Steppenwolf's stage adaption of Monster by Walter Dean Myers tells the story of Steve Harmon, a 16-year-old African American male who is on trial for his alleged role in a robbery that resulted in murder. The audience (like the reader of the original novel) is left to decide for themselves what the truth is.
The power of the story really lies in Steve's coming of age exploration of who he is and who he wants to be after the prosecution refers to him as a "monster."
The book is told in the format of a screenplay, as Steve is a budding filmmaker. On stage, this meant the suggestion of a camera was used to add another lens through which Steve viewed himself and his world. In the post-performance conversation, one audience member even referred to the camera as an additional character in the story.
Not only did I develop a much deeper appreciation of Myers's story, I also experienced firsthand the power of time and conversation with peers to nudge further analysis.