Dont u luv me?
It's a simple question, in text message format. Who would ever guess it reflects a growing problem among teen-agers, escalated by technology? Stalking. Obsession. Aggression. Manipulative possessiveness. Date violence. Rape. "I'd seen news stories and movies and books about dating violence, but I'd always been able to separate myself from it. Being in this show has made me realize that it is a real issue. It's really happening and it's a dangerous way to live." Lauren Rosen "I wish I'd been able to see something like this when I was in high school. Even when abuse doesn't reach the violent heights of the play or Chris (Brown) and Rhianna, the "small" abuses - emotional and mental as well as physical - can seem normal when you don't have the relationship experience to see them for what they are." Montgomery Sutton.
Lauren and Montgomery currently portray lead characters in Dallas Children Theatre's gripping world premiere teen theatre production - dont u luv me, by resident award-winning playwright Linda Daugherty, author of The Secret Life of Girls and EAT (It's Not About Food), running through April 26 at the Rosewood Center Studio Theater, 5938 Skillman Rd. in Dallas, Texas. The play deals with the subject of date violence and its epidemic proportions in the US while encouraging young people to make choices that result in healthy relationships.
One in three teens report knowing a friend who has been a victim of peer violence.
Montgomery, a member of Actors Equity, got his start in theater at age 3 on DCT's stage and has recently returned to Dallas after earning his BA in theatre at NYU's prestigious Tisch School of the Arts. Lauren is a dancer and actress studying for her BA at UNT. They portray two "average" teens that start a dating relationship, which goes terribly awry. The play offers a realistically portrayed, intriguing opportunity for families and teens to learn about the problem and recognize the warning signs. It contains professionally choreographed scenes of stage violence with highly charged emotional content. According to play director, Nancy Schaeffer, "We are not backing off from the issues of violence and sexuality. This is not like an "after school special"- because we want it to mirror real life. Both actors have the chops and skills to deliver the complexities of this relationship." Study guides are available on the website and talk backs with medical and psychology professionals occur after the performances. It's recommended for ages 13 and up.
Performances are scheduled for Fridays at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 1:30pm and Sundays at 1:30pm and 4:30 pm.
Tickets: 214-740-0051, or on-line: www.dct.org
NEWS: Emporia, KS high school students will mount the play next at SOS Inc., a crisis intervention organization. Denise Brown, Nicole Simpson-Brown's sister, will speak about domestic violence issues on April 27, after the performance.
Rated by TIME Magazine as one of the top five theaters in the nation performing for youth, Dallas Children's Theater is a professional theater serving more than 270,000 young people and their families through its eleven main stage productions, national touring company, and education and outreach programs.
Photo: Lauren Rosen/ Montgomery Sutton DCT press photo