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MAPA drama explores issue of teen bullying

By Staff | Mar 18, 2010

The play follows young teen friends jockeying for social position. Photo by David Hessemer.

KAHULUI — Maui Academy of Performing Arts (MAPA) presents the Maui premiere of the powerful play “The Secret Life of Girls,” an honest and unflinching drama about the tumultuous and destructive world of girls’ bullying.

The show will be staged March 19, 20, 21, 27 and 28 at Steppingstone Playhouse in Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center. Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Written by Linda Daugherty and directed by Sally Sefton Johnston, the production includes a post-performance discussion facilitated by experts on adolescent behavioral health.  

The play follows the story of a group of young teen friends whose jockeying for social position is sometimes humorous and often heartbreaking.

They careen from exclusion to isolation to acceptance and back again as alliances are formed and changed daily.

Bullying in the form of gossip, secrets, name-calling, exclusion, backbiting and manipulation become a prelude to dangerous behaviors such as depression, cutting, eating disorders and premature sexuality.

When faced with the consequences of their actions, the girls ultimately resolve — one by one — to change their behaviors.

Based upon interviews with girls on the giving and receiving end of bullying, the play highlights the impact of “cyberbullying” — mean-spirited behaviors using cell phones, text and instant messaging, e-mail and chat rooms.

The portrayal of the sobering reality of these girls’ lives can start a conversation in homes, schools and communities, providing the opportunity to reveal the secrets and address the complexities that dominate the lives of many young women.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for seniors and students. Call the MAPA Box Office at 244-8760, extension 228, or go to the Customer Service Kiosk in Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center.

Special group rates are available for groups over ten people. For group tickets, call Carolyn Wright at 244-8760, extension 221, or e-mail carolyn@mauiacademy.org.