Nov 14, 2018
There’s a group of young people working to deliver a message to middle schoolers throughout Loudoun County: that hope can persist despite challenges. Their medium is a 40-minute musical performance that puts the spotlight on characters facing challenges, such as physical and mental disabilities, and portrays them in positions of strength. The original musical, called “Abira and the Mountain,” is put on by nonprofit art and music therapy center A Place to Be and will be shown at four middle schools in Loudoun County and to thousands more students at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Prince William County by the end of the month. Through its Same Sky Project, A Place to Be has delivered a message of hope and resilience through staged productions to Loudoun County’s public schools for the past seven years. Teens and young adults have been behind each of the productions, which use the fun and power of theater to broach serious subjects, such as stereotypes, suicide, and mental illness. And “Abira and the Mountain” is particularly special for the team at A Place to Be, because it was written by two of their longtime clients, Amy Stone and Ryan Perry. The couple was leaving the movie theater after watching “Power Rangers” when Stone mentioned that it’d be nice to one day see a movie that featured people like them as main characters.