A Fort Osage High School alumnus is debuting a play he wrote exclusively for his old school.

Actor and playwright Mateo Moreno, FOHS class of 1996, said he was approached by Fort Osage theater teacher Jeannie Hutter during a trip to New York City she and some theater students made earlier this year. She asked him to write a play for their upcoming spring production.

“I asked him to write a play that incorporates more roles for girls and is revelant for students,” said Hutter.

A month later, Moreno wrote “Within Our Walls,” a blend of comedy and drama – with a hint of suspense – about a goth loner and judgmental popular school girls who confess their insecurities to one another after a storm forces them to be together at an all-girls school.

“It’s about kids who are different,” said Moreno about his play. “The point of the play is being accepting of people from all walks of life.”

Moreno said this is his fourth full-length play and that dialogue-heavy character studies are his specialty. “I try to make my work as honest and real as possible.”

He added that the premise of “Walls” just came to him one day.

“I think of ‘Walls’ as something like ‘Daria’ (a 1990s MTV network cartoon) meets ‘The Addams Family’. It’s filled with dark and wry humor, along with some dramatic moments.”

Hutter said her student performers enjoy “Walls” simply because it is modern.

“It’s actually a play for the entire family. It incorporates many pop culture references that people can relate to.”

Although Moreno will be unable to witness his creation being performed live in front of an audience since he resides in Brooklyn, in New York City, but he is “fully confident” that the play will be a success under Hutter’s direction. “It’s really an honor to have it featured at my old school.”

But why should people really attend, other than the comedic pop culture references?

“People should attend just because of the play’s message,” says Hutter.

“Within Our Walls” runs tonight, Friday and Saturday at the Fort Osage Performing Arts Center, 2101 N. Twyman Road in Independence. All shows begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for children and kids 5 and under are free. To purchase tickets, call the Fort Osage High School front office at 816-650-7063.


Elisabeth Hupp - Madaleine Lacy Goettling - Brittany Elizabeth Gorski - Janet Alex Diehl - Lenore Alexis McGowan - Marci Deziree Halla - Scarlett Halsey Shelley - Lisa Noelle Postlethwait - Miss P Kai Chapin - Mr. Kere Carter Behler - Phillip Erin Allen - Mother Wyatt Richmond - Father


Jeannie Hutter - Director Tommie Hutter - Technical Director Claire Benedict - Student Assistant Allie Culver - Logo Designer Jordan Byers, LeeAnna King - Stage Managers Matt Ashby - Lights Hailey Richmond, Tyler Divine - Sound Payton Sheckler - Hair Stagecraft Classes - Set Construction Kym Copridge - House Manager

STAGE CREW: Zack Hoyer, Chris Laffoon, Jackson Rexford, Justin Keeran

HOUSE CREW: Clarence Copridge, Kenidy Flowers, Amelia Justice, Amy King, Sydney Martin, Gary Stoneking