This week, 45 student actors and technicians from Forest Grove High School will present a play to combat cyber bullying through Project UNIFY Productions.
Project UNIFY is a movement stemming from Special Olympics of Oregon (SOOR) that works to create an inclusive environment for students with and without intellectual or physical disabilities throughout Oregon schools.
The inspiration for the play is Megan Meier, a teen from Missouri who committed suicide three weeks before her 14th birthday. Her tragic death was attributed to severe cyber bullying from her classmates.
Educational assistant director of the Project UNIFY Productions program, John Anderberg, surveyed English classes at Forest Grove, asking students to share their experiences with cyber bullying. Anderberg developed a script for the play based on topic discussions from the students.
“We had the shell of the idea,” said Anderberg. “We always tried to keep it in their words, to make it relevant for them.”
A total of 45 students asked to be a part of the production.
Anderberg split the students into teams. Each team was given a task relating to the play’s production and performance, and each individual was given a personal assignment.
“This way, with 45 students, each gets more individual one-on-one time,” said Anderberg.
Performances take place April 23 and April 24 at 7:30 p.m. in Forest Grove’s Ellen Stephens Auditorium. Admission is free, but audience members are encourage to donate money or canned food to the school’s backpack program to support homeless and low-income students.
Photo Credit: Dillon Pilorget