Close this search box.

well established and here for you

independently owned and operated since 1977

Review: This is Our Youth

by Rebecca M. Alvin

Playwright Kenneth Lonergan is best known these days for writing and directing the tragic film Manchester by the Sea (for which he won the Oscar for best original screenplay) and before that co-writing Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York. In the 1996 play This is Our Youth, Lonergan takes on decidedly less tragic circumstances with characters whose struggles are more commonplace and perhaps familiar to some. Yet these characters are no less authentic in their desire for acceptanace.

The play begins with Warren (John Evans Reese) barging in on his friend/drug dealer Dennis (Michael Goldsmith) with the unique problem of having stolen a bag of cash from his abusive father after being thrown out of the house for smoking too much pot. The two are young adults, college-age but not motivated enough to actually go to college, living in New York City in the Reagan Era. The banter between them reveals what we now call toxic masculinity that keeps Dennis from sharing any real emotion other than bursts of rage. Warren, more of a dreamer, hides the pain of self-loathing that comes from growing up in a household where anger, depression, and physical violence have been the norm. As children of wealthy parents, they are living proof of the adage “money can’t buy love.”

When it is revealed that Warren is interested in a friend of Dennis’ girlfriend, they hatch a  dual plot to get the two women to come over for a drug-fueled party and also to sell enough drugs to replace the money Warren has already used from the bag of cash he stole. But when the women arrive, the half-baked plots both unravel. Warren finds himself alone with Jessica (Ruby Wolf), the object of his affections, and can’t stop himself from spending more of the money to impress her.

Under the direction of Katherine M. Carter, John Evans Reese as Warren and Michael Godlsmith as Dennis are quite entertaining to watch as they navigate their new lives as adults just out of high school. As their dysfunctional bromance unfolds, the humor covers an unspoken desperation for love in both of these overprivileged underachievers.

Lonergan’s plot twists effectively raise the stakes at every turn, as we imagine the kids spending all of the cash at some point. Their lack of discipline, attempts at self-awareness, and decadent desires push them to making very bad decisions and the money in the bag always serves as the instigator of the problem. This is Our Youth is very much about a period in our lives when we are old enough to be on our own, but not really ready to be on our own. But it is also a play about the trappings of wealth and the ways in which money acts as an illusion motivating us to follow through on our worst instincts.

This is Our Youth is performed onstage at the Julie Harris Theater at WHAT, 2357 Route 6, Wellfleet, Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. through June 22. For tickets ($25 – $39/students $12)  and information, go to the box office, call 508.349.9428, or visit

Recent Posts

Sign up for our Newsletter

Scroll to Top

Sign up for our Newsletter

Graphic Artist

Ginger Mountain

Ginger Mountain (MS Communications Media, BA Fine Arts/Teaching Certification K-12) has been part of the graphic design team at Provincetown Magazine since 2008. Ginger has worked as a creative director, individual contractor, and freelance designer with clients representing many areas —business software, consumer products, professional services, entertainment, and network hardware to name just a few — providing creative layout and development of a wide range of print media content. Her clients ranged from small local businesses to large corporations and Fortune 500 companies, from New Hampshire to Georgia

Keep in touch

Fill in your details and I will get back to you in no time.

Phone: + 1 508-487-1000 ext 6
[email protected] 14 Center St. Provincetown MA, 02657