More and more students are dealing with issues surrounding depression and anxiety. darklight by Lindsay Price helps start a relevant and meaningful dialogue and lets students know they are not alone in their struggle.
darklight examines depression and anxiety in teens. Characters fight their inner thoughts, search for their truths, and have surreal conversations with death. Some fail, some find hope.
This is a relevant and necessary issue to explore.
Director Karah Janssen and the skilled student group at Marie Murphy School in Wilmette, Illinois were able to tap into and share the strong social messages in darklight, while allowing themselves to be challenged by the themes and the material:
The middle school I teach in has many mature, skilled actors and this show gave them a challenge both in scene work and in ensemble work. We felt good about doing a show with a relevant, meaningful social message, not just doing fluffy “middle school” material. There was a bit of hand-wringing on the part of my administration — we had support from our counseling staff for cast members, if they needed it (they didn’t) and for the student audience, if they needed to talk afterwards. (There was one student who did.). It prompted fantastic, meaningful discussions in classes after the school saw the play, and got featured in two local papers. It’s a risk for my age level of students, but it was very worthwhile.
A few tips: Don’t skimp on the quality of lights/sound. It made a huge difference in overall quality. Also, be creative with set design. You can do anything you want, which is really rare.
Great job, Marie Murphy School!
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