THE TEENAGERS AWARE OF DEATH to Have Virtual World Premiere in December

The Teenagers Aware of Death tells the story of three defenseless teenagers trapped in a basement awaiting their seemingly inevitable fate.

By: Nov. 30, 2021
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THE TEENAGERS AWARE OF DEATH to Have Virtual World Premiere in December

Sunday, December 5th marks the virtual premier of Amir Razavi's The Teenagers Aware of Death, a new comedic mini-musical with music by Simeon Williams. Directed by Kayla Hernandez Friend (Bentwater Films, Moxie Arts NY), this filmed virtual presentation will feature the performances of Jacob Garwood, Sutheshna Mani, Drew Gardner, Cameron Owens, and Shannon Haskell, as well as new musical arrangements of Simeon Williams' original songs, created by Kayla Hernandez Friend and Kurt Robbins.

The Teenagers Aware of Death - strongly grounded in comedy, improv, and melodrama - tells the tale of three defenseless teenagers (Jacob Garwood, Sutheshna Mani, and Drew Gardner) trapped in a basement awaiting their seemingly inevitable fate. A lonely and power-hungry killer (Cameron Owens) lurks just behind the basement door, waiting for his opportunity to shine - that is, to spark local headlines by becoming "the killer that could not be caught." A worn-and-weathered yet optimistic police officer (Shannon Haskell) waits at the local station for an important call that night - will it be the one that saves the poor teenagers from their fate?

Writing of how he came to write this piece, playwright Amir Razavi stated, "The Teenagers Aware of Death was developed from a writing prompt that asked me to 'go big.' I could only think of going big by attempting to write a musical. It's the biggest form of writing that stretched the creative muscles and forced me to be much more unreasonable in the writing process. There was a premise in every moment for every character, challenging me to envision any details in every horror movie I could think of - I really leaned into the idea of each character's attitude coloring each scene." When asked about the process of shaping this improv piece into virtual theatre, director Kayla Hernandez Friend stated, "Amir's piece already came with so much fun, levity, and melodrama - I think that placing it in a virtual space offered some exciting opportunities to play with how much we lean into the absurdity of the piece itself, and how we can bring out the comedy of each moment in a new way that's designed for virtual consumption. The actors for this piece have been such a joy to work with; they've made collaborating across time zones through Zoom a really joyful experience - we can't wait to share what we've created with our virtual audience."

Though the piece is rooted in improv and has a healthy dose of comedy, The Teenagers Aware of Death also indirectly addresses some of the challenges surrounding teenage mental health - including access to prescription medication, difficult family dynamics, pressure to perform from parents and teachers, the mental toll of loneliness and isolation, and how to summon the courage to discuss mental health with your peers.

As such, the cast and creative team is donating 50% of all proceeds to This Is My Brave, an organization whose mission "is to empower individuals to put their names and their faces to their true stories of recovery from mental illness and/or addiction through creative storytelling." The creative team behind The Teenagers Aware of Death believe in the work of This Is My Brave, and think that it is important to tie work that speaks about mental health directly to organizations that support those struggling with mental health, especially for young adults.

Tickets to this virtual premier are by donation only - donations can be as low as $1.00, any amount can be given to help benefit the work of This Is My Brave. The remaining 50% of donations will be given directly to the actors, playwright, and composer. Audiences are asked to consider donating whatever they can so that the team can give back to the artists and the organization they have chosen to support.

Tickets can be requested via Eventbrite here:

The virtual premier will be streamed on Sunday, December 5th, at 7:30pm EST.


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