The Cause – Character Breakdowns

Hey everyone, I’ve got a new post today where I wrote up breakdowns for each of the twenty (wow, really?!) named characters in my newest play “The Cause”. After the jump, I’ve got all of the characters listed with descriptions of everyone.  I had to put a jump in, cause it was pretty long. But give it a read, I’ll be leaving this up as a resource so people can check back and read a little background on their characters as they work on the show.

Mason Bell: The protagonist of the play, Mason is a 16 year old orphan after his mother’s death a few months before the start of the play. Mason is an incredibly clever and gifted kid, someone who has been at the top of his class for his entire life. His father, William Bell, came to be known as Billy the Butcher after he committed various atrocities, making him a notorious public figure. Mason’s father was a prize student of the school, and to this day is still one of the James School’s bigger success stories. Mason was raised by his mother to be nothing like his father, and it is because of her and her memory that Mason makes his stand against the staff of the school to try and save his fellow students. He is a very capable fighter, but he uses only non-violent forms of protest against the school.

The Headmaster: The Headmaster of the James School is a quiet and calculating man, someone who is meticulous and reserved. The Headmaster maintains his calm throughout the chaos, though his actions become increasingly cruel and malicious. He is determined to break Mason’s spirit, since the Headmaster thinks that failing to do so will embolden the rest of the students and he’ll lose his hold over them. After his punishments against Mason alone fail to stem the rebellion against his authority, the Headmaster starts to punish some of the other students in his place. This only galvanizes the rest of Mason’s classmates to join him, and drives a stark distinction between the two sides. The Headmaster follows a strict discipline and believes in order and rules above all else. The Headmaster answers a shadowy company that is hinted at throughout, a company that takes the graduates of the James School and puts them on the path to misdeeds and villainy.

Peter: Mason’s best friend at the school is a kind of nerdy, awkward kid who tells jokes to deal with dire situations. He is loyal to his friend and to the cause, and underneath his jokes lie one of the bravest souls in the entire school. Like Mason, he has a strong sense of doing what is right, even at great personal expense. Peter falls in love with Jo through the course of the play, and he serves a pivotal role in aligning the entire school against the Headmaster at the end of the show. Peter might not be as strong or as book smart as some of the others, but he is at his heart a bit of a con man and learns how to use his wits and charm to benefit Mason and the others.

Jo: Mason and Peter’s friend, Jo has been at the James School for two years already when Peter and Mason arrive at the school. Jo is cynical at times, and has her hopes beaten out of her by the James School already. Though she is only 16, she already has numerous skeletons in her closet and therefore keeps to herself until Peter pulls her out of her shell. Their friendship and eventual love inspires Jo to take a stand against the school again, and she becomes an important part of Mason’s group. Jo is an incredibly skilled fighter, second only to Alpha in terms of skill, but she hates violence and the thought of hurting anyone so she won’t fight someone unless pushed to it.

Mrs. Gray: The woman that is in direct charge of the student’s education is Mrs. Gray. She is a very stern woman, but also one of the most dangerous people on the planet. She is a brutal woman who answers to the Headmaster and is loyal to the cause. Gray is a lifelong believer in the Cause and is loyal to a fault to the shadowy organization that runs the school. Gray is malicious in her treatment of her students, believing that it is better to break the will of her charges to make them better soldiers. She is without morals, and will stop at nothing to achieve her goals.

Alpha: Alpha is a student, who has earned his place in the pecking order by rite of combat. The only way to become Alpha is to defeat the previous Alpha in battle, which earns you the title but also special privileges that are not available to any other student. The current Alpha is a very strong and tall 17 year old, who makes up for his lack of speed with incredible strength. Alpha rarely talks, and instead lets his fists make his statements for him.

Rose: Rose, Erin and Gwen are three new classmates who have been friends with each other pretty much their entire lives. Rose is an incredibly kind and caring person, a woman who puts her friends and their feelings above her own. Because of her kindness, Rose is targeted by Mrs. Gray and is pushed almost to the breaking point by her mistreatment. Rose joins with Mason’s group and finds her place as the team’s organizer, taking an active role in helping to keep track of the myriad of things going on within the group. Rose is quite sweet on Mason after a while, though Mason is completely oblivious.

Gwen: Gwen had always felt a little left out from her friends Rose and Erin. Gwen wasn’t as smart as they were, and didn’t have as good of grades and was therefore on the waiting list to get in to the James School while her two friends were accepted right away. Gwen resents Rose, like all friends do sometimes, and that resentment blossoms into rage as they two friends find themselves on opposite sides in Mason’s civil war. Gwen becomes more jaded by the conflict, and completely turns her back on her former friends and becomes involved with Cody Campbell. Gwen is a good person at heart, though she is too hurt to admit that it’s gone too far.

Erin: Erin is Rose and Gwen’s friend, and another classmate to Mason and the others. Erin wants to be a good person, but is sometimes easily led astray by her loyalty to her friends. Erin eventually learns to stand up for herself and make her own decisions, though she still stands by them and wants to help them no matter what they have been through together. Erin joins Mason’s group later, after sticking by Gwen’s side initially. Erin convinces Rose that there is still good in Gwen and that they cannot give up on her, something that might cost her very dearly.

Cody: Cody Campbell is a spoiled rich brat, and proud of it. His mother is another graduate of the school and one of the wealthiest CEO’s in the country. Cody becomes the Headmasters staunchest supporter, and becomes a perennial thorn in the side of Mason’s group. Like all spoiled bullies, Cody’s anger and douche behavior stem from a childhood where he was ignored by his mother and raised almost exclusively by his nanny. Cody uses his family’s wealth to buy his friends, paying Phil and Brian to be friends with him.

Phil: One of Cody’s “friends”, Phil is a larger kid who serves as a henchman to Cody and a soldier for the Headmaster. Phil is only looking to make money out of the whole thing, and couldn’t care less about the conflict going on around him.

Brian: The other of Cody’s “friends”, Brian is reluctant to keep going along with everything. His actual friendship with Phil is what keeps him in his place with Cody, even though it makes Brian miserable.

Vince: Vince is another of their classmates, he is an electronics whiz and is capable of assembling some incredibly complex electronic systems out of spare parts. This is Vince’s second year at the James School, and he is content to just stay below the radar and keep out of everyone else’s business. Vince eventually has to pick a side after being thrust into the middle of everything.

Lori: Lori is a year older than Mason’s class, but she and Jo have a history together after she stole Jo’s first boyfriend. Lori is girl that is not above using her beauty to get what she wants, and has become quite skilled at manipulating boys and men with her charm. She is also spoiled, and can be quite malicious in getting what she is after.

Mrs. O’Neil: The Doctor at the James School. Mrs. O’Neil never wanted to be a part of the Cause, but like so many of the students at the school now, she didn’t have a choice. She went to Medical School and became a doctor to try and help people, and returned to the James School as it’s resident medical staff in order to take care of the students and help them. One of the faculty members who takes a completely neutral position during the conflict, Mrs. O’Neil treats students from both sides equally.

Mrs. Storm: The Weapons and Munitions teacher. Storm used to be a soldier for the Cause alongside her husband, they were assassins who targeted political figures. After her husband was brutally murdered, Storm came to the James School to teach and avoid the violence and death that her life had been filled with until this point. Storm continues to teach Mason after he starts his revolution, and that causes a rift between Mrs. Storm and Mrs. Gray.

Tony: A tall and handsome kid, Tony is in the year ahead of Mason’s class at the school. Tony is often flirty with the girls in class, especially Jo which draws the jealousy of Peter. Tony joins up with Mason’s group and helps Mason recruit more of the upper classmen of the school to his group.

Thomas: A member of Mason’s group. Thomas is head-strong and quick tempered, which gets him in trouble when he encounters Cody and Alpha at the school dance in the beginning of Act 2.

The Fowlers: Mason’s legal guardians after his mother passed away. They are agents of the Cause, working for the Headmaster to get Mason to the James School.