Theater archives

High School Daze


As the title promises, Fuck You or Dead Pee Holes is in your face. Since one cast member also stalks through the audience with a pistol and four others, as corpses, lie in the aisle, this held-over Fringe entry is also in your lap and at your feet. In addition to the attention-grubbing name, there are other problems with this Columbine reverberation, in which a classroom of high school students are held hostage by three of their fellows. The 75-minute play is too long by half. The downbeat folk songs written and sung by Ann Enzminger are derivative. The between-bullets monologues are obtuse. The two figures representing death, who ladle a red liquid on the murder victims, are tiresome.

Nevertheless, if one definition of good drama is complacency shattered, then the grimly comic Fuck You fills the bill comfortably. Or uncomfortably, since that’s the point. The fact that little explanation is given for Freddie, Jason, and Michael attacking their peers is another part of the point. John Bowman, Adam Hardman, and Tanya Ritchie, who wrote and directed—with Raymond Sanchez—this sour soda pop, clearly don’t feel that any psychological background needs to be supplied. They’re presenting a surreal metaphor for a moribund society. (It’s clear the world they’ve created is surreal, since no sign of a world outside the classroom exists.)

“I’m not normal,” chant the doomed, motley-dressed kids—solid actors every one. “I wish I was somebody else.” The audience wishes it were somewhere else, while Fuck You—to its dark credit—illustrates that too often there’s no escape.