Bossier Parish high school play confronts bullying, teen suicide
Bossier’s Talented Arts Program will present a one-act play this week about the stresses that teenagers face in high school. The play “The Way It Is” explores issues like bullying and teenage suicide.
Benton High School junior Morgann Hutchinson plays a character who copes with helicopter parents. They’re overbearing and push her to the brink.
“This one hits home for me, and it’s probably one of my favorite high school productions," Hutchison said. "I really don’t ever get to act with real passion and emotion behind it where I can actually connect with my character.”
The cast includes a blonde-haired character, played by freshman Ellie Schott. She feels stereotyped.
“I really connect with my character because she’s known as the dumb blonde, and she’s actually really smart but no one believes her. Since I’m blonde, people judge me like that,” Schott said.
The Talented Theater Teacher in Bossier Parish Schools, Shannon Shea, said the students are taking the production very seriously because they can relate to the subject matter.
"The kids have done research on teenage suicide, teenage bullying related to suicide, and the importance of breaking these walls between each other and opening up and being friends and not being nervous about putting up that wall, that boundary," Shea said.
Evening performances will take place at Bossier High School on Feb. 21 and 23. Shea received a grant through the state’s Decentralized Arts Funding Program to put on the production. It’s free and open to the public, and rated PG-13.