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Aftershock - Full Length Play, Drama


Joe Calarco

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Full Length Play, Drama

2m, 7f

ISBN: 9780573704628

From the collection Signature in the Schools Vol. I. Signature in the Schools uses theater to open the minds and broaden the viewpoints of local teens while engaging them in a positive creative experience.

More Information Below:

Description | Characters | Media | Author | Reviews
: Signature in Schools Volume I (Acting Edition)
: Large Print
: Stage Manager

Minimum Fee: $45 per performance


Full Length Play


Theatre for Young Audiences

60 minutes (1 hour)

Time Period - Contemporary, Present Day, New Millennium/21st Century, 1940s / WWII

Settings Of Play -

Belgium, 1945: A small country kitchen, Ruth's Bedroom
New Orleans, 2005: The Superdome, a rooftop in the Lower 9th Ward
The rainforest of the Congo
Ruthie's bedroom


No intermission

Unit Set/Multiple Settings, Bare Stage/Simple Set

Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes, Period Costumes


No Special Cautions


Appropriate for all audiences, Adult, Teen (Age 14 - 18)


Jr High/Primary, High School/Secondary, College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Reader's Theatre, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups, Youth/Camp Programs

While preparing for a class paper about the aftermath of political tragedies, stories of survival come alive before contemporary high school student Ruth. In the aftermath of Katrina, two young people struggle to survive in the face of extreme disaster. In 1945 Belgium, an adolescent Jewish girl struggles to maintain her identity and dignity. And, in the Congo, a girl faces situations that stretch beyond the devastating and into the unspeakable. Each of these stories interconnect in ways that remind Ruth (and the audience) of the incredible suffering mankind has endured and persisted through. 

Aftershock was commissioned and produced in 2009 by Tony Award winning Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia for their flagship, award winning, education program, Signture in the Schools.



2m, 7f


Role(s) for Black Actor(s), Features Teens

Q - Female (could be male) 17yo. A slam poet. 
RUTHIE - Female. 17yo. American. Jewish. Inquisitive. Smart. Sensitive. Angry.
AYANA - Female. 19yo. African American. Passionate.
RUTH - Female  14yo. Jewish girl during the Holocaust. Haunted. 
MAKEMBA - Female 16yo. From the Democratic Republic of Congo. Smart. Protective.
NEGIE - Female 14yo. From the Democractic Republic of Congo. Playful. Resourceful.
SARAH - Female 14yo. A hidden child of the Holocaust in Belgium. Effervescent. 
PATRICK - Male. 18yo. Smart. Goes where the wind takes him.
TIMOTHY - Male. 20yo. American. Jewish. Works for the Red Cross. Compassionate.
FATHER TIMOTHY - Male. 30yo. A Catholic priest in Belgium post WWII. Played by the same actor who plays Timothy. Caring.

  • AftershockTrailer

Joe Calarco

Joe Calarco

Joe Calarco's published work includes in the absence of spring (inaugural production of Second Stage’s New Plays Uptown series, included in The Best Stage Scenes of 2004), Shakespeare’s R&J (Lucille Lortel Award), Walter Cronkite is Dead, and his short plays, Just A Little Sniffle and Parting Gifts. Other adaptations include A Midsummer Nights Dream (The Shakespeare Theater Company), and Antigone ... view full profile

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