School play helps end classroom homophobia

Publish Date: 01/04/2008

Hope theatreCommissioned by Exceeding Expectations, the play called OUTLOUD uses the experiences and stories of real children who have been homophobically bullied at school to show onlookers the devastating and heartbreaking effects that homophobic bullying has on young people in the city's schools.

Performed by actors from Hope Theatre Company and using the words of pupils interviewed exclusively for the piece, the 30 minute play tells the story of young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual people in Manchester climaxing with an emotional short film about the death of gay student Matthew Shepard.

Adam Zane, Director of OUTLOUD commented: 'After the first performance I was approached by a student who wanted to thank us for bringing the play to her school.

'She said that she was a lesbian and couldn't tell anyone in the school. She said that she was pleased with the audience's reaction to the play and that she felt more able to confront homophobia after seeing the play.'

Following performances of the OUTLOUD play, students have been taking part in a workshop organised by Lesbian and Gay Youth Manchester. This has included several activities including a question and answer session, which frankly addresses students' questions about LGBT life.

There is also a specially commissioned film available on DVD for schools to support their PSHE curriculum work.

The next phase of OUTLOUD showcases will take place in Manchester schools between 9-20 June 2008 with three extra one-off performances of being held on 2 May for education, youth and health professionals.

For further information regarding OUTLOUD contact 0161 882 2312 or email chris.fox@manchester.nhs.uk