Students tackle real topics on stage | AspenTimes.com

Students tackle real topics on stage

John Colson
Aspen, CO Colorado

Aspen High School students Heather Boronski and Sydney Sailor rehearse "Fighting For Myself" on Thursday afternoon in the Black Box Theater at Aspen High School. (Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times)

ASPEN ” A play at Aspen High School on Saturday will explore some of the hot-button issues facing teenage girls these days, but with a twist ” some of the actors on stage will be mothers and their real-life daughters.

Teen pregnancy, sex and abortion, substance abuse, depression, eating disorders, self-image problems and a range of other issues are grist for the mill in “Fighting For Myself,” which will be staged at the AHS Black Box Theater at 1 p.m. Saturday (right after the ski swap in the high school gymnasium) and again at 7 p.m.

The public is invited.

Directed by the school’s psychology teacher, Merrily Talbott, and funded by two area nonprofit organizations, RESPONSE and the Valley Partnership for Drug Prevention, the play was written in 1996 by Renee Clark. It stars Erin and Meredith Daniel, Dara and Debra Harvick, Rachel Bielinski, Heather Boronski, Danielle Crabtree, Fatima Curiel and Sydney Sailor.

A series of short vignettes offer glimpses into the difficulties and drama of being a teenage girl in America; it is “pretty clean” in terms of the language used, according to Talbott. The play is less than 45 minutes long.

But in those 45 minutes, Talbott hopes, there will be opportunities for parents and teens to learn something about how to talk to one another.

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“It’s such a good conversation starter for mothers and daughters,” Talbott said at a rehearsal this week, adding that the play is intended for girls between 13 and 18 years old, and their moms, who might have difficulty talking about the issues raised in the play.

In fact, when she speaks to the audience before the play opens, Talbott will announce that counselors from the Aspen Counseling Center will be available after the show if anyone feels the need to open a dialogue.

During the rehearsal, the all-female cast chatted about their respective roles when they weren’t on stage, and about the play.

“I’m one of the mean girls, sort of picking on a nerdy girl,” Boronski said.

“I’m crass, kinda. … I’m all messed up,” added Sailor, explaining that the play is about “realizing what’s best for you,” rather than succumbing to peer pressure and making bad choices.

Audience members will be asked for a “suggested donation” at the door ” $10 for adults and $5 for students.

John Colson’s e-mail address is jcolson@aspentimes.com.

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