Barrett is an outstanding musician and songwriter. Due to his talents his band is growing in popularity. This would-be great news but Barrett is on the spectrum and in addition to the normal teen pressures, he must manage his autism. He is most comfortable expressing himself with music. He is struggling with the fact that he is in love with Sarah, his best friend, and the lead singer of the group. Although his songs are written about her, Barrett has changed the lyrics so that she has no clue. When she finds out, Barrett must figure out what to do to save his group, and his relationship. About 70 minutes with music.
The original songs, all lead by Sarah, include “Come Around,” “Comic Book Life,” and “The Test” while the “SAT song” is a short duet between Sarah and Barrett and “When You’re Not Here” is sung by both Sarah and Barrett independently.
The songs are designed for Sarah to sing, but if you have a talented singer playing Erin and want to arrange harmony or backup vocals for her, then please do.
If you plan to use the accompanying track instead of having your actors play their instruments live, please replace Erin’s ukulele with a bass guitar. You may have her play a bass or bass ukulele on stage to add depth to the sound.
With Brent Holland
What inspired you to write this play?
As a high school teacher I have had the chance to teach several students on the spectrum and have learned so much about the challenges high functioning autistic people face. There is a piece of each of these students in Barrett.
What's your favorite part or line in the play? Why?
I love it when Barrett faces Sarah and tells her how much he thinks about and cares for her. I have been in that position before when I am trying to say what I feel but I feel that if anything is said to break my flow, that I would totally chicken out and all would be lost.
Where did the characters come from? Are they based on people you know?
There are several, but two in specific come to mind. Jade, a wonderfully self aware student I had years ago who would remind me when something made her uncomfortable by telling me "I'm autistic, Holland...duh." The other is Jonathan, who I couldn't believe it when he told me that he would often cry in elementary school and was very difficult to teach. Both were super assets to my program and are off being successful adults these days. (I still keep up with both!)
What did you try to achieve with this play?
I wanted to tell an underdog love story with a happy ending. There is so much that is likable about Barrett, but I wanted to show his insecurities but emphasize that people who are on the spectrum still very often succeed in their goals, even when it's difficult.
Do you have anything else you'd like to add?
Writing a musical was the most emotionally naked thing I have ever done in my life. (to date) I was absolutely blown away when Meredith told me she loved it and wanted to publish it here at Eldridge. If you have any questions at all feel free to email me or contact me through my website. (brenthollandplays.com)