When the lockdown hit South Africa in 2020, some students saw it as an excuse to stay home.
Home schooling, however, presented a different set of challenges.
This struggle inspired the Bridgetown Theatre Company (BTC) to produced a new play, entitled A Learner Called Stress, which is set to tour schools around the Cape Flats.
BTC’s Zelda Hintsa tells the Daily Voice that the play deals with the effect of the Covid-19 on students, from the happy novelty of staying at home, to becoming depressing when they weren’t able to see their classmates.
“The play deals with the fear of death and illness, frustration and mental health issues,” she says.
“BTC is offering the production to schools on the Cape Flats and will do free performances of the 30-minute play, as well as the play Shade, which deals with bullying at primary and high schools, from 1 November to 9 December, during school hours.”
“The plays speak about how young people identified with each other through social relationships and then suddenly Covid happens.
They have to be isolated and this made them ripe for self-harm as a form of coping, substance abuse and suicidal tendencies.
“As well as depression, panic attacks, eating disorders, anxiety, not being able to see friends and schools or do extramural activities.”
“Through all this, they are wondering ’will this ever change’?
“Twenty months of lockdown is a lifetime in the life of a teenager as opposed to an adult.”
The production was written and performed by Umir Morris, Eurika van Wyk, Lisa Williams, Jesse Wyngaard and Angeline Swartz, and is directed by Yusuf Abrahams.
Umir says: “I am so excited to be part of the production as it’s new and a pressing issue.
“A relevant storyline for learners of all ages to relate to in this trying time called the new normal.
“The pandemic changed many lives, young and old, so I hope our story brings a happy vibe in this sad time.”
Schools can make a booking for the plays on 082 536 3651.