On Monday morning our Year 7 students were the audience for a powerful performance of Verbal Combat from Brainstorm Productions, with a key message that the things that you say to people face to face and online can have real consequences.
The performance is all the more powerful for the close proximity to the action and the well-crafted script that takes these important issues and makes them relatable to students. The performance had so many messages integrated throughout, from keeping your password private and not using the same one for everything, to ensuring that your reset questions are not easily guessable with publicly known information from your social media profiles. It discussed the notion of the bravado that can exist with someone’s public, online persona, FOMO (fear of missing out), the issue of technology keeping students up late at night and sleep-deprived and the perceptions that can exist around people “liking” photos and posts.
At its very heart, though, the performance was about the power that words have to destroy and devastate lives and explored that there is an alternative. “Why can’t we be good to one another.” “Why can’t we treat others the way we want to be treated ourselves.” “Real friends don’t make others feel bad.” The performance walked the line between exploring the personal perspective, whilst communicating that harassment is illegal and can have legal consequences for young people.
The debrief afterwards, all the more powerful as it was the actors that conducted this, looked at the importance of being true to your values, not being a bystander, owning your mistakes and asking for help.
Our thanks to Lauren and Daniel for such a captivating and thoughtful performance.
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