This play turned web series masterfully captures the milestones of an old friendship — the secrets that bond two girls, the loyalty to each other, the dreams they share, the plans they make, and most importantly, albeit the most unfortunate, the tension and heartbreak of two friends growing apart.
While this play is bound to become a lesbian classic, it’s an enchanting project that can be cherished by any lover of theater. It is well written and its characters brought to life by Nicole Pacent and Shannan Leigh Reeve, in a way that hopefully all audiences could recognize.
It follows the lives of two lifelong friends, Stephanie (Pacent), the sweet, caring girl who struggles with others planning her life for her, and Alyssa (Reeve), a rambunctious, independent tomboy who finds herself nurturing and at times overprotective of her best friend Stephanie. Through eleven scenes between the two of them, the play captures metamorphosis from a childhood friendship to a most enviable romance.
And what makes this story so universal is the way it addresses their lives beyond the conflict of coming out and growing apart and falling in love with your best friend. These two girls are illustrated in these eleven scenes and the dialog points to other elements of their lives – eating disorders, child abuse, and a struggle to make a living.
The play is in eleven scenes, in between tem years of time have passed. And the characters manage to reveal so much about themselves and each other in these brief glimpses of their development, in an organic uncontrived way. In a way, the story is told in between these scenes as well.
Pacent and Reeve successfully stay loyal to their characters even as they change. We have all seen a play where an actresses plays a character well outside her age bracket, and her bad acting take you out of the rest of the play. But from the first scene, when the two girls meet and giggle over their shared hatred of classmate Tommy Finch, they are in fact those eight year old school girls, then twelve year olds, then eighteen, and twenty five, and while they are in different emotional stages, and while they grow apart, they are still believably the same Alyssa and Stephanie.
If you are like me, and weren’t able to see this originally as a live production, this web series is the gift of a second chance, as it seems to still be faithful to the theatrical model. The setting is minimal, as the setting is established not only through the dialogue but through the soundtrack. The music of this project, like the heartwarming song “Atlantis”, a duet by Sami Grisafe and Shannon Nicole, highlights the significance of this story, that people who connect can grow apart, and connect again, connect differently, connect further.
Get in on the IHTF fun by becoming a Tello Premium Content subscriber today. And click here to find out how to enter the I Hate Tommy Finch Fan Fiction Contest! The winner will receive a rare original poster signed by both Shannan Leigh Reeve and Nicole Pacent!
You May Also Like:
Casey is a creative writing student at DePaul university. She enjoys reading, writing, and taking long walks around the city of Chicago.