Roanoke, Virginia – Every February, the Virginia Children’s Theater puts on a production that focuses on a specific problem that teenagers face in their daily lives. This year, the production sheds light on the suicide of teenagers.
VCT has been staging VCT4Teens for 12 years.
“Theater has a special way of touching everyone’s soul. So we believe that when we bring a complex theme to a play, it really touches differently and opens up conversations in a vulnerable way when people feel comfortable talking about those themes, ”said artistic director Brett Rodin.
The main role of Jennifer, who committed suicide, is a schoolgirl from Northside Asher Love. The play leads viewers through what happened in Jennifer’s life to bring her to this point.
“Jennifer is very depressed and quiet, and I do not belong to such, so it is very difficult to get into such thinking,” – said Love.
She hopes that her peers will be able to take something from this production, even something as small as a sparkling conversation.
“I really hope they see and understand that maybe they have friends who ask them for help,” Love said. “Or maybe they are trying to reach people themselves. And I hope that they will be able to see through this show that they are not alone and that they will be able to find people who need help, ”she said.
The performance will be followed by a discussion with local health officials to educate the audience and provide mental health resources.
“These are really difficult conversations that parents are not always comfortable having with their child, or children are not always comfortable asking their parents or talking to their counselor or other person. And that opens the conversation, ”Rodin said.
Opening Friday at 7 p.m. at the North Cross School Theater. Tickets are free, but donations are accepted. Find more show time here.
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