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The Strangers


“I had been told to be one thing my whole life, and I couldn’t see all the ways in which I was more than one thing, until I saw pieces of myself in others.”


In a lush secluded valley live seven peoples, all divided into tribes that live separately but happily, all minding their own business and sticking to their own ways. That is, until the day that Medea of the Snake tribe has a fight with her sister, and runs off into the woods, outside of Snake territory and into neutral lands. When she encounters Nia and Tate, of the Monkey tribe, she doesn’t quite know what to think. Who are these strange people, who think, act, play, and believe differently from her? Yet a tentative friendship develops, and Medea comes to learn that she has as much in common with Nia and Tate as she does with her own family.


Nia, Tate, and Medea are not the only friends from different tribes meeting in secret. Callista of the Peacocks and Damian of the Dogs have been secret friends for years. When they encounter Medea and the Monkey twins by chance, an alliance forms, as these young people start to question why their tribes have always kept them separate.


Meanwhile, an outside force is threatening the valley. A group of strangers is camped in the mountains, waiting to make a move to steal the land and its resources for themselves. While the seven tribes squabble over what to do, our young heroes take matters into their own hands. They recruit two sisters from the peaceful Mouse tribe, an even-tempered logician from the Goat tribe, and a fierce warrior from the Tiger tribe in an attempt to unite all seven peoples against the threat. But can nine young people really stand up to their families, their elders, and a deep history of segregation?


The cast includes 11 characters: 6 female, 3 male, 2 chorus members (gender neutral) The cast of characters is ensemble-style, but with three slightly larger parts (two male, one female) for older, more experienced actors. Five of the roles are medium-sized and provide a lot of stage time. There is one smaller role for a beginning actor of any gender. There are also two chorus parts. These actors provide narration and occasionally step into the story to play a variety of smaller parts. The chorus roles are suited to experienced and versatile actors of any gender.

(NOTE: Many of the roles in this cast can be played by males or females, simply by changing character names and pronouns. Details on possible variations included with script.)

Themes of identity, belonging and exclusion, community and collective
wisdom were even more accessible to our students because of the way the
story was told."


Jonathan Oglesbee

Middle School Head

Sandy Spring Friends School

 "The use of animal characters in the story, instead of humans, was a creative and nonthreatening way to tackle the challenging issues of diversity, peace, and conflict resolution.   It was also captivating to see so many different age groups involved with the production."

Ms. Lamb’s class & Ms. Thu’s class
Sidwell Friends School

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