Student-directed ‘Speech & Debate’ Takes Stage at York College Nov. 9 to 11
Senior Mitchell Nease of Harrisburg will direct the second show of York College’s season, “Speech & Debate” by Stephen Karam, as his theatre capstone event. This comedic look at the high school experience will run Nov. 9-11 at 7:30 p.m., with a Nov. 11 3 p.m. matinee in York College’s black box theatre in the Waldner Performing Arts Center. Tickets are free, but seating is limited and can be reserved at www.ycp.edu/theatre.
When a scandal threatens to erupt in a small Oregon town, three misfit teens ( J’Von Weems, first0year graphic design major from Baltimore: Josiah Cottle, first-year professional writing major from Hughesville; and Jacklyn Motter, sophomore hospitality management major from Harrisburg) band together to investigate the allegations, and in the process, form a speech and debate club in their high school. Invoking chat rooms, Abraham Lincoln, and “The Crucible,” this dark comedy is a genuinely hilarious and emotional story of the drama found in both real life and on the stage as the characters explore sexuality, identity, and personal power. Adult situations and language are found in this script.
Playwright Karam grew up in Scranton, and his plays have been finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in both 2012 and 2016; his play “The Humans” won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Play. The NY Daily News wrote about “Speech & Debate”: "Karam comes through as a writer whose voice is clear, laugh-out-loud funny and uncannily tuned to the way teens talk."
Director Nease was last seen on York College’s stage as the Man in Chair in “The Drowsy Chaperone.” He directed sections of last fall’s “Story Theatre” in the Perko Black Box and is the student box office manager for all theatre events at the College.