Students Bring the Issue of Teen Violence to the Stage

By KBJR News 1

November 29, 2011 Updated Nov 29, 2011 at 7:22 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - Students at Woodland Hills Residential Treatment Center took not only a closer look at some of the most intense headlines...but explored different perspectives on those headlines.

And now, they're sharing their views with the whole community through a play.

"A lot of people don't want to admit that this kind of stuff happens in their community and in their neighborhoods...but it actually is," said 16 year old Jonathan.

From across the nation, headlines of teen violence have been compiled into a play, being put on by teens at Woodland Hills, who hope they can open others eyes.

"We dedicated a lot of time and a lot of effort into this and I think it's going to pay off in the long run," said Jonathan.

Back in September students whittled down 24 alarming violent headlines, and then came up with their own scripts, looking at how they feel people impacted by the acts of violence may have felt.

"The plays never explore the victims perspective or the perpetrators perspective but we look at that broader circle; how does the victim's mom feel, how does the sister of the perpetrator feel," said Angie Frank, teaching artist at Woodland Hills.

"Getting all the scripts and the parts of the scene together... it was a little bit harder than I thought because we had to come up with all the scripts and basically put some emotion in it to seem real," said 18 year old Kywan.

"For us to put these plays out there and put our time into it is a major accomplishment to all of us cause some of us thought we couldn't do it at first but we grew to know that we had it in us," 17 year old Mia.

Now with just hours before their play is opened to the public, the students are ready to get the show on the road.

"To see it come together, it's almost like you wanna show people because you are so excited that it finally came together and it is what it is," said 15 year old Linaya.

The play opens Wednesday night at the Teatro Zuccone.

Tickets to the play are free, and shows begin at 7 PM both Wednesday and Thursday night.