Catalyst

Tragedy

In 2012, a 14-year-old boy was shot and killed at a local carnival. The murder, thought by the police to be gang related was actually the result of an ongoing rivalry between two neighboring cities.  In response to the child's death and the ongoing dialogue about violence in schools, we asked young people to help us write about the rivalries that exist in their everyday lives.

Process

Research & Writing

For 14 weeks, middle- and high-school students conducted "real" research.   They collected the details of their own experiences along with those of law enforcement, social workers, gang affiliates and others whose lives were touched by the perpetrators of juvenile crime to compile an honest script that examines everyday acts of violence among teens.
 

Result

Performance

Multiple stories revolve around Donte, whose father orchestrates violent acts against his mother and Charlie who bears the brunt of Donte's home life at school.  This simple yet alarming glimpse inside the lives other young people taunted daily by emotional and physical assaults ends with "Talk Back" sessions for audience feedback and reflections.

Teacher (Anna Stanback) opens with a revealing definition the word, rivalry.

Charlie (Christopher Alexander) is bullied on the bus by Donte (Justin Bracken) everyday before school.

Jealousy among friends leads Michelle (Rose Lawson) to attack her best friend (Aliyah Muhammad) while her peers cheer her on.

Zamoria, (Zakiya Brown) sizes up a  target to antagonize during class. 

Head of the Detention (Ron Lavender) delivers the rules of detainment to juvenile offenders.

Nephew (Nicholas Johnson) contemplates taking out a member of his biological family for his gang family.