Sometime before the start of the play, Sonny has faced a big decision: Should he or should he not take Asthma medication which has been tested on animals?
He has decided to stop using his inhaler and taking his steroids risking both deterioration in his general condition and increasing the danger an Asthma attack may cause him (as we see in the play.)
What are his reasons for making this decision? (How do you think his relationships have influenced his decision? (i.e. Kelsey, Anita, his Dad, his Mum, some- one at Animal Kind.)Divide the class into pairs and ask each pair to choose one of the above characters who they think has influenced Sonny’s decision. Ask them to create a scene which demonstrates this.
Show and discuss which influences are the most significant.
Although he doesn’t admit it at the time, Sonny’s decision at the end of the play to take the medication again indicates he was re-assessing the situation in hospital. What factors do think influenced his change of mind? (Think about his conversations with his Mum, Anita and Raz and any other factors you think important.)
Ask a volunteer to represent Sonny. Ask the other students to form 2 lines facing each other with Sonny standing at one end. The students should be facing Sonny.
Tell the students they are going to be speaking the thoughts in Sonny’s head as he is deciding whether to re-take his medication.(It is almost a physical representation of his journey home from hospital.) He will probably have conflicting thoughts going though his mind. Ask each person in the line to think of a thought that might influence Sonny’s decision.
Ask Sonny to walk down the alley between the 2 lines of students. As he passes each student they should speak their line.
When Sonny has reached the end ask what he would do as a result of what he’s just heard. Discuss as a group what they think the most significant influences are.
Divide the class into pairs: Sonny and Kelsey
Scene: Sonny tells Kelsey about the decision he has made to re-take his Asthma drugs.
How does she react? How does he feel explaining it to her? (You may need to discuss what her attitude is like towards animal testing and whether he should take the drugs. You could try the scene in two ways:
- She is strongly against Sonny backing down and thinks he should continue his protest. Perhaps she isn’t very understanding about what he’s been through. Can Sonny persuade her?
- She is very supportive of Sonny’s decision but surprised by his change of mind. She wonders what’s changed?
Discuss what further you learn about Sonny’s decision.