Teen actors take on sex education and immigration based on their experiences in school and at the border

Teen actors take on sex education and immigration based on their experiences in school and at the border

When Cry Havoc Theater Company traveled to South Texas to research a new work on immigration, one of the teenage actors recognized a boy who was being held in detention after coming across the border. He had gone to the first grade with the asylum-seeker in El Salvador but didn't mention it as they spoke.

"He didn't know what to do in that moment. He was so overwhelmed with emotion," recalls Mara Richards Bim, who founded Cry Havoc in 2014. The company creates plays by high school students on difficult social issues that affect them to make young people part of the discussion. "He felt helpless and didn't want to make it worse."

The discussion that skirts teenagers' real sexual issues becomes a hive of stinging questions in Cry Havoc's Sex Ed in AT&T's Elevator Project.

The discussion that skirts teenagers' real sexual issues becomes a hive of stinging questions in Cry Havoc's Sex Ed in AT&T's Elevator Project.

Let me tell you 'bout the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees and sexually transmitted disease, or STD. Say, what?

Sex Ed, Cry Havoc Theater Company's latest 70-minute devised play is no romantic Buddy Holly song. Not by a long shot. The young actors in the play also collaborated on the script, and they want truthful, accurate information about human sexuality and their own bodies. What about emotional relations and responsibilities? What's safe sex? What about birth control? What does "consent" really mean? What if I'm gay or trans?