Penn State Centre Stage's 'Polaroid Stories' tackles homeless youth crisis

September 13, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Playwright Naomi Iizuka's "Polaroid Stories," set to run Sept. 18-22 at the Penn State Downtown Theatre, challenges the audience with a series of vignettes and loosely connected visceral subplots about homeless youth. Inspired by Ovid's "Metamorphoses," the play uses Greek mythology to reveal the violence, addiction, relationships, and poor choices of its characters.

Iizuka weaves together two worlds that on the surface seem very different, but upon closer examination, the audience should see the common difficulty of surviving against forces that are perhaps too powerful to overcome without help.

In preparing for rehearsals, Director Erik Raymond Johnson found the statistics about homeless youth to be incredibly alarming.

"As a father and as an educator, the thought of what young people are doing to survive today scares me," Johnson said. "What scares me even more is the fact that I really didn’t know. Plays like 'Polaroid Stories' do not always offer us a solution. We are seemingly left with no hope. Perhaps the hope has to come from us."

"Polaroid Stories" is part of the Penn State Centre Stage Off-Centre season. All shows are general admission and tickets are $8.50.

Tickets are available at the Penn State Downtown Ticket Center, Eisenhower Box Office, Bryce Jordan Center, or by calling 814-863-0255 or 1-800-ARTS-TIX. For more information, visit

Last Updated September 13, 2018