When you live in the middle of nowhere, growing up gay is pretty much the worst thing you can be. The Hinterlands is an original musical web series about Paul, a 16-year old kid who lives in a rural area where there are few resources and little tolerance for LGBTQ kids, causing him to feel very isolated and terribly alone. Walking down the hallway at school every morning is like running a gauntlet; he is unable to avoid the insults, name-calling and physical confrontations that are launched at him, day after day, just because he’s gay. Paul begins to wonder if it’s worth it, as he doubts the bullying and suffering will ever end. He contemplates taking his own life, but comes to develop and nurture a sense of resiliency that will help him move forward in his life, despite aversion and obstacles.
Paul and his classmates have been assigned to make a mini-documentary about their lives. Through this construct, The Hinterlands allows Paul to tell his own story through a combination of iPhone self-documentation, web-cam confessions and traditional cinematography. The goal of The Hinterlands is to tell an authentic teen story from a teen perspective, so that kids can relate to the character and place themselves in the story, regardless of their own specific situation.
The Hinterlands was devised by the writing team of Michelle Elliott and Danny Larsen (Cloaked, The Yellow Wood) and was directed by Brandon Ivie (A Christmas Story, First Date). The web series stars a number of establish and up and coming Broadway stars including Connor Russell (Disney’s Aladdin world premiere) as Paul, Erin Dilly (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Nice Work If You Can Get It) as his mother, John Bolton (A Christmas Story, Curtains, Spamalot) as his father and Zoe Considine (A Christmas Story) as his sister, Janie. Playing Paul’s peers at school are Caitlin Kinnunen (The Bridges of Madison County, Spring Awakening, next to normal), Daniel Quadrino (Newsies, Bye Bye Birdie), Andrew Brewer (Off-Broadway’s Cougar, The Musical and Nymph Errant) and Brianne Wylie. David Andrew Anderson (Meet John Doe) plays Gus.
The Hinterlands premieres October 28, 2013 and will be available online for FREE for kids across the country, along with resources and information for kids, parents and teachers who are confronting bullying. Watch the trailer below: