Author(s): Kenneth Lonergan
This is Our Youth, Kenneth Lonnergan's lacerating look at affluent young Manhattanites of the 1980s, was first produced by the New Group in New York in 1996 to great critical acclaim and a Drama Desk Award nomination for best new play. Set in 1982, the play depicts two days in the lives of three college-age Upper West Siders who are from wealthy families but are living in doped-up squalor. Dennis -- with a famous painter for a father and social activist mother -- is a small-time drug dealer and total mess. His hero-worshipping, indifferently adjusted friend Warren has just impulsively stolen $15,000 from his father, an abusive lingerie tycoon who is "not a criminal, just in business with criminals". When Jessica, a mixedup prep-school girl, shows up for a date, Warren pulls out a wad of bills and takes her off, awkwardly, for a night of New York seduction. How will Warren turn out -- will he follow Dennis into dissipation or discover a way out? A wildly funny, bittersweet, and ultimately quite moving story, This Is Our Youth is remarkable in its understanding of contemporary urban youth.