Drama At Cross Creek High School

What an honor the day before my birthday to see that the message of May I Have Your Attention, Please? is being shared in such wonderful ways. I applaud the efforts of this High School!  #Theatre4Change

May I Have Your Attention, Please?

Justin Gilmore, Staff Writer

Drama is coming to Cross Creek, and, it’s the good kind.

New teacher and drama director Mr. D.L Barksdale is a former New Yorker who has a history in cinema. Barksdale is bringing a fresh breath of theatre that the school has never seen before, and he plans to do it soon. “May I have your attention, please?” is a one act play written by Catherine Rhoden-Goguen that the drama department performed in Milledgeville, Georgia during the regional acting competition back in October.

The play is centered around Chris, a high school student who feels as if he gets no love from his family, and is the black sheep. He tries to talk to them about how he feels, but is it too late for them to save him when he has already contemplated taking his life?

Cross Creek student and uprising actor Christian Thomas won the All Star Cast award for his portrayal of Brent. Barksdale felt as if this play was the best choice for students and teachers alike because it discusses a topic considered taboo in high school: teenage suicide.

Unknown to students, teachers went to a training seminar based on suicide prevention, and Barksdale felt as if “this was the best way to continue the conversation among the teachers, and leave room for conversations to be initiated by the students.”

The play will be debuting on November 17th, and will be accompanied by poetry, music, and other forms of art that could prevent teenage suicide, in hopes of not only extending a helping hand, but making it go much further than a one act play.

People Fascinate Me

I’ve always been fascinated by the lives of others and the events that shape their character and actions. In particular, Grace Moore was a famous opera singer who grew up in the city I was born in, Jellico, TN. Her ability to come from a small town and achieve worldwide fame was inspirational to me as a young writer. Her life inspired me to write this play, More Grace. Find out more about Grace Moore

#Theatre4Change

Sometimes, I’m Funny

I’m not really funny by nature but on occasion I write a comedy. This first comedy was a KNPS (Kentucky New Play Series) winner and premiered at the Kentucky State Fair this year. The video clip is from, RE DO IT. Have you ever had a bad day, or had a situation that you wish you could have handled differently? Now you can – with the new cell phone app “RE DO IT! Enjoy Haleigh Rose Banks, Joshua Collins, Chloe McMurry, and Sadie Banks in the performance of the comedy play “RE DO IT” as part of Middlesborough Little Theatre’s 2016 scholarship fundraiser “An Evening of One-Acts”! (Video clip ©2016 Middlesborough Little Theatre. All Rights Reserved.) Thanks to Shawn Williams for the video. STAY TUNED TO 2017 FOR INFO ON PURCHASING PERFORMANCE RIGHTS for the full version of this ONE ACT.   #Theatre4Change

Spreading the Message in Alberta, Canada

Lamont High School, Alberta, Canada bring May I Have Your Attention, Please to the stage. Enjoy the short clips of their performance. Thanks Lamont HS for sharing the message in Canada and we look forward to photos, comments or any newspaper articles you want to share.  #Theatre4Change

Let’s Talk!

May I Have Your Attention, Please?  performed by Christian Honce

May I Have Your Attention, Please?  performed by Clay County HS Drama

May I Have Your Attention, Please?  performed by Jeff Griffith

SUICIDE PREVENTION PROGRAM
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21 thoughts on “Let’s Talk!”

  1. As the director of Clay County High School’s Tiger Troupe, I have the task of deciding which shows we’ll perform with each theatre season. During the summer of 2015, Cat had posted on the Kentucky Theatre Directors Facebook that she would be happy to suggest one of her plays for anyone interested. I immediately contacted her and so began a wonderful friendship. I had no idea that we would make the connection that we have, but I’m thankful we did. After speaking with Cat and explaining my thought process and vision, she suggested I read “May I Have Your Attention, Please?”. Little did she know that the subject of this play, suicide, was something that had hit too close to home with our cast during that year. We were drawn to the play with a great level of conviction and made the decision to select the play as our spring 2016 festival piece. Throughout rehearsals and our performance, our cast connected with the message of the play and committed themselves wholeheartedly to putting the message before anything else. The end result was a profoundly honest and heart wrenching result that left the audience in tears and emotionally stirred, as the topic is one of familiarity with far too many people. The highlight of the day, was meeting Cat. She took the time to come and watch the performance, something my kids hold dear still today. Cat showed them such great positivity, support and encouragement. Something that is beyond value. This play is such a true and powerful message that should and must be heard. Shortly after we closed the show, our community lost a young man to suicide. He was a peer and friend to so many of the kids from our cast, and I know that they understand better than most how important the message of this play can be.

    1. The message of the play being shared is of course my primary goal but getting the opportunity to meet and know those spreading the message is so important to me as well. Meeting your cast changed me and it’s an honor that we continue supporting each other as we use #Theatre4Change. Thank you so much for all you do and for taking time to leave this comment. I’m a lifetime fan of the Tiger Troupe!

  2. “First Week of Jane” is one of her recent plays that is exciting! I highly recommend purchasing a copy today. It is filled with excitement and suspense!

    1. Thank you for the kind words. First Week of Jane is very dear to my heart and deals with many issues which need change in our society. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! #Theatre4Change

  3. PERFORMANCE ANNOUNCEMENT:
    Cushing High School Drama
    Cushing, OK ·
    Performing “May I Have Your Attention, Please?” for the student body on October 18th
    #Theatre4Change

  4. From staff reports The first play of the recently reactivated Abbeville Opera House Youth Theater opens Friday for a two-day run this weekend. The first production is “May I Have Your Attention, Please?” by Catherine Rhoden-Goguen, who will attend one of the performances. The play is directed by Abbeville Opera House Youth Theater director Ryan Hewitt, who first became familiar with the play while he was in high school in Florence. The cast is comprised of high school and college students, which is appropriate based on the play’s subject matter. The show deals with teen suicide. The show is written in one act and is about 30 minutes. Pre-show entertainment will be provided by members of the youth theater who will perform monologues they have worked on in class. There is a question-and-answer session following the show with the cast, along with members of the community who have experience dealing with the issue of teen suicide. “This play is much more serious than what most members of the cast have had an opportunity to work on in the past, and it is great to see them expand their talents and perform in such an intense and serious piece of theater,” Hewitt said. Robert Lee Storey, who plays Brent, said, “This show deals with an intense subject, and it is difficult to do, but has been a great growing experience for me.” In addition to Storey, the cast features Cole Strickland as Chris, Scott Sherard as The Chris Double, Stephen Gragg as Mr. Borthwick, Charlie Stowe as Charlie, Mary Evan Giles as Mrs. Borthwick, Sydney Wells as Jill, and Hope Funke as Abby. The play centers on the Borthwick family, who gathers in their living room after being asked to convene there by the “self-appointed” black sheep of the family, Chris (Strickland). He has, however, not shown up and the family is none-too-eager to take time away from their busy schedules. Chris finally arrives via videotape and speaks to them from the television screen. Through the video, we see Chris’ perspective and how each family member has treated him. The audience also gains understanding of how poor communication and the family’s misguided intentions have led Chris to feel like an outsider. Hewitt said he “picked this script because I believe that theater can change lives and that the message in this script is something that teens and adults need to hear. I saw this play done in a high school competition and remember it having a huge impact on my life, and I hope audience members will have the same reaction when they see our production.” Throughout rehearsals, Hewitt has been fortunate to be in contact via Facebook with Rhoden-Goguen, who lives in Kentucky. “This play was written 15 years ago and later published, but it hasn’t seemed to lose momentum and continues to see performances throughout the U.S. and abroad,” Rhoden- Goguen said. “I think the reason that the play resonates so well with audiences is that undoubtedly you will find one character that reminds you of yourself. We all feel like an outsider at some time, or we feel on top of the world sometime, and yes, sadly, sometimes we all realize that though we meant no harm, we failed to give attention to those who needed us.” Tickets are $5. For information, call the opera house at 864-366-2157. Accent 7A March 29, 2012 SUBMITTED The Abbeville Opera House Youth Theatre presents “May I Have Your Attention, Please?” by Catherine Rhoden-Goguen. The Youth Theatre cast, first row, from left, is Sydney Wells as Jill and Charlie Stowe as Charlie. Second row: Robert Lee Storey as Brent, Mary Evan Giles as Mrs. Bor- thiwick and Stephen Gragg as Mr. Borthiwick. Back row: Hannah Horton the stage manager, Cole Strickland as Chris and Scott Sherard as Chris’ Double. Not pictured is Hope Funke as Abby. Youth Theater performs teen suicide show in Abbeville By RUSSELL COX rcox@indexjournal.com

  5. PERFORMANCE ANNOUNCEMENT
    Saturday, October 15th, NEWBERN MIDDLE SCHOOL, VALDOSTA, GA will be performing May I Have Your Attention, Please? Break Legs! #Theatre4Change

  6. Great performances yesterday of May I Have Your Attention, Please? At Bracken Co, KY. They were able to use the play to start a dialogue about suicide and depression. They were also able to bring community resource counsellors in to speak. Some photos are in photo gallery.

    1. The photos are wonderful! I am glad to showcase the photos from a performance during the school day. It is heartwarming to see the courage of the cast performing in front of peers. #Theatre4Change

  7. Wow! I love the page! I loved the play…You said you were going to make my son your star and you did…at least during this play…As the child of a parent who took their own life, I want to say thank you for opening up the conversation. Suicide has been a taboo subject for far too long… It is time to shine a light at this dark place and this play certainly does that…I love you and appreciate all the work you do…I wish you the greatest of successes…

    1. I am so glad you, as a parent shared your perspective. Often I hear from students but not as often from parents and they have such an important perspective. I also applaud your courage in sharing the perspective of a child who lost her parent to suicide. Sadly, most people have been impacted by suicide in their lifetime. Your son made the role of Chris Borthwick real to so many and gave his drama program it’s first ever top actor at state. Thank you again for sharing and I hope the webpage joins the play with spreading the message. So many lives depend on it. #Theatre4Change.

  8. “May I have your attention please?” really was touching. I truly think it inspired the audience to reach out to people when in need or show signs. I believe it will continue to touch lives, the more it’s performed.

  9. Drama Students Seek Attention
    Play Puts Teen Suicide Risk In The Spotlight
    By Margot Susca The Port St. Lucie Tribune

    ST. LUCIE COUNTY . For one generation it was polio. For another it was alcoholism and drug addiction. These were secrets people didn’t talk about in public, issues that were kept in the closet. For this generation, some experts . especially educators . fear the unspoken issue is suicide. A group of Fort Pierce Central High School drama students want to make sure that’s not the case in St. Lucie County, less than two months after a 14-year-old classmate took her own life. Eight teenagers will bring the one-act play, “May I Have Your Attention Please,” to a competition Friday at Florida Atlantic University, and to their classmates a week later, an effort they hope spreads awareness. “I want people to know suicide is real, that it could happen . that it is happening,” said Ryan Carley, 16, who plays the disinterested career-minded father of a troubled teen. Nationwide, 16.9 percent of students “seriously considered” attempting suicide and almost as many created a plan to follow through, according to a 2003 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those, almost one in 10 will attempt taking their own life. “Teen suicide is a national problem that we deal with,” said Larry Smith, Fort Pierce Westwood High School guidance director. “Two or three or four times a year you are actually sitting with a student counseling them,” Smith continued. “It’s not always clear cut, but you’ve got to put your running shoes on at that point.” In the play, a 15-year-old class clown asks his family to play a videotape he’s made. From the television screen, character Chris Borthwick lobs a lifetime’s worth of memories . not all positive . to his brother, sister, parents and two friends. As his cry for help reaches a climactic end Chris, played by 17-year-old Central junior Danny Ortiz, puts a gun to his head and the curtain falls. The play ends with characters reading off statistics on teen suicide, rates that administrators and guidance counselors countywide say they continue to watch. “I think it’s an issue that is not related to one school or another or to one particular group of kids,” said Trina Trimm, principal of St. Lucie West Centennial High School. “We’re seeing younger and younger kids say they are depressed.” Knowing the figures and seeing troubled teens daily have prompted some changes in how Centennial children get access to guidance counselors. As part of a major overhaul of the school this year, three additional counseling positions were added. “A lot of teenagers just want someone to take the time to listen,” Trimm said. “It’s a sad reflection of where teenagers are today. Many are carrying financial burdens or helping pay the bills at home and they have a lot of stress.” Carley and his cast members, who said they frequently hear students walking the halls threatening suicide or flashing fresh cuts on their arms, want parents to be less like those depicted in the play. “People should talk to their kids,” Carley said, “and know that something could happen in the future.” Central drama teacher Lisa Stewart, who chose the play this summer for her drama students, knows what can happen. A 1992 graduate of Westwood, Stewart remembers a teenage classmate who killed himself . a wake-up call for her and her peers that still resonates today. “This play, if anything, shouldn’t hit just teens. It should hit parents as well,” Stewart said. “It should hit the whole community.”

  10. PERFORMANCE ANNOUNCEMENT
    Bracken Co High School is performing May I Have Your Attention, Please? today for high school students! Stay tuned for upcoming performance dates or always feel free to post a performance date. #Theatre4Change

  11. It was an honor and moving experience to play Chris. It really opened my eyes to how empty a person can feel. I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone. If you know someone in need of encouragement or self acceptance, reach out a helping hand. This play is part of me still, because to this day, “I can still say my abc’s backwards.”
    Joshua Collins

    1. You always have the honor of being the first, Christopher David Borthwick! Glad you can still say your “ABC’s” forwards and backwards. Thanks for sharing! #Theatre4Change

  12. I had the pleasure of directing this play several years ago. It was such an amazing experience. We invited representatives from social services to provide brochures and answer questions.
    I still have contact with some of the cast. In reality we were a family for that period of time.

    1. I am so glad to see your school used the play to bring in outside resources and awareness to a serious issue. Very heartwarming that you and the cast became a family and still stay in touch. Thanks for sharing! #Theatre4Change

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