Intensely mind-altering drug experiences may easily play the role of inspiration, but they don’t always lead to great art, or in this case, even a cohesive plotline. Drug Buddy works its way through a night of hanging out and getting high in Texas via the slowly returning memory of Wade (Matthew Stadelmann), a sixteen-year-old who – for the first time – takes ecstasy, has sex, falls in love, and confronts death. His drug dealing best friend Bodie (Jesse Hooker), who has an arguably stronger grip on reality the morning after, remembers enough to want to get the two of them out of Texas ASAP. Complications in the escape arise when Wendy (Carrie Shaltz), motivated by some incoherent combination of drugs, money, and love, gets romantically involved with Wade and between the two friends.
By no means is Drug Buddy an excellent play. It is, however, an amusing look at youth suburban drug culture and the repercussions of being young and bored in Texas. The cast does an interesting job with characters and situations one wouldn’t expect to see on-stage (including awkward ecstasy induced make-out scenes), and the set is accurately reminiscent of a disgracefully maintained college apartment. As an opener for the stageFARM, a brand new theatre company that aims to make theatre for a non-theatre audience, Drug Buddy successfully introduces a young, irreverent point of view. Only mildly critical (and not quite anti-drug), David Folwell’s script honestly discusses drug experimentation in the context of growing up, taking chances, facing fears, and living to tell about it. Unfortunately, most of the stories would have been better left untold.