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Butte youth theater group addresses bullying, mental health issues at local schools

BUTTE – Acting, singing and even dancing are ways that a youth theater group in Butte is trying to reach fellow students on important issues.

“Art with a message and trying to find ways to address issues in our community with our theater arts,” said Orphan Girl Children’s Theater Education Director Elizabeth Crase.

Members of the Orphan Girl Children’s Theater created a show they’re taking to area schools that addresses issues like bullying, mental health, and even suicide. These student-written shows help keep their fellow students engaged.

“You can sit in health class all day long and hear the statistics and get those stats and that’s all wonderful, it’s important to have that too, but it’s not necessarily triggering that critical thinking,” said Crase.

As the actors were doing a skit on bullying at the Ramsay School recently, they would often stop and interact with the audience.

“What are you seeing, how are you feeling right now in the audience about what you’re seeing and how would you do this differently,” said Crase.

The students involved in this program think this is an effective way to get these important messages out to their fellow students because they can relate to these issues.

“I think it just helps them understand more rather than just have somebody sit there and talk to them. I think having some to watch and having something to relate to,” said 17-year-old actor and Butte High Junior Cole Cunningham.

Art imitating life.

John Emeigh

John Emeigh

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