On Monday October 24, 2016 Stevenson joined forces with the En Guard Arts theater company to host a Panel Discussion on adolescent mental health and wellness following the performance of their new play, “WILDERNESS.” This was exciting, quite timely, and the surrounding buzz was substantial. The premier of the play was just two days later and the day before the panel, The New York Times ran a feature on “WILDERNESS” in the Arts section.
The title refers to the setting, a wilderness therapy program in the Utah desert. It also refers to the wilderness of emotions between parents and their teenagers. The characters, based on real people and events, were dramatized in an honest and authentic way. Performance, movement, music and video interviews with parents were woven together to show how the pressures and complexities of growing up in the 21st Century impact adolescent mental health and wellness.
Stevenson was very proud to assemble the panel that followed the performance. It was moderated by our Head of School, Bob Cunningham, and included:
Panel Discussion Following the Performance. Read bios of the participants.
The play and the ensuing discussion provided a wonderful forum for independent school administrators, faculty and staff to interact with mental health professionals, parents, students and others to discuss adolescent mental health. The results were both educational and powerful. This was summarized well by a panelist who said, “I am a better educator than I was two hours ago.”
This is the latest visit between Stevenson and En Garde Arts. In June 2016 cast members from Wilderness took a break from their rehearsals to visit Stevenson, speak with students, listen to our rock band and preview songs from their show.