Teddy Ferrara – by Claire Tierney

March 5, 2013 in Blog by Cindy-Bandle-Young-Critics

Christopher Shinn’s Teddy Ferrara, taking place at a large public university in the Midwest, focuses around the life of the handsome, bright Gabe (Liam Benzvi). It’s the beginning of his senior year, he’s the head of an LGBTQ club, and he just started dating a seemingly great new guy, Drew (Adam Poss). Gabe and his best friend Tim (Josh Salt) are hoping for a fun and easy final year. However, Gabe’s gets thrown into a world of chaos and confusion when a sudden tragedy occurs on campus. This story is based off of the Tyler Clementi case, who was a subject to extreme bullying for of his sexuality.

Teddy Ferrara, an out freshman, commits suicide after an intimate video of him and another man is posted on the internet by his roommate. However, we never really find out if this is the main reason. The school president throws Gabe into the mix of this because of his few awkward conversations with the curious boy. Considering this is the second suicide of a gay student at the school, the president is determined to get inside students minds and find a solution to this problem. Gabe is convinced that we can never truly know what was in Teddy’s heart and the school cannot blame themselves for this tragedy.

Though the play is called Teddy Ferrara, we never really see his character develop, and he has a very minor role in the show. He has a few stage moments; one in particular was when the audience discovered that Teddy was running an online video cam sex site. He talks about and displays very intimate details right before your eyes. When he commits suicide, you are left with many questions. I think that was the playwright’s intent, because when it comes to suicide, there are always many questions. He is a symbol of bullying, and another innocent victim to its fatal destiny.

This is definitely not a family friendly show, very intimate and private details of each characters lives are portrayed right before your eyes. They were not shy to share every last raunchy specific. You get to know every character on a personal basis; each one of them has a story. It is interesting to watch them intertwine and eventually all come together like a giant puzzle.

The moral of the story exposed on stage really shows that in the society we live in, everyone has something to hide. Everyone has a private life they would like to keep private, but some are better at hiding it than others. This is a very real story, no sugar coating, just the cold hard truth.