Thursday, 13 June 2013

The Elephant in the Room

Just heard that CWYT, Co. Wexford Youth Theatre, is to receive a Young Ensembles Award from the Arts Council for the fourth time. The project is pretty wonderful and necessary and provoking and a force for good/ change/ a wake up call and I am fortunate enough - and excited to be - the playwright they've invited to devise and create the script.

The subject, chosen by the young actors in the company, is one they feel needs to be addressed and urgently, that of teen suicide. Working title is The Elephant in the Room. The statistics are scary; the truth behind each death is scarier still. The young people in this company (aged 13-16) know there has to be a way to convince their peers that suicide and self harm is NOT the solution.

That things can get better.

That there are other options.

Options that leave you alive to enjoy your future.

The ideas are flooding out. Lines are coming from out of the blue; powerful scenarios and theatrical distillations, characters and voices that want to be heard.

This is the chance to create a powerful, memorable piece of theatre that really has something to say and, though it sounds corny, I have been gifted a chance to try to make a difference.