Next week, Shameless Hussy Productions and Templeton Secondary School team up to put on Girls Like That by Evan Placey. Loosely based on the Amanda Todd incident, Girls Like That is about the trials of modern teenaged life.
16-year-old Alison Moreau plays Scarlett, a high schooler whose naked picture gets distributed around the school.
“She gets bullied and picked on, and it leads to her getting beat up. She ends up leaving the school because it becomes too much, but she still can’t get away from it,” says Moreau.
This sort of story, about current issues, sexism, and real-life problems, is the sort of play Shameless Hussy Productions specialises in. They tell stories from a feminine point of view, creating theatre to “rock the boat”.
Alison Moreau and most of her cast mates attend Templeton Secondary School. She has done theatre at school as well as the Arts Umbrella Pre-Professional Theatre Program and says that she wants to do as much drama as she possibly can. Luckily, she’s in an excellent place for it.
Renee Icai, founder of Shameless Hussy Productions, and director of Girls Like That, has worked with Templeton Secondary School before.
“It’s an incredible program,” she says. For her, it was a no-brainer that when doing a play about high school students she would join up with Templeton’s drama department.
Templeton’s theatre department is undoubtedly high calibre. The program is known around Vancouver, and regularly brings in guest directors like Kevin Bennett and Mike Stack to work on shows.
In addition to the fantastic theatre program, Templeton runs a course called “Girls in Leadership”, which lines up with the mandate of Shameless Hussy Productions.
“The class is a supportive environment where girls feel confident to speak their minds,” says Alison, who is also part of the class. In it, they talk about current events, personal stories, and how social issues affect them personally. Scarlett’s trials in Girls Like That resonate strongly with the class’s curriculum.
Director Renee Icai asks “If there’s a naked picture of a girl, we’re all outraged. If it’s a picture of a guy, it’s just funny. Why is it like that? It’s the same conversation that’s been happening since the beginning of time.”
The students from “Girls in Leadership”, as well as others from the school, are working on every aspect of the play. With the help of Joel Grinke, Templeton’s film department created projections and videos for the show. Overall, more than 80 students are donating their time and talent to tell this story.
“It’s very much a teenaged story,” says Icai, “and often music is their escape. They put on a pair of headphones and go into a different world.”
It’s fitting, then, that Girls Like That is full of pop songs that support the story. The music also helps bring a fun twist to an otherwise tragic tale.
Professional theatre artists telling a high school story with actual high school students? Bullying, sexism… and pop music?
Girls Like That opens Nov. 2nd at Templeton Secondary School and is not to be missed.
Tickets and more information can be found here.