Are you one of those people who fondly remember the joys and camaraderie of high school and return for happy reunions with your friends from those days? Or are you someone who often felt like an outsider — maybe you were called a weirdo and hid out to avoid being ridiculed by others?
Quinn Shephard is the 22-year-old writer, director, producer and star of this hard-hitting coming-of-age drama set in a suburban high school. She knows a lot about those high school social hierarchies.
After spending six months in a psych ward, Abigail (Quinn Shephard) returns to high school and immediately becomes the target of scorn. Her classmates call her “Sybil” and exclude her from everything.
Melissa (Nadia Alexander) is a tough and sexy cheerleader with dyed red hair tips and a permanent scowl on her face. She has an entourage of girlfriends who play along with her need to be in charge and is dating the most popular guy in the class. That’s why they all are stunned when Jeremy (Chris Messina), the new drama teacher, chooses Abigail over Melissa to play the lead role in scenes from Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible.
The sparks fly as the teacher reveals that he failed as an actor but is convinced that his shy student has the potential to become a star. Suddenly Abigail finds herself caught in the crossfire between her classmates who reject her and her mentor who seems to adore her and could even become her lover.
Director Shephard makes the most of parallels between her high school drama and the emotional fireworks at the heart of Arthur Miller’s play. By the end of this mesmerizing film, we felt that the lead characters were all shell-shocked by the malevolence, gossip, power plays, social ostracism, competition for attention and friends, and sexual gamesmanship. We would not want to attend a reunion of this high school class!