ESL by Tom Smith

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About The Play

Drama.  45-55 minutes.  2 males, 2 females.  Suitable for high school and older actors, and middle school or older audiences. 

Originally workshopped at Mayfield High School.  Received its world premiere as part of Creede Repertory Theatre's Outreach program.

Printed Script:  $6.95 (contains special author commentary)Digital Perusal Script: $6.50.   Performance Royalties: $40.00/performance.  Production Photocopy License:  $22.50 (PDF file that may be printed/copied for your cast/crew; must be purchased in conjunction with Performance Royalties)Classroom Photocopy License:  $50.00 (PDF file that may be printed/copied for closed classroom study only).  Limited Video License:  $45.00 (permission to record your production with limited distribution; must be purchased in conjunction with Performance Royalties).  Professional rights should be negotiated directly with YouthPLAYS at  Need detailed help?  Click on Place an Order and then look for the blue What Do I Order? button!


Trey has been doing poorly in his Spanish class, so his father has hired Ofelia to be his tutor. Ofelia's cousin, Jesús, has come from Juarez, Mexico, to live with her family. Although he understands some English, Jesús refuses to speak any. Throughout the course of many weeks, Trey slowly finds himself becoming attracted to Ofelia, despite his recent and rocky relationship with his girlfriend, Jackie. But when Trey confronts Ofelia about her cousin's lack of English, they must grapple with the issues of multiculturalism, Americanism, and language. And when a hate crime is committed against Jesús at school, everyone must examine their own feelings of racism in this bilingual drama.

Read An Excerpt


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Did You Know?

Paul Lewis (Alley Dog) spent the happiest hours of his childhood in front of the stereo, conducting Broadway musicals with a wand which he stole from his brother's magic set.