Where's the line?
As an actor, you tell the story of different struggles, different triumphs, and different lives. You deliver a message. However, stronger messages tend to correlate with shows featuring adult content. As actors, we often love the challenge of tackling a piece that explores difficult and mature content.
As teenage performers, is there a line of “too much controversy?”
Pieces such as The Laramie Project send weighty messages to their audiences, and have been popular choices by high schools. Is the content found in similar shows too much for the teenage actor? Or does choosing edgier material teach not only the audience, but the students as well?
The answer really depends on the community and environment. Some titles such as Urinetown cause plenty of stir in school districts, while other troupes are openly applauded for their performances of shows like Good Boys and True.
What is your opinion? Students, how do you feel when presented with the opportunity to perform a mature piece? Do you believe there is a fine line between risk-taking, and pushing the limits too far just for attention? Directors and theatre educators, how do you decide what is appropriate for your students? What do you feel should be the boundary for high school level theatre?