, this technique is redundant. However, it is used successfully in this play, slowly replaying the events and layering in details that lead to an understanding of the protagonist’s emotional state. The structure creates a metaphor for the agonizing flashbacks and the painful nagging self-doubt that would certainly follow such a terrifying incident. This poignant piece could be easily staged in any kind of playing space. Because of the flexible sense of time and space, some lighting is needed to isolate moments of action. Costumes consist of simple contemporary dress. The piece runs approximately one hour and requires a cast of two women and three men. Due to the violence in the play, it is not recommended for young audiences. Junior high, high school, and professional groups can produce this work quite successfully. The accessible roles of Sandy, Dave, and Chip are well written for teenage actors and provide an excellent challenge. Bush, Max. Plays For Young Audiences featuring The Emerald Circle and other plays by Max Bush. Meriwether Publishing, 1995. ISBN 1- 56608-0118. $16.95. Varies 1-7 Reviewed by Nancy Hovasse
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