Stage Partners playwright and funny man Ian McWethy dishes on his new play My Last Day of School and shares what he may or may not remember from his own last day of school.
It may have been because I had been looking forward to it for so long, dreaming of it all year, that the reality of my last day of high school ever was a bit of a let down. Or it may be that I was a relatively boring 18-year-old. I was a rule-follower in high school. Big time. Still am. I don't even cross the street until the "blinking silhouette of a man" tells me I can. Because that's THE RULE! You don't walk when the street sign says "Hand!" Come on! That's chaos! Wait for the blinking man to say it's okay! But, blinking lights aside, maybe I just wasn't the type of guy who would do something crazy on the last day. Now my brother on the other hand, he was not a rule follower. I believe he, the night before the last day of school, cemented a toilet onto the courtyard of the school. Maybe he should be writing this, that's pretty exciting. I think he also like peed in a bush. I don't know, I'll ask him. Maybe he would write a better post.
All I remember about my last day is that I cleaned out my locker, said goodbye to my favorite teachers, signed a couple of yearbooks...and randomly, I think...went ice skating with some friends. (In June? Really?)
So sorry. I don't have a great story. But, actually, I think that's because my story was just beginning. It's that moment I entered my adult life. I went to college where I met my wife. I met friends who have become lifelong supports--seeing my through some of the toughest times I've known. I learned A LOT. I did dumb stuff. I did SOME smart stuff. I grew up. And that last moment in high school? It makes a good play because it's a moment in time that... anything could happen. It's the end of one thing. The beginning of another thing. But on that last day... you're in no man's land. You really could do anything because you have nothing to lose. And that, to me, is pretty exciting. And when I think about where that moment has led me, I feel like even though I might not have known it then, it was pretty pivotal.
So whether you do something great on your last day of school, or you do nothing but then 15 years later your write about the great thing you could've done if you had more of chutzpah, the point is... it's a big deal. Take it in. It may be sad, or exhilarating, or kind of let down. You may do something crazy and unexpected like my brother or you may just stand back and observe it. But don't just shrug it off. Don't act like it doesn't matter. It does! You survived high school! Congrats! Take it in. Because it only happens once.
Sorry that end was sappy. I don't know how to end this. You know what, do whatever you want on the last day of school. Who am I to tell you. Just go outside for a little bit if the weather is nice. Right? Go outside! And hug your grandmother and thank your parents because you have probably given them a head ache or two in the last 4 years.
Also read my play! Ha ha!
This is me looking for a good personal "Last Day of School" story. To this day I am still looking for it.
Ian McWethy’s (Last Day of School, 15 Minutes of YouTube Fame, Every Novel You Read in High School (in 25 Minutes or Less), When Bad Things Happen to Good Actors) plays include Moral Values..., Actors are Stupid, Bad Auditions by Bad Actors, and 12 Incompetent Men (And Women!). Fifteen of his one-act plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc. and have been performed in all fifty states as well as Canada, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, England, Cambodia, Philippines, Azerbaijan, South Korea, Pakistan, the Marshall Islands, Qatar, Portugal, Brazil, Italy and Saudia Arabia. He's also written several screenplays, sitcom pilots, short films, and a webseries. He's happily married to Carrie McCrossen and splits his time between California and New York. Mr. McWethy is represented by Kersey Management and Bricken Entertainment.