Whirligig

The play is adapted from the novel by Newbery medalist Paul Fleischman, which is often read in high school English classes.  In the frame story, Brent Bishop kills a young woman in a drunk driving accident and is sent by the victim’s mother on a journey of redemption.  He builds whirligigs as memorials to the mother’s daughter in the four corners of the country. The play includes four short stories about individuals Brent never meets whose lives are changed by his creations in the future.

Whirligig is an ideal in-class play for a high school advanced drama class to perform.  The play can be presented by an ensemble of seven to twenty-eight players, with many roles gender flexible, and runs about 75 minutes. It can be performed either proscenium or arena style.  The props could be constructed by the students as a class assignment or could be mimed in a minimalistic presentation.

The script has been presented by Highland High School in Salt Lake City and Mountain View High School in Orem, Utah.  The novelist has offered the playwright ongoing permission to the present the play but requires a royalty.  If you are interested in reading the script or obtaining permission to present the play, contact the playwright using the form below.

Brent Bishop steers out of control after a disastrous party.  In the premiere production, pieces of the whirligigs in the background were used as all the props in the play.

Brent Bishop steers out of control after a disastrous party. In the premiere production, pieces of the whirligigs in the background were used as all the props in the play.

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