Show Bad Influence in schools - Ellington believes play can curb teen pregnancy

February 05, 2016
Contributed Luke Ellington

Playwright Luke Ellington is lobbying hard to get his latest play, 'Bad Influence', to be shown in inner-city schools so that at-risk youth can make better choices and avoid the pitfalls of teenage pregnancy.

"I believe that teens who are going to school need to see this play. Parents and teachers need to see this play to understand how peer pressure and influence can wreck a child's future. Just a wrong choice at the wrong time, and a child's life is changed forever. I want to get this play seen in schools to help at-risk kids make better choices," Ellington said.

Ellington added that there are nuggets of morality that will unfold in the play's plot that are critical life lessons for teens whose hormones are in overdrive.

The play premieres at the Crown Playhouse on Ash Wednesday.

Bad Influence is set in an inner-city community in Sighta's yard, where he lives with his son, Makka; and his tenants Rose, Busta and their daughter, Petal.

The cultural and psychological dynamics of 'tenement yard life' are at play as a central theme of the play is that Sighta once had a thing with Rose, and evidently wants to get back with her.

Busta suspects that his daughter, Petal, is romantically involved with Makka, but he is trying to protect his daughter, who he wants to complete school and pursue law. Busta, however, is a bit of hypocrite because he is not above flirting with Spice, his daughter's saucy high-school friend.

Spice is a bit of a 'bad influence' and teaches Petal the fundamentals of the sexual act. Eventually, Petal experiments with sex and becomes pregnant, shattering her parents' dream.

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