Smyrna High School Play Rejected By School Leaders, The Show Con - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Smyrna High School Play Rejected By School Leaders, The Show Continues

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SMYRNA, Del. - Two students in Kent County are bringing the topic of teen suicide to center stage.

'Five Reasons' is a play written by Jon Richardson and Alex Stubbolo, but their performance almost didn't come to life.   

"We realized that both of us had been in plays that tried to present an idea of the teenage experience, but it was clearly written from an out-of-date adult perspective.  We also realized that amongst our on age group and the current youth culture, there tended to be a lot of negativity and a lot of people that we knew personally were just feeling down. We wanted to find a marriage of those two ideas," said Richardson.
   
They submitted a draft of their play to their Smyrna High School principal in hopes of performing it there. They even held auditions and cast the show, but school leaders reportedly pulled the plug.    

"It was our baby you know. We worked really hard and it was just very shocking because we cannot think of a reason of why the school board wouldn't do it," said Stubbolo.

Superintendent Deborah Wicks told the Delaware State News, she declined to discuss why leaders rejected the play, but the writers believe it's an important topic to bring to the stage.
   
"This play has come to be known as the suicide play, but it's not so much about don't kill yourself. It's more about living and here are the reasons to live," said Richardson.  

According to the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, between January and May 2012, 11 people between the ages of 12 and 21 died by suicide. And 116 youth, attempted suicide in both Kent and Sussex counties.
     
That's why these three friends decided to do something about it and will now do the play at the Smyrna Opera House.

"After they walk away from the show, I hope they enjoy it and I hope they leave with a message that life is worth living. Things are never as dark as they seem. Enjoy life," said Cody Lawrence, Director of 'Five Reasons.'

Lawrence is a graduate of Caesar Rodney High School. He says after high school, he moved to California to study and work in the film industry.

These three friends say they're just happy to bring their play to life.

The trio also say without characters to play the roles, the play wouldn't exist.

"They are the ones who really brought it to life and I could not thank them enough for believing in us and being a part of it," said Stubbolo.

Opening night is  at 7 p.m. Friday at the Smyrna Opera House. Two more performances will be held at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday.

For more information, call the box office at 302-653-4236.

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