Bullying in all of its forms is a hot topic in schools around the nation, and the upcoming Veritas and Valor Symphonics production, PUSH, tackles this issue head-on through a dazzling multimedia production.
The production follows three individuals, all at first inherently ‘good’, whose paths are manipulated by angelic and demonic forces that influence the characters and their pivotal decisions. The manipulated individuals come to represent the bully, the bullied and the bystander, but PUSH also communicates that everyone has a choice in their actions. Valor’s Veritas Dance troupe uses their art form communicate their message. Dancer Caitlyn Koerner explains, “When portraying the demons we use a lot of contorted, sharp, grotesque movements, while the angels use more flowy and graceful movements.”
John DeYoung, the dance instructor at Valor is the catalyst behind the production. “As we are pushed to do evil, pushed by others, and are witnessing an angry, shoving world,” he says, “we need to be reminded that there is light and love and that ultimately, there is healing. PUSH is a story of redemption—of pushing hope.” PUSH was brought to life through discussions with the Veritas dancers, personal stories and exploring similar themes in social media. On Instagram, “#lonely” has over one million photos tagged. This shocked the girls of Veritas and revealed the reality of bullying and emotional pain.
After the performance, a group of experts on bullying-related themes will address the audience. The line-up includes Sandy Austin, a school counselor deeply involved in the aftermath of Columbine and founder of B.I.O.N.I.C. (Believe It Or Not, I Care), Scott W. Ross, Behavioral Analyst and internationally-recognized bullying expert and speaker, and Cynthia Regardie, Clinical Psychologist with DaySpring Counseling. There will also be a room designed so people can read stories of others’ experiences with bullying on the walls and see the real-life implications of bullying in a tangible way.
Taking place Friday and Saturday, February 26 – 27 at 7:00 pm, PUSH provides not only a powerful artistic representation of a heavy topic, but also connects the audience to resources, inspiration and ultimately, redemption to push hope to the world around us. Purchase your tickets now!