In 2017, the Boy Scouts of America announced that it would begin accepting girls into its ranks. One of the strongest opponents to this decision was the Girl Scouts of America, who asserted: “The need for female leadership has never been clearer or more urgent than it is today--and only Girl Scouts has the expertise to give girls and young women the tools they need for success.
A Scout’s Guidebook to Life As We Know It unfolds over two interspersed timelines. In 2015, three boy scouts and their fathers grapple with what it means to be a man in the wake of the organization’s recent decision to allow gay scout leaders. In 2017, three girl scouts and their mothers consider what it means to be a woman following the Boy Scout’s decision to include girls and Donald Trump’s recent election as President of the United States. The play asks how we form gender identities, both individually and as a society? What organizations and larger structures shape our understanding of nationality, sexuality, and gender norms? How do we find and stay true to ourselves in a world eager to sort us into groups? How do these groups provide community and how do they limit us? What does it mean to “come of age” in today’s world?
The same five actors play roles in both timelines, so each will portray both a "male" and a "female" character. As these characters discuss what it means to be male/female, different casting permutations allow the actors and audience to challenge their own preconceived notions of gender and how deeply sewn they are into the fabric of our society.