A two-person play confronting the issues of bullying and sexual exploitation was performed in front of a select audience at Garibaldi secondary.
Cyndy Lacroix, a drama teacher at the school for the last 35 years, directed the school’s production of Stonewater Rapture written by Doug Wright. The story centers around a teen couple in 1984 Missouri have only been dating for a couple of months even though they have been friends for much longer. The boy wants the relationship to evolve into a more physically intimate bond. Mostly, though, because he is being pressured by his peers on the football team who have accused him of being gay. But it is the boy’s sweet and naive girlfriend who falls victim to the sexual pressures.
“This particular script people have been afraid to produce since it came out in 1984. You might be hard pressed to find another school that’s ever done it. We don’t know of one in British Columbia,” said Lacroix of the controversial play.
Now, she believes, is a perfect time to tell this story.
“It’s a topic that I find constantly coming up in my classroom,” said Lacroix.
“It’s very interesting that socially and politically and in the world right now this couldn’t be a hotter topic,” she continued.
Lacroix invited local dignitaries to the performance that included Mayor Nicole Read and city councillors, school district trustees and staff, principals of schools, staff at the B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development, community outreach workers and the Ridge Meadows RCMP.
“I would like them to come and see this piece of work,” Lacroix said in advance of the Jan. 23 event.
“Because I think live theatre is the most powerful way of affecting people,” she said.
Casting the parts in the play was a very careful and gentle procedure, said Lacroix, because the actors would be going on an emotional journey, “that they are never going to forget.”
The actors she chose both have agents and Lacroix knew their parents, who also had to vet the play, would be on board with such a sensitive subject.
“(It) will be a powerful addition to their resumes,” said Lacroix.
“They both know how to cry now. They both know how to control anger. They both know how to feel one emotion and deliver another on a dime,” she said of the talented students.
The show was entered into the Upper Fraser Drama Festival in December where it received a gold level achievement award from adjudicator Randy Newbury and best actor.
It was Newbury who convinced Lacroix to take the play further because he was, “awestruck that the theatre was pin-drop silent,” especially given the fact that the audience was made up of teenagers.
Lacroix would like to see Garibaldi secondary create a future unit in grad transition dealing with the topic of sexual exploitation.
She is hoping to bring the play to the ACT Arts Centre and make it available for all Grade 12 students in the district to see.
But, since she is not charging admission, she needs to raise $1,400 to rent the ACT stage for the day.
Anyone wishing to donate can get in touch with Lacroix through Garibaldi secondary at 604-463-6287 or email Cynthia_Lacroix@sd42.ca.