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RCT: Professional Theatre for Schools & Families Will Tackle Internet Safety and Addiction with THE FAKES

RCT: Professional Theatre for Schools & Families Will Tackle Internet Safety and Addiction with THE FAKES

A pressing concern in our nation is internet bullying and the need for internet safety. 77% of the targets for online predators are ages 14 or older. Another 22% are users ages 10 to 13 (from Your Internet Safety Survey). RCT: Professional Theatre for Schools & Families aims to shed light on this issue and offer strategies for safety through their upcoming production of THE FAKES. This production is part of the RCT4TEENS series, with public performances of THE FAKES being held on February 27 and 28, 2020. Performances will be held at the Jefferson Center Black Box Theatre/Fostek Hall (541 Luck Avenue SW).

Written by Samantha Macher specifically for RCT, THE FAKES will address internet and social media safety, cyber bullying, and staying safe from online predators. Every year, the RCT4Teens Coalition meets to find out which health or social issues are of concern for school guidance counselors. Based on feedback, Roanoke area schools are very concerned with overuse of smart phones and the dangers of various social media apps. THE FAKES is a cautionary tale for youth in the Roanoke Valley to help envision what can go wrong if they don't use caution and common sense online.

"As our youth become more and more immersed in the cyber world, precautions must be heard," says RCT Resident Director Pat Wilhelms. "I am grateful to have the opportunity to use the power of theatre to show how important it is to protect your identity, your heart and soul from predators who may be waiting just for you."
RCT Producing Artistic Director Brett Roden adds, "what better way to expose the young people in our community to issues that affect their health and well-being, than through live theatre. These topics truly touch the soul and provide tools and resources for our teens to protect themselves and their peers."

RCT4TEENS is a program that provides a unique and creative approach to connecting with young people about current health issues through a theatre arts experience. In the past, RCT4TEENS has presented plays dealing with overscheduling, texting and driving, teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, eating disorders, bullying, underage drinking, depression, suicide and the teen brain. Each RCT4TEENS performance is accompanied by a talkback session to educate youth and connect them to health and safety professionals such as counselors, doctors, first responders, and law enforcement. The goal is to arm teens with information instead of inspiring fear.

Both public performances of THE FAKES will be Pay By Donation. Patrons must call 540.400.7795 to reserve their seats in advance. Patrons may also visit for full details.

RCT4TEENS is produced in collaboration with local school districts and a coalition of key health agencies that includes Carilion Clinic, YOVASO, the Prevention Council of Roanoke County, Roanoke County Public Schools, Roanoke City Public Schools, Street Ransom and Children's Trust.


This production is backed by an exceptional artistic team of designers and actors.

The cast of THE FAKES includes:
Grace Eakin as Maddy and Caroline Hancock as Maddy (for select tour performances)
Nathan Kellner as John
Gabrielle Shelton as Allison

Bella Turner as Caitlin
David J. Schultz as Mack

David Ratliff as Camera Man

The creative team includes Director Pat Wilhelms, Set Designer Laurie Powell-Ward, Lighting Designer Barry Gawinski, Stage Manager Taylor Cobb, Assistant Stage Manager David Ratliff, Costumes and Props by Pat Wilhelms, Sound Design by Taylor Cobb and Pat Wilhelms, Technical Director Star City Sets and Producing Artistic Director Brett J. Roden.


Pat Wilhelms, founder of Roanoke Children's Theatre, serves as the Resident Stage Director for the Company. Since 2008 she has led the team to create productions, school residencies, year round classes and camps, as well as tours that travel all across the Commonwealth. Prior to that, she was the Director of Education and Outreach at Mill Mountain Theatre for 10 years. Other theatre residencies include: Theatre of Youth Company, Melic and Mime Inc., and Idaho Repertory Theatre. Pat currently serves as Board Member at the Burton School of the Arts, is a partner with the Star City Reads initiative and serves as an adjudicator for the Southwest Theatre Conference. Pat also serves on the Roanoke Arts Commission. Directorial credits at RCT include: Madeline's Christmas, Charlotte's Web, The Giver, Junie B. Jones, The Secret Life of Girls, Tuck Everlasting, If You Give a Mouse A Cookie, Wrecked, The Velveteen Rabbit, Go Dog Go, Junie B in Jingle Bells Batman Smells, Eric & Elliot, Stuart Little, How I Became A Pirate, A Little House Christmas, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, The Cat in the Hat, EAT: It's Not About Food, Fancy Nancy, James and the Giant Peach, SHREK, the Musical, The Ice Cream Man, Rapunzel, The BFG, Seussical, the Musical, BABYLAND, Elephant and Piggie's We Are In a Play, Goosebumps, the Musical, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, the Musical, ILY: Hang Up & Drive, You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown, ANNIE, The Boy at the Edge of Everything, School House Rock Live!, The Velveteen Rabbit and Matilda. Pat received her BFA from Daemen College and MFA from Penn State University.

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