Trevor teaches the value of acceptance

Caitlin Preuss, Contributor

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“I cried. I cried a lot.”

Not a young adult novel, not a slam poem, and most definitely not a Shakespearean tragedy. A musical. Yes, a big, bright, razzle-dazzle professional theatre production made high schoolers cry. A lot.

Trevor: The Musical at the Writer’s Theatre in Glencoe was an experience that members of the Palatine High School Drama Club took much more away from than just some catchy showtunes in their heads.

Based off the original, Academy Award winning short film Trevor, produced in 1994, the musical gives audiences a chance to see into the life of an LGBTQ+ youth in the 1980s. Audiences are captivated as Trevor experiences bullying, harassment, discomfort, and uncertainty during the fragile time of pre-teenage years. Trevor deals with having feelings for a male classmate, and the idea that he must hide this and many of his interests from his peers out of fear of rejection.

While sounding down and gloomy, the production shows an audience member Trevor’s most delightful and fun-loving qualities, allowing them to laugh and enjoy themselves throughout the entire production. The show also highlights the realistic struggles in teenage years for all students, not just the LGBTQ+ community.

Pair all this plot line and intrigue with an addicting soundtrack, some jazzy choreography, and truly talented actors and it’s an experience for everyone to enjoy.

While the production was an experience to be remembered, the lessons and take-aways for students were worth much more than one field trip.

Trevor teaches one to look at classmates with respect. Every character in the production of Trevor was lost, confused, scared, and nervous for what their classmates would think of their interests, no matter their gender, sexuality, or age. Depicting junior high in this way can show students stuck in a teenage funk that everyone around them is figuring out who they are too, and that it’s acceptable to be confused during teenage years.

Showing the effect that bullying and harassment had on Trevor teaches students of all ages that being mean and violent to other students will do absolutely no good. To be there for each other during teenage years is to respect one another, no matter the person’s identifying factors.

Palatine Drama Club members are also fortunate enough to be taking part in workshops set up by the Writers Theatre, to emphasize all the valuable lessons taught in Trevor. These workshops involve sharing opinions and discussing subjects of sexuality, teenage years, and the effect technology can have on all of the previously mentioned topics. The workshops are intended to connect individuals to Trevor: The Musical, and to help connect them with one another. This way, as a community of thespians and close friends, tragic bullying, like that which occurred in Trevor, can be prevented, and healthy treatment to peers can be advocated.

It’s important to understand what everyone around you is going through, and to know that you are not alone in your confusion. Trevor: The Musical taught me to love myself, respect those around me, and live everyday as full as possible. There are no consequences for being you.

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