The personal is political. In The Teacher’s Lounge or One Child Left Behind, Washington playwright Rebecca Gingrich-Jones examines one intense hour in the lives of three teachers at an urban charter school. Actress Rachel Manteuffel plays Carli, an idealistic first-year teacher negotiating the perils and pressures of a school, and an entire educational system, seemingly on the verge of collapse. Without an official support system in place for young educators, Carli leans heavily on two fellow teachers: the brash and ambitious Maria Fuentes (Allycia Atania) and rigid and authoritarian Jann’l Crawford (Lolita-Marie). When a student learns a secret about her personal life, Carli has one hour to make a choice that will decide multiple futures. Will she hold to her personal ethics, or will she sacrifice the future of one child to save her career?
The ascendance of Washington’s school chancellor Michelle Rhee has put the city’s education system on the national stage. Just this month, The Washington Post reported that our high schools are now graduating fewer than 50% of their students on time.* The children of our city and our nation are caught in the middle of a political storm. But what of the teacher’s themselves? Can they even be considered a united front? What part do individual cultures, prejudices and sexualities play? The Washington Rogues bring the debate over the future of our schools to the stage with a play as immediate as the morning paper but as universal as human jealousy and desire. The Teacher’s Lounge is the second production from the Rogues, producers of 2008’s Fringe hit Busted Jesus Comix.