‘The Outsiders’ comes to life as Brophy’s fall play


Abbey Alexander '19

Student takes a look at the Outsiders Script

Abbey Alexander, Arts and Entertainment Editor

We rarely think about how our favorite books came to be. What is the story behind the story itself? For author Susan Hinton, it was a matter of writing the life she knew. In 1964, Susan sat down and began to write, inspired by rival gangs at her school. Before she knew it, the Oklahoman 15 year old had created a story of trial and heartbreak, family and feuds, hope and desperation. She finished the book at the age of 16, a junior in high school. Finally, when she was 18, the story was published under the name of S.E Hinton (suggested by her publishers, who thought a male-sounding name would help sell more copies).

And “The Outsiders” was born.  

The story created by Hinton all those years ago lives on even today, in the hearts and hands of those who can relate to the story the best: teenagers themselves.

As a piece of required reading for many- if not most- middle schools in the country, “The Outsiders” is a book that many young adults can attribute to shaping their fondness of reading.

The story of 14 year old protagonist Ponyboy Curtis and the adventures of his greaser gang, along with their rivals, the soc’s, never seems to lose relevance, even 53 years later.

Year after year, students find themselves engulfed in the lives of the story’s characters, and for a moment, the reader knows what it’s like to be a greaser. A soc. A young kid, stumbling their way through life. Through rumbles and runaways, rivalries and adventures. And this fall, crowds will file into the Brophy black box to see the story come to life in all its nostalgic glory.

One may ask, why? Why choose “The Outsiders,” a story most read in middle school, for the annual Brophy Fall play?   

Director Maureen Watson explains that the choice was one with quite a bit of meaning behind it. “I like plays that have something relevant to say. Entertaining, yes, but with a message.  As an actor, I search out roles that make me go to places where I’m a little bit uncomfortable.  As a director, I think I just naturally do the same thing!  But I want to take audiences somewhere outside their comfort zone.

After a week of audition processes, the cast list was released on Oct. 2, 2017. Because the show naturally lacks female roles, the director made the decision to double cast for the female roles, a choice that benefitted all. This means that each female role was given to two actresses. One actress will portray the role on weekend one, and the other will portray the role on weekend two. “Because The Outsiders is a small Ensemble cast, I wanted to include as many Xavier women as possible.  There is really no way to add a female ensemble so instead I spoke with some of the girls and came up with the idea of double casting the three main girl roles. There’s just so many talented young actresses! It was my way of getting to direct more of them” explains Watson. 

Male roles, however, have been designated to one actor each.  Brophy Freshman Andrew Ray, who has been cast as Johnny Cade, says he’s found himself relating quite a bit with his role. “My character, Johnny, is against violence and will look for a way out of a fight at any time, which I admire about him. His wanting to duck out of fights has a lot to do with his inability to stand up for himself in a fight, but any excuse out of a fight is a good one, in my opinion“.  He also says that the story touches the lives of teenagers because of the message conveyed about social outcasts. “The fact that teenagers relate to the story of The Outsiders has a lot to do with how the Greasers are portrayed as outcasts of society. Lots of teenagers feel like they don’t fit in in a lot of places, much like the Greasers.”

The energy and passion being poured into the fall production by all that are involved comes from a place of true admiration for the story being told. If you want to see the famous “stay gold, Ponyboy” line come to life, make sure to come see the show, Nov. 17 and 18, and Dec. 1 and 2 at the Brophy black box theatre!