A simple act of kindness -- a starving girl shares a bit of cheese with a wounded soldier -- sparks a religious movement and a conflict of faiths in "Believers," a political satire by British playwright Ron Hutchinson.
This multimedia exploration of religious divisiveness and the need for religious beliefs, inspired by the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, will be presented by Playbox Theatre, one of Britain's most respected youth companies, today and Friday at the Santa Monica Playhouse. (Because it uses footage of the terrorist attacks, it is not recommended for children younger than 13.)
The play was born out of conversations between the Playbox's teenage members and Hutchinson, former playwright-in-residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company and an Emmy-winning screenwriter whose credits include "Traffic: The Miniseries."
"When you're a teen you sometimes ask deeper questions" than older generations do, Hutchinson said. "I realized that what they were really interested in was not just the specifics of fundamentalism but what it is that makes belief, what it is that makes people believe in a religious impulse."