A mix of North Island Secondary students and Port Hardy Secondary students took to the bleachers as Vanier Secondary School put on a play at PHSS.
The play, Torn Rainbow, was written and directed by drama and dance teacher Lori Mazey, and performed by students from the Comox Valley School. They have been touring across B.C. for the past two weeks, performing at different high schools as a part of their Community Justice Theatre Project.
The play features high school student Alex (Cierrah Gibbs) who becomes engrossed in the story of Jamie Hubley (portrayed by grad Dan Comeau), a 15-year-old gay student who committed suicide after being bullied at school. Alex decides to bring awareness of bullying through a school assembly with the help of quiet student Ryan (Robbie Granados), and despite the disapproval of her best friend, Jen (Montana VanVelzen).
The play was put on as a series of interviews, with most students playing multiple characters.
“The whole play is based on true stories and real interviews,” said Mazey. “Most of what you hear was actually said by real people.”
Though the play was emotionally heavy, with strong language and true stories of aggressive bullying, it ended on a hopeful note. Alex was able to stand up to bullies in her school and bring awareness to the struggles of LGBTQ youth.
Afterwards, the cast and crew ended with a performance of Katy Perry’s “Firework” and held a Question and Answer session with a tribute to Jamie Hubley displayed on a powerpoint.
Nimfa Casson, a teacher at NISS, commented that the play had a “powerful and important message, especially now.”
The students of Vanier Secondary will continue to tour their play, finishing off at their own school.