Wednesday, April 13, 2016

High School Students Bring Passion to Acting Innocent Theatre Company

Posted By on Wed, Apr 13, 2016 at 1:30 PM

click to enlarge Vaughn Sherman, Stefanie Tedards, Griffin Johnston, and Guy Norris - ELI RENTERIA
  • Eli Renteria
  • Vaughn Sherman, Stefanie Tedards, Griffin Johnston, and Guy Norris

Ah, the passion of youth. When the leaden yoke built by dealing with stupid adult stuff has yet to settle its heavy arm around one's shoulders.

I say, thank the heavens for it. That passion, I mean. Nothing is impossible. Everything is not only possible, but likely. Without this passion, the world would be a stagnant and dreary place.
There is a group of young folks here in town, high school students, who have brought their passion and youthful energy to an enterprise which can be quite daunting: the creation of a theater.

It's called Acting Innocent Theatre Company, and it opens its second show this weekend. Leveling Up, a play by Deborah Zoe Laufer, probes the fuzzy intersection of the real and virtual worlds played out in the lives of friends. There are three guys that spend much of their lives gaming online, and one actually lands a job with the National Security Agency because of his gaming skills. They want him to manipulate drones and such. This may have the feel of a game, but is it?

Griffin Johnston and several pals from Catalina High School launched Acting Innocent Theatre Company after they had been awakened by their drama instructor, Terry Erbe  (who has now moved out of state), to the power of theater not merely to entertain, but to help us look at things differently.

“It has the power to address social issues, to change minds,” Johnston says, who is the artistic director of the company and is also directing Leveling Up. “And we're trying to bring in younger people, who often think theater's not relevant to them.”

I asked him how the name of the company came to be.

“The company name came to me,” he said in an email, “at about 2 a.m. I liked the way it had multiple meanings; the fact that the youth are often seen as not capable of real life choices and thus have to act innocent, even when we are just as vulgar, deceitful, and brutal and are capable of loving and appreciating life as an older generation is, as well as the more literal meaning of young actors acting.”

Built into the theater's purpose is to contribute proceeds to various non-profit agencies or groups. They donated $165 to TLGA (Tucson Lesbian and Gay Alliance)/Tucson Pride after their first play, and they are planning to give Veterans for Peace what's left over after they pay their bills for Leveling Up.

This is an impressive group of bright and driven young folks showing no fear in giving legs to their idea that they can contribute to the community through a medium they passionately believe in. Check them out. They will be performing Leveling Up for three weekends through May 2 at The Community Playhouse 1881 N. Oracle Road. Tickets are $15.

Tags: , , , ,

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Sherilyn Forrester

  • An Annual Affair

    Same Time, Next Year may be outdated but still charms
    • Jul 20, 2017
  • Wilde's World

    Rogue and Artifact Dance create magic
    • Jul 13, 2017
  • Imagination Station

    Sizzling summer song up on the Skyline
    • Jul 6, 2017
  • More »
Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Burlesque Fitness

Burlesque Fitness @ Floor Polish

Mondays, Wednesdays, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

Staff Pick

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Cool Summer Nights

Beat Arizona heat and enjoy a family-friendly outing during the Desert Museum’s Cool Summer Nights. The stunning… More

@ Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Saturdays, 5-10 p.m. Continues through Sept. 2 2021 N. Kinney Road.

» More Picks

Submit an Event Listing

Popular Content

  1. Tour Diaries! XIXA Day 9: Show Rocks, Then Laundry Day in The Swiss Alps. (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. Bear Needs a Home (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. Quick Bites: Woof Down Wednesdays (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. Tour Diaries: XIXA Day 8: 'Gabe Heard and Saw Me Reset My Knee From Across the Room.' (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. The Weekly List: 13 Things To Do In Tucson In The Next 10 Days (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

© 2017 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation