Ridgeway High students to premiere in New York theatre company original play

Ridgeway students to premiere in New York theatre co. play

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A group of high school students in Memphis have been chosen to premiere a play created by a New York theatre company highlighting what matters to them.

When Daniel Robert Sullivan isn’t travelling with the cast of the Broadway musical “Dear Evan Hansen," he’s creating his own material.

“I happen to think that the stories that teenagers tell are very interesting, I also happen to think they’re not represented on stage very often," said Sullivan.

With the help of local teenagers in New York through the Roundabout Theatre Company, Sullivan created his newest play “Lockdown: Await Further Instructions.”

“Our play takes a back seat and makes no political statement about a lockdown situation, but rather says what happens when teenagers are enclosed in a space and can communicate their fear and can communicate their love for each other -- that’s the magic," said Sullivan.

The play will debut in several high schools throughout the country. The first, right here in Memphis.

Julie Reinbold is the theatre teacher at Ridgeway High where the play will premiere. She says it’s a powerful piece that touches on important issues in today’s society.

“They talk about fear, they talk about stress, they talk about lack of sleep, they talk about suicide and depression and they talk about sexuality and all these things come up as they’re sharing stuff with each other while they’re waiting for this awful situation to resolve," said Reinbold.

Each play at each high school is unique. Students will get to tweak the script to share their own personal stories. Reinbold says she hopes people walk away with a better understanding of what kids today have to go through.

“As far as audiences, I just want them to realize that these issues are very real to these kids, even though they’re playing characters -- a lot of these issues are ones that they’re dealing with," said Reinbold.

The play premieres at Ridgeway High Nov. 1 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are available at the door.

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