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Hazelwood Jr. High - Full Length Play, Drama

Hazelwood Jr. High

Rob Urbinati

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Full Length Play, Drama


ISBN: 9780573697050

"In this fierce, disturbing lament for the death of childhood, the characters hardly change - but the audience does. Six junior high school kids remain, through terrible events, suspended in a moral vacuum. We, however, move from open laughter to unc…
: Acting Edition
: Large Print
: Stage Manager

Minimum Fee: $75 per performance


Full Length Play



90 minutes

Time Period - 1990s

Settings Of Play - Hazelwood Jr. High takes place in southern Indiana in 1992. The play consists of many short scenes in a variety of locations, and should move briskly from scene to scene.  The settings can be realistic or suggested. The play can be produced elaborately, as it was in The New Group premiere, or simply, as it has been done at various colleges.


No intermission

Unit Set/Multiple Settings

Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes


Intense Adult Themes, Strong Language




College Theatre / Student, Professional Theatre, Large Stage, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

At first, Hazelwood Jr. High is like any other middle school – cliques and crushes, dances and detention. But when a new girl unwittingly steps into a "love triangle," a revenge plot is hatched, and events spin out of control, escalating into a shocking and unimaginable climax. Based on a true story.


"In this fierce, disturbing lament for the death of childhood, the characters hardly change" - but the audience does. Six junior high school kids remain, through terrible events, suspended in a moral vacuum. We, however, move from open laughter to uncomfortable giggling to deep, dark silence. Though the play retains a deadpan documentary feel, withholding judgments and explanations until near the end, it is very much a dramatic artifice. Urbinati immerses us in the girls' world. He sweeps us into the warped logic by which a lunchroom tiff escalates into a dreadful crime, and this logic is stitched into dialogue where perspective and proportion are scarily absent. Urbinati creates a mental jungle in which vampires and cuddly toys, Pentecostal visions and Kmart are tangled together. Slowly, these juxtapositions lose their humor and become an angry, insistent protest at the failure of the adult world to provide these kids with a way through. This is deft and morally serious writing, never exploitative and ultimately full of pity. Everywhere, there is the kind of precision and care that such a subject demands. - New York Daily News

"Mr. Urbinati's script is based on court testimony and psychological and police reports. Even in the era of Jeffrey Dahlmer and Susan Smith, the story holds its own grotesquerie; you can see why Mr. Urbinati was hooked by it. It takes the absolutely ordinary subject of teenage rivalry and revenge pranks, gives it an exotic lesbian twist and then pushes it to the outer limits of sociopathic behavior. Mr. Elliott, Mr. Urbinati and the cast do nicely in conveying the solemn earnestness of young love and social warfare." - The New York Times

"Hazelwood Jr. High is a blistering piece of drama that's conceived and presented in cinematic terms. Its multiple scenes and locations flow into each other without a break, building a considerable I can't believe I'm watching this steam as Urbinati's story veers from puppydog lesbian romance toward brutal slaughter. The horror of it all is seriocomically underscored by the typical banalities of teen existence while songs by Mariah Carey and 1990's girl groups pulse through the air. If you go, better hang on tight -- it's a wicked midnight ride with the rising generation, and definitely not a show for the squeamish." - New Jersey Star Ledger

"Mr. Urbinati has written this in a combination of documentary and dramatic style, effectively capturing the banality, the provincialism and the simple mindedness of the girls and their cruelty. While he makes some gestures in the direction of psychological explanation, the overall effect -- undoubtedly intentional -- is the frightful ordinariness of these teenagers. Even as they stumble toward savagery, they play their boom boxes, eat at McDonald's, hang out at the mall and gossip about social life." - New York Law Journal


Top 10 Plays With Meaty Roles for Contemporary Young Actresses
by Courtney Kochuba
October 31, 2014

Hazelwood Jr. High was originally produced by The New Group (Scott Elliott, Artistic Director) in a "site-specific" production at I.S. 70 in New York City, February 20 - March 21, under the direction of Scott Elliott.




Ensemble cast, Non-Traditional casting, Features Teens


N/A (Not a musical)

SHANDA - a cute 12 year-old who wants to fit in
AMANDA - 14, a romantic tomboy
MELINDA - 15, pretty, with a swagger that hides her fears
HOPE - 15, easy-going, from a poor family
TONI - 15, insecure, from a well-to-do family
LAURIE - 16, troubled, with an evangelist mother

Rental Materials


N/A (Not a musical)


N/A (Not a musical)

Rob Urbinati

Rob Urbinati

Rob Urbinati was a Theatre Consultant for Home Box Office in New York City, and has directed over fifty plays at theatres, colleges and universities across the country. Mr. Urbinati’s first play as a writer, Hazelwood Jr. High, was directed by Scott Elliott for the New Group. A scene from the play is published in Smith & Kraus’s Best Stage Scenes 2000, and the play is published by Samuel French. ... view full profile

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Craig Bowley 2/13/2013 11:56 AM
I read the play and saw the original NYC production at the New Group. Powerful, unsettling and chilling. It will make a great film.

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