Teen’s Bullying Musical To Premiere
GETTYSBURG, Pa. ( AP) – A Hanover High School senior is getting local attention for his upcoming musical about teen bullying.
“The Victim,’’ a new musical, was written and directed by Zachary David Terrazas, 17, who said he was a victim of bullying in sixth grade and has seen others affected by it.
“It’s hurtful, but you learn to deal with it as you grow older,’’ he said during rehearsal in Gettysburg this week.
Terrazas has always found the theater to be a great comfort, so it’s no surprise to friends and family that he took his experiences and wrote not just a story, but also the lyrics and music for his own original musical.
“The Victim’’ will premiere at 7 p.m. on Aug. 10 and 11, at the Gettysburg Community Theatre, 49 York St., in Gettysburg.
“The story is based on high school situations and how peer pressure can turn a person’s life upside down,’’ Terrazas said..
In the musical, a high school girl named Claire is being bullied by another girl named Missy. But while Missy’s life appears perfect on the outside, the musical shows underlying tensions at home that contribute to the way she acts toward Claire.
“The musical addresses school problems, family problems, all the normal stuff about a teen’s life and there is at least one character in the musical that someone in the audience will relate to,’’ said Terrazas.
When Chad-Alan Carr of the Gettysburg Musical Theatre first read through the script and heard the music, he was moved. Not just by the talent of his former student, but the message behind the story. “It’s a powerful, interesting and contemporary musical,’’ said Carr. “And the fact that a teen wrote it and teens are performing it, just makes it really hit home.’’
Several of the kids in the musical have also been victims of bullying, according to Carr.
“This musical shows the harm bullying can do and it also shows that many times the bully has a reason for why he or she acts the way they do,’’ said Carr. “It’s about reaching out and being a friend.’’
Carr describes Terrazas’ music as “cutting edge’’ with some jazzy, gospel and pop sounds.
Carr is also excited to have his theater students experience a more serious undertaking. “This is our fourth year performing for the public and my older students are ready for a challenge and a step-up from Disney and Cinderella,’’ he said. “What’s great about musicals is that they can tell a story that is light and fun, or one that is very poignant.’’
Last year, federal statistics showed that 20 percent of high school students experienced bullying.
Terrazas hopes his musical will tell the bullied that they are not alone and show the bullies why they need to stop.