Teens Tackle ‘The Big C’

A group of students are using theatre to tackle one of life's toughest obstacles.


            On Sept. 10, The Rose Theater’s Teens N Theater program kickdc off its season with a production of Zink: The Myth, The Legend, The Zebra. Director Stephanie Jacobson says the show is an imaginative, funny, and heartbreaking play about true courage in the face of unpredictable predators.

            “It’s about this girl Becky. She’s 10 and has leukemia,” Jacobson said. “In processing her treatment and death, she has these imaginary zebras that are a part of her. So there’s this zebra savannah world and then there’s the real Becky Zaslow in her hospital. She really wants to audition for her talent show but she’s not able to because of chemo and she can’t be around other kids. The whole thing is kind of like having angels on her shoulder, helping her through to be honest and accept what is happening.”

            The show is part of a unique internship at the Rose where local high school senior work on all aspects of the production. The opportunity is for high school seniors who plan to study theater in college. Jacobson said the program gives high school students valuable hands-on experience as they contribute to a variety of artistic, educational, and administrative projects. In all, the interns will lof more than 150 volunteer hours at the theater during the year-long program. The Rose says it’s a great chance for students to learn more about the different jobs in theater as they prepare for college, grad school, and their careers.

            “It’s really important because it’s great to have that basic building block of how to become a professional actor,” Jacobson said. “What is to be a professional? It’s not only important in theatre, but in life, especially as you’re making that switch from child to adulthood. It’s really hard, especially high school.”

            Zink take a deep look into the devastating illness that is cancer and how a child can overcome the sadness with imagination. The lead character uses her imagination to fabricate guardian angel zebras that help her through one of life’s toughest experiences. Jacobson said that the show helps make the tough aspects of life’s journey accessible for people of all ages.

            “The zebras say to her, ‘Being brave doesn’t mean never being scared. Being brave means being scared, accepting it, and then making a choice to deal with it”

            The Rose Theater’s Teens N Theater program will present Zink starting on September 10th and running through September 13th. For more information on the show and the Teens N Theater program, visit www.RoseTheater.org.

            Cold Cream looks at theater in the metro area. Email information to coldcream@thereader.com


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