Stronger Voices features freshmen voices

Stronger Voices, A Night of Original Works Combating Violence, continues this weekend at Ridgefield High School’s Black Box Theatre with performances on Feb. 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m.

The cast of 22 students includes 10 freshmen who have embraced the opportunity to perform, as well as to create work and tackle challenging subject matter. The scenes face issues head-on, addressing sexuality, race, identity, family, political extremism, and more, as well as the associated abuse, violence and recovery. “Bringing light to these topics is the real purpose of Stronger Voices,” says freshman Lane Murdock.

Freshman Eleanor Andresen says, “One of my pieces deals with suicide and the loss of someone my character didn’t even know. So many of us understand what it is like to lose someone close to us and, in the aftermath, we wonder what we could have done to help them. The hardest thing for me to convey is my character’s genuine guilt and desperation knowing that she could have done something.”

Freshman Kyra Linekin says, “One of the two scenes in which I perform is ‘All in My Head,’ and it is about the voices in our head that can make us feel overwhelmed and powerless. The most challenging aspect of my performance has been understanding the ‘voice’ I portray. I am the calm voice that tries to relax the voices causing stress. I am trying to convey that you can push those negative voices aside and listen to the relaxed voice. This show really emphasizes that no matter how alone you may feel, you are capable of more than you know.”

Students describe the show as “powerful and overwhelming,” but also as “relatable and empowering.” Freshman Nell Walton says, “I think the biggest takeaway from the show should be hope. Every scene ends on an uplifting note and it shows that no matter how dark a part of your life may be, there will be happiness and joy in the future.”

Stronger Voices is directed by RHS drama teacher Sherry Cox. It carries a parental advisory warning as follows: “This production may be inappropriate for ages 12 and younger. It contains themes related to complex and difficult subject matter.”

The snow date for all performances is Feb. 4 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 and will be sold at the door. Ridgefield seniors are admitted free when they present their Gold Card.