Gloucester County high school play centers on health care system

David Madden
November 29, 2019 - 4:00 am
Sign My Petition scene in the show '120 Second.'

Courtesy of Andrew Young

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WOOLWICH TOWNSHIP, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — It’s not often that high school acting students get to perform a work by one of their teachers. That will happen next month, though, at a Gloucester County school. 

The drama department at Kingsway Regional is presenting “120 Seconds,” written by drama teacher Andrew Young as an off-Broadway show in the ’90s. This is the second time his students will tell the tale of life and death in a trauma unit.

He admits it’s a peek into the health care system in this country, but he’s not looking to score political points here.

“The conflict in this show is how do you maintain your humanity in an inhumane environment, where people are forced to work long hours,” Young said. “They’re understaffed. On top of this, too, there’s people coming in seeking help. They want to be healed, and the resources just aren’t there. What do human beings do in that situation?”

It’s a challenge to put such a show on, but he’s confident his youthful cast can pull it off. One of them, senior Erin Highland, plays a schizophrenic homeless woman who’s convinced she’s got a brain tumor.

Her AP psychology teacher helped her to research the role.

“It’s obviously something that’s going to be upsetting to a lot of people,” Highland said. “But I think when you really look at it for what it’s made and what it’s written as, it doesn’t come off as trying to make a statement or trying to be political.”

Four shows are scheduled Dec. 5 through Dec. 7, nightly at 6:30 p.m. with a Saturday matinee performance at 2 p.m.