Holy Cross students tackle stigma surrounding mental health in ‘Shattered’
Students worked together to write the different segments of the play. Madison Dwier was one of the students in charge of looking over the various script elements submitted by her fellow students and narrowing down which ones would make it into the final production and which ones wouldn’t.
“Sometimes we’d have differences of opinions, but there was a lot of great material and it was interesting to see that, even when we didn’t always agree, we always ended up coming to the same decision,” she said.
Alex Nicolescu wrote a slam poetry piece that ended up making it into the final cut of the script. Inspired by the popular Broadway play Hamilton, Nicolescu wrote her poem in the middle of the night.
“I was sleeping and it just came to me, so I woke up, grabbed my notebook and starting writing,” she said.
At first, she wrote her whole poem from one perspective, about a friend trying to help another friend who was coping with depression. Drawing from personal experience, Nicolescu wrote of the struggle that one has to fight against when they’re helping a friend going through depression – a struggle against falling into that same mindset.
“You have to find a balance, between helping your friend and slipping into that same mindset, going to that same place,” she said. “You have to care about yourself too.”
Contini worked with Nicolescu to incorporate a call and response element to her poem.
“It’s very powerful, about her trying to be that other person – being there but not entirely understanding,” she said.
Over the course of one day at the end of May, the students performed Shattered five times – four daytime performances for Grades 9, 10, 11 and 12 as well as an evening performance for the community at large.
“In order to perform, the students need to have an audience,” said Contini. “What better way to help them get their message out there?”