On Thursday and Friday, May 13 and 14, The Franklin School of Innovation Middle School Drama Club will present RED TEE, a play about gender identity written by Lindsay Price and licensed by Theatrefolk Ltd. The masked, outdoor performance will be the group’s first production in-person since December of 2019. Tickets are $5 and include a talk-back session with the cast and crew, led by guidance counselor Bryan Wilson and in partnership with the school’s Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA). “We hope this will give us a chance to create awareness of gender identity in our local school and Asheville community,” says Chris Martin, middle school theatre teacher and director of the production. “We feel that students can relate to the characters and the message of the show, which is about self-expression and self-identity despite stereotypes.”
The students are, naturally, excited to perform together in person. “I’m happy to do this show in person because I miss my friends and my castmates,” says seventh grader Jade Smith. “This is a bonding experience for me and my friends.” They also recognize the importance and relevance of the play’s topic. “I like how I’m learning all about gender identity and all the ways to understand it better and see what they think and how they feel,” says fifth grader Aishlinn Wright.
Performances take place at 6 p.m. on the back field of the school campus, at 21 Innovation Drive in Asheville.