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Virginia Children's Theatre Tackles Teen Suicide With APOLOGIES

Written by Brian Kral, APOLOGIES is a play intended for teenage audiences that deals realistically with a teenage girl's unexplained suicide.

Virginia Children's Theatre Tackles Teen Suicide With APOLOGIES

Through the VCT4TEENS program, Virginia Children's Theatre aims to shed a light on this issue and offer strategies for prevention through the upcoming production of APOLOGIES. Public performances for APOLOGIES will be February 25-26, 2022. The production will be staged at the Fishburn Auditorium at North Cross School (4254 Colonial Ave). Apologies will be presented in partnership with Tudor House.

Written by Brian Kral, APOLOGIES is a play intended for teenage audiences that deals realistically with a teenage girl's unexplained suicide. Jennifer leaves a letter for her mother, and then silently takes her own life. Instead of asking "Will she kill herself?" her family and friends are instead left to question "Why did she kill herself?" The audience travels back with them through the events leading up to her tragic decision, in an effort to answer this difficult question. The realistic and uncompromising depiction of teenagers and suicide have made this play extremely popular among young people. This production is presented thanks to the generous support from Carilion Clinic, Home Trust Bank and Kiwanis Club of Roanoke.

VCT4TEENS 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, VCT4TEENS has presented plays dealing with internet safety, overscheduling, texting and driving, teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, eating disorders, bullying, underage drinking, depression, and the teen brain. Each VCT4TEENS 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. "Being a teen brings a plethora of challenges, let alone in a pandemic. Our young people need our love, support, help and guidance," says VCT Producing Artistic Director, Brett Roden. "VCT4TEENS is more than theatre, more than art, but a program that changes the lives of the teens and families in our community. APOLOGIES captures the mind, emotions and physical pain of a teen struggling with their mental health and the feeling of being trapped and helpless. We are thrilled to partner with Tudor House for the second year in a row to promote advocacy and resources for suicide prevention."

APOLOGIES will be directed by Guest Director Heather Lanza. "We are so thrilled to have Heather with us at VCT," says Roden. "She offers a wide variety of knowledge, experience and excellence as a Director and Theatre Educator. Her experience with new works and play development will surely bring a fresh and bold take to this year's VCT4TEENS production!"

"After two years of the global pandemic, our country is seeing a major mental health crisis amongst our young people, making this play more important now than ever," says APOLOGIES Director Heather Lanza. "APOLOGIES asks us all to think about the ways we can be there for one another during difficult times, and asks us to consider how we can better advocate for the mental health of our friends and children."

For more information, patrons may contact VCT at 540.400.7795. Tickets to APOLOGIES will be available at the door, by donation. More information is available online at VirginiaChildrensTheatre.org.



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