Under My Skin wields a powerful message for youth

More than 1,200 Grade 7 students throughout Central Alberta have had the opportunity to view Under My Skin over the month of November

Jenna Swan

More than 1,200 Grade 7 students throughout Central Alberta have had the opportunity to view Under My Skin over the month of November and the beginning of December. The play focuses on the many issues affecting the lives of Grade 7 age students as they transition into their teenage years.

The brilliant and witty script, combined with the young energetic performances by the actors truly captivated the young audience’s attention, as well as my own. I couldn’t help but think back to when I was their age. I thought about the issues I dealt with and what I may have thought of the play as well as the impact it may have had on my life.

Grade 7 was a scary time. For me it was the beginning of middle school, the beginning of puberty and the beginning of seven years of awkward body and mind changes.

It is a time in your life when you start to worry about how you look, how other people look and what you might want your future to look like. When I look back on those days I wish someone had said to me the wise words given during this play.

Just as the actors in the play portrayed, I too would get stressed out about performing my best in school and the different sports I played, struggling to be the best I could be and just as portrayed in the play I would often look at myself in the mirror and wonder why the image staring back at me wasn’t different.

Co-written by Kate Harris alongside the actors of the play and directed by Justin Bronson – Under My Skin delves deep into the issues facing youth of today. With a primary focus on body image, the play also touches on stress, anxiety, depression, suicide, role models, pop culture, relationships and bullying.

I will never forget the first time I showed my mom first hand what cyber bullying looks like. She was appalled and gasped, later stating, “I don’t even know how to handle this. There was nothing like this in my time.”

I do not envy parents of today as their children are living in a world in which they’ve never themselves lived. While issues of body image – i.e. weight, acne, etc. – have been around for decades, the way mass media bombards young spongy minds these days is far beyond the comprehension of what most parents dealt with, making these issues much worse than when our parents were that age.

The Internet makes all of these issues worse and parents often have no idea what their teens are dealing with within their individual cyber realms.

Harris and her team emphasized to the students a number of ways to handle the upcoming stress they will face in the tough years to come, including positive thinking and the importance of being yourself in a world that is begging you to be someone else. The play reminds students that they are not the only ones going through these issues, and that if they don’t feel like they can talk to any one about it, there are always counselors to help.

I can only imagine what the world might be like if every student of this age were to see this play and it have the impact on them that it had on me as an adult.

Although I am now aware of most of the solutions they presented to the students, I certainly look back at myself at that age and remember the confusion and feelings of being alone in the world, and alone in the issues I was facing. It would have been nice for someone to tell me I wasn’t.

jswan@reddeerexpress.com

 

Just Posted

PHOTO: Big Brothers Big Sisters cuts ribbon at Bamford House

New facility to help local youth with mentorship

UPDATE: 18-year-old Rimbey teen dies in collision

A portion of Highway 53 west of Rimbey is down to one lane while crews investigate

Lacombe County Council highlights- Sept. 13. 2018

Lacombe County held a regular meeting of Council

New athletic league for Burman volleyball and basketball teams

University joins Prairie Athletic Conference

City of Lacombe announces new playgrounds

Essex Park & Michener subdivision will provide new spaces for play

WATCH: AHS breaks ground on new Lacombe Community Health Centre

17,000 sq. ft. facility will bring existing Lacombe AHS services together

Kim agrees to dismantle main nuke site if US takes steps too

Kim promised to accept international inspectors to monitor the closing of a key missile test site and launch pad and to visit Seoul soon.

Wetaskiwin RCMP looking for missing youth

Police say 12-year-old Treston Minde left his residence on his bike Sept. 17 and hasn’t returned home

North Carolina gov pleads with storm evacuees to be patient

The death toll rose to at least 37 in three states Tuesday, with 27 fatalities in North Carolina.

North and South Korea say they plan to bid for 2032 Olympics

Moon and Kim announced a sweeping set of agreements including a vow to work together to host the Summer Olympics in 2032.

Russia’s reinstatement after doping scandal goes to a vote

The World Anti-Doping Agency is due to vote Thursday Sept. 20, 2018, on possible reinstatement of Russia.

Ontario wins stay on ruling that struck down council-cutting plan

The province had argued the stay was necessary to eliminate uncertainty surrounding the Oct. 22 vote, and the Court of Appeal agreed.

B.C. cannabis producer Tilray hits at $20-billion high as stock price explodes

This is the first export of a cannabis product from a Canadian company to the U.S.

‘Sesame Street’ wants to clarify: Bert and Ernie aren’t gay

The characters are best friends and have many human traits but “remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation”

Most Read