Student-written Stronger Voices opens tonight at the high school

Stronger Voices, A Night of Original Works Combating Violence, written and performed by Ridgefield High School students, opens tonight, Thursday, Jan. 26, at the school’s Black Box Theatre with a performance at 7:30 p.m.

The writing of the student authors of Stronger Voices explores themes of family life, bullying, identity crises, political extremism, and moving on after trauma. Their work exposes the many facets of violence as it ruptures the small events of everyday life and explodes in society and the world.

Senior Aidan Meachem performs in two of the scenes. One of those, Grief, is a study of the five stages of grief in which he takes on the role of Depression. He said, “We’ve already seen Denial, Pain, and Anger. Now we see the stage without tears, the one without yelling, just unadulterated cold and empty sadness. The most important part of this show, or any show, is to make it real. These are feelings that the majority of the audience has experienced. There is no need to dramatize anything. The truth is what makes it so powerful and allows the audience to connect on a deeper level.”

Stronger Voices is directed by RHS drama teacher Sherry Cox. The cast includes Eleanor Andresen, Lucy Basile, Tyler Carey, Ava Cowles, Sarah Ford, Rico Froehlich, Gabe Gordon, Shane Jaeger, Hannah Jay, Meredith Karle, Sarah Klotz, Kyra Linekin, Aidan Meachem, Lane Murdock, Jillian O’Keefe, Emily Parker, Deziree Rendon, Jack Sjoberg, Evan Smolin, Amy Stoogenke, Nell Walton, and Casey Wishna, who, in addition to performing, designed the show poster.

Senior Rico Froehlich is stage manager and created the set design. Senior Evan Brenner did the lighting design and is a lighting technician for the show with DJ Ammirato and Nia Pollard. Sound technicians for the show are Rachel Cooper, Eleanor De Palma, and Stacey Misaray.

Stronger Voices carries a parental advisory warning: “This production may be inappropriate for ages 12 and younger. It contains themes related to complex and difficult subject matter.” There will be four evening performances, all at 7:30, on Jan. 26 and 27 and Feb. 2 and 3. The snow date for all performances is Feb. 4 at 2 p.m. Tickets, at $10, will be sold at the door. Ridgefield seniors who present a Gold Card are admitted free.