UPDATE: Students with the Case High School Eagle Theater group performed at a district-wide competition and have now qualified for a state-wide competition for their original play #DarkSideOfTheRainbow.

They will perform the play for the public this week.

Original story: After three students committed suicide at Horlick High School last two years, the Case High School Theater students saw an opportunity to highlight several issues they see in the community and they wrote an original musical called #DardSideOfTheRainbow.

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.

Justin Durant, a senior at Case High School, said the play focuses on several key issues facing the community, including suicide, the importance of students’ mental health, drug use and how people from the LGBTQ community have felt left out.

“This is a must see for all generations — young and old,” Durant said. “For the younger ones they can see what happens when they see students trying to make a difference. But these things affect all of us and this information needs to be shared.”

Nancy Gibson, the director of the Case High School Theater group, said the play is meant to start a conversation in the community, especially between parents and children. A number of parents and community groups have already seen the play to offer insight on these sensitive topics.

“Our focus is on beginning a conversation with the community,” she said. “We’ll also have a talk back session and counselors on hand to be a resource on mental health.”

Cameron Langrell, a Caledonia teen, killed himself earlier this year after he came out as being transgender. He was a freshman at Horlick High School. With more youth dying from suicide in some southeastern Wisconsin Counties, some are calling out this public health crisis as the numbers have increased, according to a story by Fox 6.

Of those who died, many had been sexually assaulted, had problems with their boyfriend or girlfriend, had trouble at school or struggled with their sexuality. According to the story, for every one person that is successful in committing suicide, there are 11 people who have attempted.

#DarkSideOfTheRainbow, is an original musical created as a response to the suicides of three students at a local Racine high school, and was written as a educational piece. The show ends right at a critical point and the audience has an opportunity to engage with the actors and the story.

The play will be performed at 4 p.m. Nov. 12, 7 p.m. Nov. 13 and 14, and 2 p.m. Nov. 15 at JI Case High School, 7345 Washington Ave. Tickets cost $8 for the general public, and $5 for students and senior citizens. All proceeds from the play will be used to fund further performances at the state and national level.

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

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