The Edmonds Center for the Arts on Feb. 20 will present Outside, the latest touring production by award-winning Canadian company Roseneath Theatre. Outside tells the story of Daniel, a teen who triumphs over homophobic bullying, depression and suicide.
Recommended for students in 7th grade and up, Outside is part of ECA’s Education Matinee series for school groups and homeschool families. Two performances will take place at 10 a.m. and noon, with the noon show ASL-interpreted for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.
In Outside, young audiences meet Daniel during a meeting of the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) at his new school. Meanwhile at his old school, struggling to come to terms with what happened, his friends Krystina and Jeremy attempt to start their own GSA. Using flashbacks, students travel through Daniel’s harrowing experience of bullying that began with a taunt and a text message and eventually led to a serious physical assault. All performances include a talkback session with the artists, with study guides provided to teacher and parents in advance.
Outside’s Director Andrew Lamb explains: “Our aim with Outside is to be a springboard for real conversations around bullying of those who are different. We have seen how, if unchecked, this behavior can lead to serious depression in young people and strongly believe these conversations are the only way to improve the mental health of those students who are facing very real emotional battles and need our support.”
Each year, ECA presents Education Matinees for local students, with the mission to spark dialogue and provide opportunities for continued learning back in the classroom. “We’ve seen a need in our region for theatre that spotlights conversations around diversity, equity and inclusion for young people,” said ECA’s Director of Programming Gillian Jones. “It is so important for students to see diverse experiences and identities represented on our stage, and we’re committed to presenting impactful works like Outside in Edmonds.”
Established in 1983, Roseneath Theatre is one of Canada’s leading producers of award-winning theatre for children and their families. Roseneath Theatre’s plays address issues that resonate with today’s youth, encouraging them to reflect on themselves and their place within the community. The company’s extraordinary commitment to excellence has earned accolades including 37 Dora Mavor Moore Awards nominations and a total of 14 Awards. Outside is written by Paul Dunn and directed by Andrew Lamb, with costumes designed by Lindsay C. Walker, set by Michael Greves, lighting design by Michele Ramsey and sound designed by Verne Good.
ECA Education Matinees are open to school groups and homeschool families, by reservation only. Tickets are $8, with $2 Arts for Everyone tickets available to schools with over 30 percent of students on Free & Reduced-Price Meal programs. To make a reservation or to inquire about this performance, contact Gillian Jones, Director of Programming, at email@example.com or 425-275-9483.
ECA’s presentation of Outside is made possible with funding from the Hazel Miller Foundation. ECA’s Arts for Everyone program receives support from Wells Fargo.