Synopsis

Edit:Undo is a musical comedy about life and love in the digital age. To have fun, connect with friends, and to cope with the stress and anxieties of school, today’s teenagers use new technology they find essential — cell phones, IM buddy lists, text messages, and videogames. These devices make their life manageable—but, sometimes, they can get in the way of real life.

Edit:Undo tells the story of Rory Conway, a hardworking senior at Wiley High whose constant successes cause her to run afoul of a nefarious School Board and embroil her in a fight for her school between teenagers and adults.

Act One begins with Rory winning a crucial football game, the press from which enables the school to win a grant to become the ultra-high-tech “Wi-Hi”. This gift poses a threat against two School Board members, whose businesses (Abacus Pencil and Suburban Sprawl Realtors) will make huge profits if Wiley maintains its reputation as a “loser school.” They persuade other Board members that technology leads to bad student behavior and must be stopped.

One of the School Board members arranges for her son to enroll in Wi-Hi. He simultaneously flirts with Rory and plays technology-related tricks on her, giving the School Board grounds to suspend her and block the technology grant. Maxwell, an aspiring videogame designer with a crush on Rory, rises to her defense. When he hears the (false) rumor that the P.T.A. is behind the School Board crackdown, Maxwell leads the teenagers in a strike, withholding their knowledge of technology from all the adults in Wileytown.

Act Two begins with the older generation wrestling in despair with their modern technology without any help from the teenagers. Suspended from school, rejected by colleges, and at odds with her friends, Rory feels completely lost. However, she soon gets some guidance from the school’s observant lady janitor, who attended Wiley thirty years ago with the School Board members. She reveals that the Board’s bitterness and her own loveless life are the consequences of a disastrous game of Pong played during their senior year. The boys were so enchanted by that first arcade video game that they used it to choose their prom dates, with disastrous consequences. The might-have-beens that still haunt the janitor and the Board members are now imperiling Rory and her classmates.

The only way Rory can save Wiley High, stop the School Board, and bring the kids and adults back together across the technology gap is to “edit: undo” the results of the long-ago Pong game. She hatches a plan: If a long-ago game could tear apart the two generations, a replay of the same game could be used to bring adults and students back together. To settle the strike, Rory urges the two sides to play three old games, three new games, and a secret seventh game: Pong. When the School Board members are confronted with the bad memory of the Pong game, they back down, and the tangled web of the past is unwound.

In the end, the adults find the loves they thought they’d lost, the school gets the grant, and both adults and students learn the difference between people’s virtual and real lives. As Rory says, “People aren’t pixels!” The story closes with graduation. Rory and the other students of Wi-High head off to a future of limitless possibilities, ready and eager to “edit undo” anything in the world that might need fixing.


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