Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver

Renfrew-Collingwood high school students create original play about addiction

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Green Thumb Theatre offers free community performance April 24 at Killarney high school

BY SHAWN MACDONALD

Green Thumb's Fix(ed), an interdisciplinary look at addictive behaviour

Grade 11 and 12 students known as the East Van Young Creators’ Collective have created Fix(ed), an interdisciplinary look at addictive behaviour. Image courtesy of Green Thumb Theatre

Since late September 2016, 10 students from schools in the South East Vancouver neighbourhood have been meeting weekly to create and rehearse an original play. Under the guidance of Green Thumb Theatre’s artistic associate Shawn Macdonald, the group of Grade 11 and 12 students known as the East Van Young Creators’ Collective have been pooling their diverse talents to create Fix(ed), an interdisciplinary look at addictive behaviour.

“It’s not just about addiction,” says Macdonald. “We wanted to explore those strategies and behaviours young people engage in in order not to feel certain things, or to avoid pain. It can be drugs or alcohol, but it can also be devices, or social media, or even just thought loops or negative ideas that we become identified with that drive our behaviour.”

The piece chronicles the lives of 10 high school students, each struggling with being stuck in a way of being that may not serve them.

Tamsyn Kushner , a Grade 12 student from Windermere Secondary, describes the process this way: “It started with us as a team deciding on what kind of main theme we’d work with. We decided on addiction because it’s general but it’s something that everyone has to deal with in some way. We decided it would be a character-driven story with intertwining plots and relationships.”

“This is a new model for our youth outreach here at Green Thumb,” adds Macdonald. “Not only are the students 100% responsible for creating the content of the show, but we want to engage more directly with our immediate community and neighbours.” Green Thumb Theatre’s “campus” is located next to Carleton School near Kingsway and Joyce.

Tamsyn Kushner recognizes the value of these kinds of projects. “For me, it was so cool to get the chance to work on an original play creation. I don’t have many opportunities for that. I was excited to use my artistic skills in a new way.”

The students hail from Windermere, David Thompson, Gladstone and Killarney secondary schools.

The play will be presented at each of the four participating schools during the day for students in Grades 11 and 12. It will also offer an evening performance for the community at Killarney on Monday, April 24 at 7 pm  – free of charge.

The play is created and performed by Vanessa Figueroa (David Thompson), Andy Diep and Nada Molemba (Gladstone), Hansel Rehberger (Killarney), and Christian Garcia, Maggen Rosario Falvo, Tamsyn Kushner, Aisha McCarnan, Sara Nguyen and Asia Pzyborowska (all from Windermere).

Shawn Macdonald is the artistic associate of Green Thumb Theatre.

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

 

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