You are about to take the writing portion of the SAT. Only a number two pencil may be used. You may not use any electronic devices during the test. Keep in mind that your score will label you for the rest of your life, and it will be used to discern what kind of person you are mentally and socially. How can this be? In FringeNext’s You Will Have 25 Minutes To Complete This Essay, the social status and minds of ten young teenagers is held at the mercy of one big fat test score.
It’s all of the high school stereotypes brought together on one stage…or is it? There’s the girl who sleeps around, the girl every guy would kill for just one night of romance, but it seems she is a bit smarter than meets the eye. Or, at least according to the SAT. She received a perfect 2400, whereas the “nerd” received a much lower score. The high school scene is a tricky one. While some work to eradicate stereotypes, others insist that they keep the “social order” in the school and are therefore of vital importance. Then there is the SAT, which attempts to put a label on brainpower by putting knowledge on a scale of 0-2400.
It’s about finding the courage to speak out against the injustice of these systems. Each student relives their memories of heartbreak, happiness, or hilarity while searching for new answers. Answers that don’t fit on a page or contain the options, A, B, C, D, and E. Some speak loud and proud against the system that bounds them to a number, while others aren’t so sure. But when they come together and finally disregard the rules of popularity, it’s a whole new game.
You Will Have 25 Minutes was written, directed, and produced entirely by high school students. While at times it became a bit slow and difficult to understand, it was definitely a powerful representation of the voice every teen wants the world to hear, the voice the world seems to try to silence. Upcoming performances run Friday June 1st at 7:30pm, and Saturday, June 2nd at 9:00pm in SCPA’s black box theater.
Review by Matthew Ruehlman