Lonely teenager unravels life’s web

Weekender

Moresby Arts Theatres produces and stages a real-life drama faced by teens growing up in a modern urban setting pulled this way and that by life’s conflicting pressures.

By HUXLEY LOVAI
‘SINCERELY Me,’ a story of a lonely teenage boy (Evan Hanson) who finds himself caught up in a web of self-devised deception and his journey navigating it all, is the latest production by The Moresby Arts Theatre.
The musical has highs and lows touching on topics of loss, family struggle, bullying, love and all the many pressures that modern day life throws at you.
Director Natalie Pidik told the media at a dress rehearsal this particular production was relevant to today’s modern life with social media and the internet, and how it has had positive and negative impacts on lives, particularly young people.
“Sincerely Me is based around our lead character Evan Hanson and his journey of self-discovery. He is really insecure, doesn’t quite know where he fits in, and he goes on this journey where he kind of puts himself into a storyline that unfolds throughout the entire show.
“I think as a group we are really passionate about seeing the next generation come up, with a better understanding of what we may not have had growing up. So any time you read a script that is going to touch the lives of young people, I think we all gravitate towards that,” Pidik said.
Pidik praised the cast and crew for their hard work during rehearsals and going into the opening night.
“That’s the beauty of Port Moresby, I grew up in the United States and you’ve got a lot of talent. But I’ve never experienced talent so naturally and effortlessly then when I came to PNG, and I have worked with the cast over that last 10 years. And seeing them grow, to take on a character and make it so relatable.”
Producer Kevin DeBruyn stated: “We thought it was a pretty important story to tell especially in this day and age of social media, and people getting caught up in living these sorts of double lives.
“The lives that we have when we are with other people, and there’s the life that you live outside of that. Sometimes it’s pretty hard to join the two, and this is a pretty important story about just being true to yourself, and that’s the best version of you that you can be.
“We heard of the music online, we love the songs firstly. That was what grabbed us initially. Then we found out about the story and modified it and made it applicable to Port Moresby and PNG in particular.”
Jacob Ilave, who plays the lead character Evan Hanson told The National that it was a challenge to play a complex character like Evan.
“I’m playing a character named Evan Hanson; he’s a 17 year-old boy who suffers from social anxiety, so he attends therapy and takes medication.
“Evan has been quite a hard character to play, probably one of the hardest I’ve had to do – just because of the emotional depth that’s involved”
“Playing Evan I had to act like someone who has social anxieties, awkward when talking to others, weird hand and body gestures. As well as that he has to get really emotional really quickly.”
The play opened at the Moresby Arts Theatre in the last week of May and the final two shows were staged last weekend.

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