Mental Health and Addictions Awareness play tackles cyber bullying
‘Here and There and Them and Us’ plays Thursday, April 27 at Garrick
On Thursday night, April 27, theatre goers will be treated to an original, local play — one that also deals with very important subject matter that can inform as well as entertain.
Again this year, Tip-A-Vista Wellness Foundation’s Mental Health and Addictions Awareness committee is presenting a play for the public.
“Here and There and Them and Us” is an play, written and directed by Tony Ryan, and performed by students of Discovery Collegiate. Carol Abbott is the assistant director, while Ken Butt is lending a hand and consulting with some acting advice as well.
The play is about the impact of cyber bullying, particularly on young people and their mental state.
Although he’s only in Grade 10, this is Ben Callahan’s fourth year acting in the school drama club.
Callahan plays one of “Them” in the play — a type of chorus, which represents the many negative impacts young people face today from peers and online.
In an interview with The Packet, Callahan talked about the importance of addressing powerful issues like bullying and suicide in plays such as “Here and There and Them and Us”.
“I don’t think it’s talked about a whole lot in society. It’s kind of a taboo thing, I guess. Nobody really wants to talk about it, but in a lot of places suicide and mental health issues seem to be on the rise,” he said.
“These people are speaking out about it more and we are trying to show our support for that.”
He says, when dealing with plays with these types of subject matter, you have to be aware it can be a sensitive topic for much of the audience, in addition to those actually involved in the play itself.
“I guess it’s hard to get into the character,” said Callahan. “You try not to offend anyone, but try to bring awareness to it.”
He hopes anyone who decides to attend the play is at least made more aware of men- tal health problems in society.
“Cyber bullying is everywhere,” said Callahan.
“(With) any type of social media, you’re going to see cyber bullying. Some people in the audience might not even be aware of what cyber bullying is.
QSo I’d like for them to know … the effects it has on people.”
“Here and There and Them and Us” is playing at The Garrick Theatre in Bonavista on Thursday, April 27, at 7:30 p.m. Cost of admission is a free-will offering.
A rehearsal for “Here and There and Them and Us” — a play presented by Discovery Collegiate and the Mental Health and Addictions Awareness committee.