Tina has fallen hard for Greg, an upperclassman, but her best friend, Margie, is worried about the relationship with its subtle and not so subtle bullying. Greg meets Tina after every class, gets her to quit the soccer team because it takes too much time away from him, and basically manipulates her to do exactly what he wants to do. Soon his controlling personality leads to violence, and Tina's family gets a restraining order against him. But he's determined to see Tina one more time. With Margie as our narrator, we see how a girl's youthful dream of love can be as dangerous as it is unrealistic. The poems Tina writes lend a mystical beauty to this powerful play of dating violence.
PLAYWRIGHT DAN KEHDE
TALKS ABOUT "LOVE IS NOT AN ANGRY THING"
Q.: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS PLAY?
A.: I was contacted by an adolescent health specialist who was concerned with the number of cases of dating violence that she was encountering in our local high schools and middle schools. I believe the arts should initiate social change regardless of how difficult the issue. So I gave it a try.
Q.: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY? WHY?
A.: Tina's last poem seems to capture the wisdom of her lost innocence.
Q.: WHERE DO THE CHARACTERS COME FROM? ARE THEY BASED ON PEOPLE YOU KNOW?
A.: The characters are fictional-but the lines they say can and have been spoken by hundreds of kids I've worked with.
Q.: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?
A.: I want our kids to stop believing that abuse is normal in relationships whether it's physical or emotional. The kids who watch this piece get a primer on a bad relationship and, sadly, many of them can relate to any number of the symptoms of abuse portrayed here.
Q.: ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO SAY ABOUT IT?
A.: This piece has been performed nearly sixty times for schools and organizations throughout West Virginia and beyond, before more than 5,000 students and adults. It always has an impact.