Anti-Bullying Play I'M SORRY to Play MITF in NYC, 2/20-22
Debbie Lannen of Wolverine Lake, MI has always felt strongly about treating other people with respect. With that in mind she has decided to bring a much needed message to the Mid Winter Madness Festival in NYC. Her new anti bullying play, "I'm Sorry" centers around the idea of what life would be like if we learned not to do the things that make us have a reason to say "I'm sorry".
Ms. Lannen submitted her new script to John Chatterton, producer of the Mid Winter Madness Festival in NYC. He felt immediately that it was a play worthy of a spot in the festival. That is where the risk started to take shape. Ms. Lannen needed to decide whether to cast her play in NYC or in Metro Detroit (specifically the Lakes area of which she is a long time resident). She also had to decide whether to use professional actors, or real life students who live this nightmare of bullying every day. Not one to be afraid of a risk, she chose the latter.
Auditions were held at Walled Lake Northern High School and students and adult actors from all over Metro Detroit came to try and gain a spot in this groundbreaking project. Ultimately, 18 were chosen. The cast includes: 2 professional actors (including Ms. Lannen's husband, Joe Lannen), 9 high school students, 3 college actors, and 4 senior actors from Ms. Lannen's senior theatre troupe, the Spotlight Still Got It Players. Joe Lannen is a drama director and special education teacher at Walled Lake Norther High School. A first read through was completed and suggestions were given by the students as to real life bullying incidents they had experienced. The play is an ensemble presentation featuring scenarios from preschool - high school.
At this time, Ms. Lannen is making rewrites to her original script and rehearsals will continue until the week of Feb. 18. "I'm Sorry" is scheduled for 3 performances: Thurs. Feb. 20 - 7pm, Fri. Feb. 21 - 8:30pm, and Sat. Feb. 22 - 1:30pm at the Roy Arias Studios on 43rd and 8th in NYC. A local presentation is being planned previous to the casts departure for NYC.
Director, Debbie Lannen and her cast and supporters (32 in all) will begin their journey Feb. 18 as they board Amtrak for the trip to NYC. They will have one dress rehearsal opportunity in the theatre before their opening performance.
This will be the third of Ms. Lannen's plays to be featured in this type of festival in NYC. Her short subject play, "Priscilla the Precious" won audience favorite in John Chatterton's Short Play Lab in September 2013.
For information and to purchase tickets for the Mid Winter Madness Festival go to www.midtownfestival.org. More information on Debbie Lannen can be found at www.debbielannen.com, www.facebook.com/directordebbielannen or www.linkedin.com/in/debbielannen.