Six-year-old hyper Kite "flies." But his teacher tells his mother, C Ana, that his ever-excitement is a brain disease and urges medication: Ritalin. Not just to calm him down—his jumpiness, C Ana is told, is cerebrally, genetically related to sixteen-year-old brother Justin's gang violence. C Ana believes it's all poppycock. Her nineteen-year-old niece Cheryl, however, hanging around the family's apartment in the projects to tutor Kite and shy eight-year-old sister Kandal, supports the teacher. Cheryl lost all three of her brothers to street violence and desperately seeks a solution. Justin attempts the difficult, dangerous road out of the gangs and along the path is startled by the realization that his mother thinks his extracurricular activities were the result of some brain malformation; Kandal continues getting As while learning nothing—a reward for being "well behaved"; and Kite, medicated, gets quieter, skinnier, sleepless and, while there is no academic improvement, the lesson he learns, or comes to believe, is that he is essentially bad and needs his pills to be good.
"…what makes [Corthron's] drama an occasion of great joy is the presence of a unique and powerful voice in the theater. Not since the emergence of August Wilson has there been a playwright who has created language in such a fever of fervent poetry…speaks with stunning dramatic urgency and emotional clarity." —Chicago Tribune.