'We just need to get it out there' - talented performers taking suicide awareness to the stage




A group of young Wellington performers are doing something about New Zealand's high suicide rates.

They've experienced the pain of suicide and now their stories are an inspiration for others to see.
Source: Seven Sharp

All the performers have experienced the pain of suicide and they've used their stories as inspiration for a stage show they want more young Kiwis to see.

"I've had my sister commit suicide and one of my boys from work," said one performer.

Another said there was a ripple effect after one of their friends took their life while at boarding school.

"You don't have to go looking for them, if you get a group of Maori youth in a room, the sad truth is, the majority of them have had a family member who's committed suicide," said Charlizza Harris from 2Face Drama.

The performers from 2Face Drama have been tackling social issues for years including bullying, and domestic violence.

But they say this is their most important work yet, because everyone who is taking part knows what it is like to be one of the ones left behind.

"This was a wakeup call this was the kuapapa we need to do," said Ms Harris.

"When I was young my father committed suicide, this story is very much his story in that he was a professional kick boxer and people looked at him thinking he had it together, when it happened people didn't understand."

The story they are telling, The Secret Life of a Wellington Teenager, is one Ms Harris thinks almost every young person can relate to.

The choreographers, composers and production team are all under the age of 25, the youngest performer being just 10-years-old.

"I was aware that they might be too young, might be too heavy, but there was a 10-year-old that committed suicide and it was on the news, I thought I can't put an age limit on this," said Ms Harris.

The group want to take the show on the road, to communities that need it most.

"We just need to get it out there," said Ms Harris who is willing to make it happen despite not having enough money.

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