by Gregory Crafts

"A Masterpiece" - L.A. Examiner Learn MoreGet the Script

You will be changed after seeing Friends Like These.”

Jessica Hughes

Critic, Proxart Magazine

Powerful performances and a relatable storyline make this a memorable, moving, and above all, must-see show.”

Erin Jackson

Critic, East Village San Diego Reader

The Show

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Format: Full Length
Genre: Drama/Tragedy
Run Time: 90-105 minutes
Cast: 3 Male, 2 Female

In this honest and poignant look at adolescence, Garret, an outsider, navigates the tumultuous halls of his school with his best friend Diz, a self-proclaimed freak. They escape the day-to-day tortures of high school in a game-world called Haven, where they slay monsters and save maidens. When Garret catches the attention of Nicole, a popular cheerleader with an honest heart, it upsets the status quo. Jealousy and betrayal force Garret to confront past mistakes and question who his real friends are. This gut-wrenching new play unswervingly explores the tragic consequences of bullying that have left us staggering as a nation time and time again.

The level of emotional intelligence, language and teen experientiality of the material is spot on, thus, and relevant as all hell.”

Tracey Paleo

Critic, Gia on the Move

Dramatis Personae

Garrett

The Geek, 17

Garrett is an outsider with a secret. Constantly tortured in school and relegated to the social fringe, he just tries to get through each day as best as possible. The only bright spots in his life are his two friends, Bryan and Diz, and the place they all share: a wondrous game world called Haven. All of this changes, however, when he’s noticed by the most popular cheerleader in school. Suddenly, things start to look up! He’s in love, finding confidence and enjoying his daily life for the first time… until the past comes back to haunt him. Harassed by Nicole’s angry ex-boyfriend, and forced to deal with his best friend Diz’s jealousy and suspicion, Garrett’s life will never be the same.

Diz

The Freak, 15

Clad in an oversized hoodie, baggy jeans and a moniker borrowed from her favorite Tiny Toon, Danielle Watts may as well be just one of the guys. Garrett’s best friend and confidant, she secretly harbors a fierce crush on him but doesn’t know how to express it. When Garrett starts dating Nicole, Diz’s jealousy threatens to get the better of her, and drive her to unspeakable lengths to win him back.

Bryan

The Social Butterfly, 16

Bryan is a dichotomy. Part Super Jock, part Über Geek. He splits his weekends between wrestling practice with Jesse and going to Haven with Garrett and Diz. Genuine and good-natured, he manages to walk a fine line and fit in with even the most extreme social categories. When things start to change, however, he’s forced to pick a side. Little does he know, that decision will affect his life forever.

Nicole

The Cheerleader, 16

With wisdom and maturity well beyond her years, Nicole is far from your typical cheerleader. She dumps Jesse after discovering him cheating on her. From there, she meets Garrett and is immediately smitten by his sincerity and charming awkwardness. She delves deeper and deeper into Garrett’s world, thrilling him, but also inciting an aggressive Jesse and jealous Diz to act against her.

Jesse

The Jock, 17

Alpha male through-and-through, Jesse is a typical swaggering high school jock. His life is turned upside down, however, when his girlfriend Nicole discovers him having sex with her best friend. Furthering his disgrace, Nicole starts dating Garrett, the biggest geek in the school and Jesse’s usual target for abuse. Fueled by rage and humiliation, Jesse will stop at nothing to take back what he sees as rightfully his.

…a play less about high-school or petty romance, but about identity and the darkness that often fuels it.”

Josh Morrison

Critic, Fine Arts L.A.

The Playwright

Gregory Crafts

Gregory Crafts

Playwright

Gregory Crafts is a multi-hyphenate creative artist residing in the Arts District of North Hollywood, California with his beloved wife, Jenn, and their two cats. Besides writing, his interests include acting, directing, going to the theatre, reading, playing video games, designing web sites, participating in 5k mud runs, reading comic books and practicing martial arts. He is a founding member of Theatre Unleashed and is proud to serve as its Managing Director. He is also a card-carrying member of SAG-AFTRA, Actors’ Equity, the Dramatists Guild, a founding member of the Theatrical Producers League of Los Angeles, a member of the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights, and an Ovation Voter. He likes to spend what little free time he has playing Dungeons & Dragons with his friends or watching the UFC. A proud graduate of Emerson College, Greg also nurses an unhealthy obsession with the Boston Red Sox. gregorycrafts.com.

Crafts eloquently captures the petty jealousies, pointless cruelties, and heightened self-consciousness of painful adolescence.”

Marc Miller

Critic, Backstage

Production History

Staged Reading - Write Act Repertory

The first public staged reading of Friends Like These took place here on June 11th, 2007.

Directed by Phillip Kelly, it featured Sean Fitzgerald as Garrett, Jim Martyka as Bryan, Jennifer Knighton as Diz, Susannah Myrvold as Nicole and Joe McClean as Jesse.

World Premiere & Re-Mount - The Sherry Theater

Friends Like These first opened here on September 11th, 2009. The show enjoyed a sold-out run for a month and a half, then returned for a re-mount in January 2010.

2010 Hollywood Fringe Festival - The Ruby Theatre @ The Complex

In June 2010, Friends Like These ran for four critically-acclaimed performances in The Ruby Theatre at The Complex as a part of the inaugural Hollywood Fringe Festival.

2010 New York Int'l Fringe Festival - The Cherry Pit

Theatre Unleashed made its East Coast debut when they brought their critically-acclaimed original show, Friends Like These to the 2010 New York International Fringe Festival. It was one of the last shows ever mounted in The Cherry Pit.

The SET Group @ The SCV Space

In January 2011, The Southwest Entertainment Group became the first company besides Theatre Unleashed to produce a run of Friends Like These.

Cal State Fullerton @ The Joseph Clayes III Performing Arts Center

In December 2013, Cal State Fullerton students Scott Sharma and Cailin Luneburg co-produced a special two-performance run of Friends Like These. This marks the first time Friends Like These was performed in the round.

2014 Hollywood Fringe Festival @ The Elephant Space

Theatre Unleashed brought Friends Like These back to the Hollywood Fringe Festival in June 2014 at The Elephant Stage. http://hff14.org/1594

2014 San Diego International Fringe Festival @ Bread & Salt

Theatre Unleashed brought Friends Like These to San Diego in July 2014 as a part of the second annual San Diego International Fringe Festival.

2014 ENECORE! Series @ Theatre Asylum

The 2014 Fringe Tour of Friends Like These was one of the winning productions of The ENCORE! Producers Award, and enjoyed a special two-performance run at Theatre Asylum on July 18th & 19th.

2016 Reuion Reading @ The Belfry Stage

On July 24th, 2016, members of the 2014 Fringe tour cast reunited for a special reading of the Stage Rights Acting Edition of Friends Like These at Theatre Unleashed.

…a shrewd study of modern adolescence.”

Ben Trawick Smith

Critic, NYTheatre.com

Build Your Own LARPing Props

Crafts does a good job of capturing the nightmare of daily abuse… and offers sympathetic insight into those unpopular teens who are pushed to a murderous breaking point.”

Pauline Adamek

Critic, Stage Raw

Giving Back

Greg is proud to pledge a portion of all royalties and revenues from book sales and licensed productions of Friends Like These to Rachel’s Challenge, a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring, equipping and empowering every person to create a permanent positive culture change in their school, business and community by starting a chain reaction of kindness and compassion.

Rachel Scott was a remarkable young woman who was known for reaching out to students at her school that were new, lonely or picked on. She was also, tragically, the first victim of the Columbine High School Massacre. Inspired by her writings, her family began Rachel’s Challenge to honor her memory and tackle the issues of bullying and teen sucicde head-on.

…an insightful play. I will be thinking and talking about this show for a long time.”

Shari Barrett

Critic, Broadway World Los Angeles

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