Phoebe finds herself struggling through her first day of middle school. She is labeled by her dad, her teacher, and other students in the school. She finds herself accepting all the labels put on her, including IMPOSSIBLE, CHILD, SCARED, ALONE, SHAME, PANIC, FAT, I DON’T MATTER, TOO SMART, DISAPPOINTED, WORTHLESS, UGLY, and SLUT. In a moment of crisis, she picks up a bottle of pills, only to be interrupted by Clarice, a friend or ghost who helps Phoebe discover the unexpected value of her life. Highlighting cyberbullying, this play illustrates how real-life situations can impact middle school students, and how small changes can make big differences.
Tom Quinn Talks About his Play "ONLY 13"
Q: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS PLAY?
A: I had written a few plays dealing with bullying at the elementary school level and wanted to take a more serious look at the issues as it effected older kids.
Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY? WHY?
A: I like the relationship between the father and daughter as I thought of my own daughter while writing it. I also enjoy our final moments where we bring the reality of the issue home by sharing the stories of real kids.
Q: WHERE DID THE CHARACTERS COME FROM? ARE THEY BASED ON PEOPLE YOU KNOW?
A: They came from news reports of actual kids and my own observations as a high school teacher. I tried to create characters that covered a lot of ground. Every young character I ever write has some connection to my own 2 children.
Q: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?
A: I wanted kids to know they are not alone. People get it, and they need to reach out. It gets better. It always gets better and nothing is more tragic then a young person not having hope.