I Was Born to Be Me, is the newest production by Plymouth State University’s Theatre Integrating Guidance Education and Responsibility (TIGER) program.
“The performance is based on the writings of children living in New Hampshire,” says Artistic Director Trish Lindberg. “The message is about helping students to celebrate their uniqueness – to like who they are. We want them to treat one another with respect and dignity.” Lindberg says TIGER, a collaboration between the integrated arts and counselor education graduate programs at PSU, decided to develop a second production because of the demand for quality educational theater programming in New Hampshire schools, talking about issues facing children today.
According to Managing Director Gary Goodnough, TIGER
sent writing prompts to every elementary school in New Hampshire, asking students, “Can you describe a time when you were made to feel different?” and “Have you ever been treated differently because of the way you look or act?” An anonymous student wrote, “I am different from others. For that is who I am. I am different from others. I am who I am. I am different from others. They are different from me. I am different from others. I was born to be
me.” This writing has been turned into the opening musical number, written by Plymouth Elementary Media Specialist Jeff Lines.
TIGER’s original performance, A Bully Isn’t Your
Friend..Yet, has been presented to over 14,000 students across the state. “The response to TIGER has been overwhelming, thus the need for a second production,” says Lindberg. “This is an opportunity to reach children across the state through theater – to help them with difficult issues that I know they face.”
Kate Lynch, an original actor/founding member of TIGER
and TIGER tour manager says, “The most important part of this process is when I get to talk to a student after the show and they tell me what they got from it. One student told me, ‘I never thought I was a bully – but I think there are some things I saw in the show that I need to stop doing.’”
TIGER is a program designed to create a forum in which
different social issues can be explored. For information contact TIGER Executive Director Gail Mears, at 603-535-2485 or Kate Lynch at 603-535-2647.