Get the post-show conversation going with these Discussion Questions for A Distinct Society.

  1. During the play Manon says, “My library, my rules.” and separately, Bruce says, “I don’t make the rules. I just enforce them.” Have you been in a situation before where your personal values were not in alignment with a society or organization’s rules or laws? How did you navigate the discord? 
  2. A Distinct Society brings up questions of loyalty, allegiance, and priority. Characters navigate the tension between their roles as citizens, employees, family members, and moral individuals. What and who do you think they should put first? What roles do you prioritize in your life? 
  3. Have you ever experienced being “othered” or discriminated against based on your identity, language, background, etc? How did you handle it?  
  4. The Green Lantern and Jane Austen serve as role models and motivational figures for Declan and Manon. What inspiration have you drawn from books or fictional characters?  
  5. Shirin is worried that she’ll be a disappointment to her father if she does not become a doctor like him. Have you ever been troubled by parental expectations, either real or perceived? How did you navigate those expectations while not losing sight of your own goals and priorities? 
  6. One of the ways Peyman demonstrates his love for his daughter is by sharing food and recipes with her. Are you someone who expresses love through cooking—or is there someone in your life who is? What’s a meaningful dish you’ve either made for or received from someone else? 
  7. Each of the characters in A Distinct Society encounter a moment where they are faced with a choice on how to act—and are tormented with anxiety over the consequences of that choice. What happens when we allow fear to influence our decisions? What are some strategies you use to set aside fear and make the right decisions? 
  8. A public library is meant to be a welcoming place for the entire community. What do you see as the value of these community gathering spaces? What are some memories you have of sharing space with your neighbors? 
  9. What do you think the future holds for each of these five characters?