Stargirl
© 2012
based on the novel by Jerry Spinelli

All is copacetic in the fall of the new school year as junior Leo Borlock settles in to produce his moderately popular school TV show, The Hot Seat, and keep himself safely behind the camera and out of anybody’s line of fire. His safe existence implodes with the arrival of the weirdly fabulous Stargirl whose impetuous enthusiasm for all-things-Leo forces him to choose between his own secure conformity and the glories offered by the girl from the s
tars.


photos from premiere at People's Light and Theatre

“It is wonderful!”said a 14-year-old girl whose opinion I sought at intermission. “I have read Stargirl so many times,” she bubbled, “including again this morning,” she said, smiling sheepishly at her obvious adulation of the story. “My kids, their friends and I love the book,” volunteered a mature woman with two teenage girls and a younger boy in tow. “It has been worth the three hour drive from Long Island. We had to come to see Stargirl,”‚ she stated resolutely. These rave reviews were supported by a standing ovation at the world premiere of Stargirl at the People’s Light & Theatre as they talked about the play written by Y York, based on the novel by local author Jerry Spinelli. After the two-hour show ended, many audience members stayed for a talk-back with the cast. They obviously wanted more. Stargirl is about a delightful young woman who begins attending Mica Area High School after having been home-schooled for nine years. She is a curious, very bright, compassionate girl who doesn’t much care what others think about her. She plays the ukulele and sings when inspired while wearing different colorful costumes her mother makes for theater companies. Innocently disregarding people’s attempts to cut her from the same cloth as everyone else, she follows her own path of kindness, compassion and thoughtfulness. Authentic Stargirl lives every moment to the fullest and challenges those around her to do the same. Her path is a beacon to every young person who wishes to express himself or herself honestly, those who do not wish to conform. She is true to herself in spite of the terrible pressures of high school peers. -- Jean Brenner, Montgomery News

Commissioned by People's Light and Theatre.
Premiere April 2013.

In these times of fatal cyber-bullying and recurrent school shootings, People’s Light & Theatre Company offers young audiences a parable about kindness, individuality, and acceptance in its world-premiere adaption of STARGIRL. The popular teen novel by Jerry Spinelli‚ father of six and grandfather of nearly two dozen‚ received critical acclaim and multiple awards following its publication in 2000, encouraging youths to betrue to themselves and to appreciate self-expression in others. I doubt anyone could resist rooting for these young characters and hoping they evolve into caring human beings like Stargirl. That positive message was well received by the all-ages opening-night audience, who responded to STARGIRL with a standing ovation. Presumably the impact of the play didn’t end there in the theater, but stimulated important family discussions at home. -- Debra Miller, Stage Magazine


Main Street Theatre


3 adolescent male, 2 adolescent females, 1 adult male
full length

Stargirl’s tale is familiar to U.S. teens, and not just because Jerry Spinelli’s novel rests on many, many kids‚and libraries’ bookshelves. Its themes stretch from the Salem witch trials all the way down to Mean Girls. In the story, upon which Y York’s world premiere script for People’s Light and Theatre (her fifth collaboration with the company, and second with Spinelli, after 2009’s EGGS) is loosely based, an oddball homeschooled student enrolls at an Arizona high school, challenges her new peers conformity with iconoclastic behavior -- carrying a pet rat in a backpack, playing ukulele in the halls, dressing in costume -- and is summarily shunned. Its message is clear. Stargirl, in a fruitless effort to blend in with her classmates, asks Leo, “What do you like?” He answers, “I like what they like. You should like what they like, too.” It’s a painful moment for anyone who’s ever found themselves either just outside or trapped inside a thicket of social mores, which is to say, just about everyone. It helps to see these sentiments delivered so earnestly by (characters), who burst with youthful exuberance as readily as they deflate from dashed hopes. This production is thoughtful enough to send kids back to school with some new ideas, and even grownups can agree every school could use a few of those. -- Wendy Rosenfield, Philadelphia Inquirer

This script is published by Dramatic Publishing.