Last week the Waterloo Region sears festival was hosted at SJAM from Monday through Saturday. The host school managed to create a fun, welcoming and encouraging atmosphere that allowed students to grow as artists and make quick, hopefully long-lasting friendships with like-minded teens. The theme for this festival was to “IGNITE: A Fire for Theatre” and it definitely achieved its goal! After this week I feel pushed towards pursuing my passion for theatre more than ever before.
This is how the festival works: Each night from Monday to Friday three shows perform and then on the final day of the festival, Saturday, all participants have the opportunity to attend workshops , a banquet and an awards ceremony. I was only able to attend two nights of shows- Thursday and Friday and the final day. On the Thursday I was only able to see one show, and then my cast and I had to prepare for our show. But luckily on the Friday I was able to view all three shows.
Out of all the shows I watched, one connected with me on a deeper level than any other- “I Don’t Want To Talk About It”, that was performed by Jacob Hespeler Secondary School. To be completely honest when I first saw the cast step on stage with all members dressed in black except for one who was decked out in a white tee shirt and blue jeans, a chart of paper and a simple set, I assumed this would be a giant cheese-fest. But I was proven wrong.
This production was a perfect mixture of one-liners, simple yet effective stage use and props and it had a strong and timeless message.
It examined the stigma surrounding fitting in, mental health and seeking help and support when needed, all while keeping the mood fairly light and thoroughly enjoyable!
I would love to see this production on our school stage, whether it’s the JHSS cast coming to us or WODSS someday taking on the task of breathing life into this piece of art. “I Don’t Want To Talk About It” contains a message that needs to be heard loud, clear and memorably.