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Students from the Case High School Theater Group earned high awards at the state competition this weekend.Performing a play that tackles issues around being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer can be a daunting task, but the Case Eagle Theater group did just that and earned high praise at a state-wide theater competition for their self-written play #DarkSideOfTheRainbow.

The issues around coming out became extremely personal to this group after three students committed suicide after coming out as transgender at Horlick High School over the last two years. The Case High School Theater students saw an opportunity to highlight several issues they see in the community, which prompted them to write an original musical called #DarkSideOfTheRainbow.

The story gives voice to a character named Danielle, a transgender girl, who has a transgender friend named Paris who committed suicide. But Saxony, the student government president, takes issue with how people are paying more attention to Paris’ death than her and she wages war on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community, and a battle ensues.

Held at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on Saturday, the crew earned outstanding ratings for ensemble, and crew, and the critics choice aware for festival show. Case Eagle Theater director Nancy Gibson and actor, Justin Durant, took home awards for being outstanding.

“Five out of five. This cast overcame every obstacle to write, produce, and perform this show,” Gibson said. “Shear tenacity and strength made it happen. Wow. The crowd was on their feet ensuring the moment the show ended. It has been an honor and privilege to walk on this journey with them.

“Thank you to the community of supporters who took a stand for the show and the people in it.”

The group will be presenting a workshop at the National Festival in the spring.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.

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