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Speech and Debate

a Play
by Stephen Karam

COMPANY : Theatre in the Square [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Theatre In The Square:Alley Stage [WEBSITE]
ID# 3346

SHOWING : April 05, 2009 - May 03, 2009



Three teenage misfits meet in cyberspace and form a speech and debate club in order to publicly address a school sex scandal. Teen angst and insecurities bubble up with hilarious results in on-line chat rooms, pod-casts and a musical version of The Crucible. This seasonís off-Broadway comedy hit proves to be a very different High School Musical. Contains profanity and adult situations. Not for all audiences.

Director Clint Thornton
Solomon Nick Arapoglou
Teacher/Reporter Katherine Leroy
Diwata Maria Sager
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production


Kudos to Theatre in the Square
by Dagbath Yallington
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I had the pleasure of checking out Speech and Debate at Theatre in the Square's Alley Stage and the folks in the Square have hit another one out of the park. Speech and Debate focuses on the story of three high school students linked together by a scandal. The three main actors were tremendous.

Maria Sager is outstanding as Diwata. Diwata is energetic, passionate and, let's be honest here folks, a whole lot of crazy. She's an aspiring actress with delusions of grandeur. It's frantic, high energy role and Ms. Sager is excellent. I don't know how she practically bounces off the wall for an hour and half six days a week without suffering from serious exhaustion. It's a tough role due to the complete and utter over-the-top nature of the character and Ms. Sager should be commended for her commitment to the essence of the character.

Jeremy Ledbetter positively chews the scenery as the out and proud Howie. Howie is the most confident in his skin of the characters in his show and Ledbetter goes all out giving a humorous take on Howie. Mr. Ledbetter is making his first professional performance and holds his own with his more experienced cast members. I expect big things in the future from him.

The most complex character in the show is Solomon played expertly by Nick Arapoglou. Solomon is a character of many internal conflicts which makes his character more difficult to play from a psychological perspective than Diwata who deals with her eccentricities with her bizarre behavior. Mr. Arapoglou really did a phenomenal job with the emotional gravitas of a complex character who is continuously questioning who he is. Young actors tend to get the physical aspect of playing a character before they can truly get inside the head of a character and it's amazing to see a relatively young actor (Mr. Arapoglou has been out of college for only two years now) grasp the mental aspect of a difficult character.

I was disappointed in the lack of a role for Katherine LeRoy. The relative newcomer to the Atlanta scene does a very good job with what limited material to work with and is definitely a performer to keep an eye on in the future.

I also want to extend gratitude to Theatre in the Square and Director Clint Thornton for bringing this play to the stage in Marietta. I have nothing against the classic plays and musicals and love them as much as anything, but to me this is an important show for families with teenagers. This show hits on so many controversial and taboo issues in family life that I think a lot of families can use this show to start a dialogue about many issues such as sex, sexuality, adult responsibility and the dangers of using technology to put yourself out there to people who might not be trustworthy. Kudos to all for a great night of theater and hopefully you will all check out Speech and Debate. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Worth the Trip
by GSpelvin
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I wouldn't really consider this a review. If Brad Rudy's able to see this show, he is much better equipped to do that, and will do a much more eloquent and thorough job of it. I'd just like to commend director Clint Thornton for casting it with such a dynamic group of young actors.

Chances are you haven't seen them before, at least not headlining a show. But I'm guessing that will soon change.

I certainly mean no disrespect to Katherine Nora LeRoy who has the least stage time, and who plays two supporting roles and plays them well. But it's the three younger actors who really drive this show - Jeremy Ledbetter, Nick Arapoglou and Maria Sager. Each of them gives an engaging, energetic and completely believeable performance, endowing their characters with more life than the sometimes-less-than-satisfying script would seem to allow.

The standout is Maria Sager. She is fearless. In a role that could become tedious in less capable hands, she is a cyclone of controlled manic energy that just left me slack-jawed. She is a force of nature, complemented by Nick and Jeremy's lower-keyed, but equally brave, performances.

The play feels about 20 minutes too long. Watching these gifted young actors at work, though, I didn't really mind. It was a pleasure and a privilege, and I think you'll feel the same way if you head up to Theatre in the Square's Alley Stage. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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