PORT TOWNSEND — How do teens respond to the stress from family, school, peers, media and the state of the world?
As part of its new Teen Initiative, the Mandala Center for Change will present “Under Pressure,” an interactive theater performance and community dialogue on overwhelmed teens, featuring the Poetic Justice Theatre Ensemble.
There will be one performance at 4 p.m. today at the Quimper Grange, 1219 Corona St. Admission is free.
No advance reservations are available but seating is limited so arrive early.
Informed and created by the experiences of teens, the Forum Theatre event invites the audience to grapple with this question and explore solutions.
Teens are encouraged to attend, as they have firsthand experiences with the pressures and will know the issues, but all ages can relate to these struggles and also gain perspective and understanding about the pressures teens face.
“Young people’s voices are often not taken seriously,” said Hannah Bahls, 17, a member of Poetic Justice. “The content of this play came from our real-life experiences of overwhelm and stress and it shows the real pressures we are under. It also celebrates our creative and insightful ideas.”
Organizers said in a press release that the production is fresh from multiple performances at Blue Heron Middle School and Port Townsend High School and is performed by the multi-generational (teens to elders) Poetic Justice Theatre Ensemble.
Performers invite the audience onto the stage to explore characters they see struggling and try to make different choices.
More than simply role-playing, this dynamic process invites critical thinking and empathy, invoking both mind and heart. It can be enlightening, empowering and also a lot of fun. Anyone is welcome to attend and participate actively, add to the discussion or simply witness the process.
Created by Brazilian visionary Augusto Boal, Theatre of the Oppressed is a form of community-based education that uses theater as a tool for critical thinking and social change.
Originally developed out of Boal’s work with peasant and worker populations, it is now used all over the world to inspire social and political activism, conflict resolution, community building and government legislation.
Now in its 18th season, Port Townsend’s Poetic Justice Theatre Ensemble is a multi-ethnic, multi-generational troupe of local actor and activists who use interactive theater as a tool for awareness and social change.
A program of the Mandala Center for Change, the Poetic Justice Theatre Ensemble was developed as a local community resource to stimulate deep dialogue and invite positive action towards the creation of a more just and joyous world for all people.
Poetic Justice’s Teen Initiative is funded in part by the Port Townsend Arts Commission.