Song Of Extinction

by  E. M. Lewis

Full Length Play, Drama  /  5m, 1f

Max, a musically gifted high school student, is falling off the edge of the world — and his biology teacher is the only one who's noticed. A play about the science of life and loss, the relationships between fathers and sons, Cambodian fields, Bolivian rainforests and redemption.

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Song Of Extinction

by  E. M. Lewis

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    5m, 1f
  • Duration

    Duration

    90 minutes
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    The Ted Schmitt Award
  • Audience

    Target Audience

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

Additional Info

Max Forrestal is going to fail Biology if he doesn't complete a 20-page paper on extinction by 2pm on Tuesday — but his mother, Lily, is dying of cancer, and school is the last thing on his mind. His father, Ellery, a biologist obsessed with saving a rare Bolivian insect, is incapable of dealing with his wife's impending death, or his son's distress. Max's biology teacher, Khim Phan, tries to figure out why Max is failing the class. Helping Max, however, pushes Khim into a magical journey of his own — from the Cambodian fields of his youth into the undiscovered country beyond.
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Accolades

  • WINNER! 2008 Ted Schmitt Award for the world premiere of an Outstanding New Play – Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle
    WINNER! 2009 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award — American Theater Critics Association

Reviews

REVIEWS

"Critic's Choice…artfully balances its theme of mortality between the intimate and the macroscopic…explores inner psychological states with remarkable eloquence and clarity…" - The Los Angeles Times, Read More

"The interplay of the three [views on extinction] in Lewis' smart and honest script is one small push away from collective transcendence" - Los Angeles Weekly, Read More

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre

Cautions

  • Caution Smoking Smoking

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $100 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Present Day
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Setting: Multiple locations in Portland, Oregon; office, hospital room, classroom, kitchen, golf course, bus stop, noodle shop, Bolivia.
  • Additional Features: No intermission, Play w/ Music
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

Casting

5m, 1f

KHIM PHAN (55) - Max’s biology teacher. Cambodian. He’s been in the US since 1979.
MAX FORRESTAL (15) - Son of Ellery and Lily. Sophomore in high school. Plays the viola and piano, and has some talent as a composer. Wears glasses and appears uncomfortable in his clothes.
ELLERY FORRESTAL (47) - A biologist. Wears glasses and appears uncomfortable in his clothes.
LILY FORRESTAL (45) - Ellery’s wife. Writes high school science textbooks. Has stomach cancer.
DR. JOSHUA DORSEY (28) - A doctor, just out of residency.
GILL MORRIS - CEO of a large corporation which owns (and plans to deforest) an area of the Bolivian jungle where Ellery Forrestal has worked for the last twelve years.

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Cast Attributes

  • Role(s) for Asian Actor(s)

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Authors

E. M. Lewis

EM Lewis is a playwright, librettist, and teacher of playwriting.  She was a finalist for the 2014 Shakespeare's Sister Fellowship, and received a 2012 Fellowship in Playwriting from the New Jersey State Council for the Arts, and the 2010‐2011 Hodder Fellowship at Princeton ...

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Song of Extinction was first produced by Moving Arts Theater Company at [Inside] the Ford in Los Angeles, CA in November 2008 under the direction of Heidi Helen Davis.

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