is proud to announce the world premier of Frances-Anne Solomon's new
play "Lockdown" - at Toronto's Fringe Festival in July 2009.
A Toronto high school in Lock-Down. Students locked in their classes,
isolated, while parents helpless and scared wait outside the school.
Police cordon off the school and swarm the school property.
It is an all too familiar, high profile, high-octane
incident, the kind that catches the media’s headlines, and generates
“Reports” and “Calls for change”. A teaset.
Then we go back in time to tell the story of a particular group of
students, and how this event came to pass.The story focuses on 8 young
people in their final year at high school. Kim is a fighter and a high
achiever. In her free time she and her “girls”, Martina and Shyla, get
up to every kind of illegal and semi-legal activity they can dream up.
They get away with it because Kim's bright, she gets high marks. Vusani
is a drop out, a hustler. When our story starts, his grandfather, a
Toronto Police Services Officer, has taken him in hand, and with the
school principal, is making a final attempt to rehabilitate him before
its too late. Ben is a new immigrant from India, trying - against all
odds and at great cost - to fit into his new environment . Rafe is a
brilliant young prodigy, with a drug problem. Alicia is Kim’s bookish
and gullible half-sister.
The story traces the fortunes of this diverse group as
they negotiate their final days of high school: The pressure is on for
them to pass and do well, but they are torn in very different
directions by elements in the school environment. Who will pass, who
will fail? Who will succeed, and at what cost?
Through our storytelling, we tease out the causes of the school
violence, and how it has got so bad. We get to know the young people
and what motivates them, their families, teachers. We see how the
violent context of the education system forces them to make difficult
choices, and creates a situation that snowballs into an all too
recognizable modern day school tragedy.
At the Climax events collide in terrible and surprising
ways. The school is locked down. All the characters are implicated.
The incident hits the headlines. The opening scene is revealed and