Teen angst — it happens to the best of us. Take a second to reflect upon those melodramatic years and recall the disaffected youth you most identified with: Were you the misunderstood artiste, the perpetually stoned slacker or perhaps the sad-sack scribe of seriously bad poetry?
Joey Price, writer and director of “Emo! The Musical,” takes a look at one of the newer stereotypes, or subcultures, to infiltrate the high school campus: emo kids.
Emo is defined in three parts: One, a genre of music; two, an overemotional mentality; and three, a trend of fashion that incorporates tight jeans, angular haircuts and a disarming amount of black eyeliner.
Technically, emo is really just another outlet for hormonally charged adolescents to express themselves and establish an identity amid the throngs of high school cliques.
“[Emo! The Musical] is just a lot of silly fun and over-the-top ridiculousness,” says Price, who swears he never went through an emo phase, but was very much a theater geek.
“I like comedy a lot — it’s kind of my forte as an actor and as a writer — and I just always thought that being emo was pretty ridiculous. They say write what you know, and I always knew that emo was ridiculous so I went with it,” he says.
Price’s musical satire, which runs through Aug. 30 at Boxcar Theatre, uses the subculture as a point of reference to lampoon the absurdity of teen angst while also speaking to the importance of staying true to one’s own identity.
The story line of “Emo! The Musical” centers on underdog Chaz who, much to the objection of his emo companions, falls for a cheerleader. Chaz grapples with changing himself to appeal to the girl of his dreams while his friends do their best to thwart his attempt at dating out of his league.
There’s also a doozy of a non sequitur; things get thrown for a loop when an asteroid starts making its way toward Earth and jeopardizes the fate of mankind.
The obvious question at hand: Is there really a relationship between asteroids and emo kids? Nope. Price’s reasoning for throwing in the absurd plot twist was to simply “raise the stakes.”
“There is this sense of what would happen if an asteroid was coming to Earth and it was up to the emo kids to save it,” he says. “Would they even save it? Does that go against what they believe in? They’re pretty apathetic about things like that and maybe they wouldn’t save it.”
IF YOU GO
Emo! The Musical
When: 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; closes Aug. 30
Where: Boxcar Theatre, 505 Natoma St., San Francisco
Tickets: $15 to $30