HIALEAH (CBSMiami) - Mental health takes the spotlight as a new stage production is set to tour Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
Lyrical monologues, visual imagery, and vibrant music. It's what brings, "I am me," a play to life.
"I feel it's very difficult for me to see a lot of plays that I can personally relate, coming from an immigrant family and being Cuban, and all that, and this really resonated with us," Joanna Camargo, 11th grader said.
The production follows six young people, as they share what it's like to be a teenager in present-day Miami.
"It makes your heartache, in the sense that all the pain all the bad things people go through," Osviel Brache, a senior said.
The characters in the play tackle issues of societal pressures, parental expectations, growing identities, all things that can affect mental health.
"I liked the play because it really showed that no matter who you are and what your background is, you're still valid and your feelings no matter, even if those around you don't believe the same way that you do, or that your background doesn't believe, or your culture doesn't believe the same way you do you still mean a lot to everybody," Jisel Nuevo, another 11th grader said.
This was all possible through a partnership between the Adrienne Arsht Center and Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
"About three years ago formed a focus of students that came to the Arsht Center and they really wanted to talk about growing up in Miami, in their Magic City," Jairo Ontiveros, Assistant Vice-President of Arts Education and Community Engagement explained.
Beyond the performance, students will be given resources for creative activities and how to get help for mental health issues.
"Even these little plays. It helps so much to get students to open up and feel like if they are going through something, it's fine, to speak it, it's okay to feel some way you don't always. You don't always have to be perfect," Nuevo added.
The center's relationship with M-DCPS began 10 years ago, it was aimed at introducing live theatre to students, it's one that outgoing Superintendent Alberto Carvalho has helped strengthen.
"I think over the past two years every single kid has a result of social isolation the loss of the routine that is so beneficial to them, they descended into dark places, suicide went up across the country, depression, obesity that's why this production is so timely so important at this moment," Carvalho said.
Though Carvalho's tenure is coming to an end, the work to bring performing arts to students is expected to grow in the coming years.
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