Reflections of a Rock Lobster: Gay Youth Still Fighting for Safer Schools
Boston Children’s Theatre Stages Frick’s Tale of Bullying
"Many people think it’s easier now, but I don’t," said Fricke, author of "Reflections of a Rock Lobster: Growing Up Gay," when discussing the current climate of LGBT intolerance in schools. "Even with all the resources available and all the celebrity endorsements, I still feel it’s possible to be young and gay and feel alone."
Fricke said that the hypocrisy of school administrators was what made him so angry.
"I’m being picked on in Phys. Ed. and told that it’s to be expected. And the next breath I was told that I couldn’t bring Paul to prom and that it was for my own protection," said Fricke.
From Mar. 9-17, the Boston Children’s Theatre will be taking on these themes of bullying and discrimination through the re-mount of the critically acclaimed "Reflections of a Rock Lobster." The play, adapted by BCT Executive Artistic Director Burgess Clark and based on the autobiographical story of Fricke, received rave reviews its first time around by gay, straight, youth and adult audiences.
"I think stories like Aaron’s are timeless and universal," said Clark. "They deal with the most basic experiences we all have. You don’t have to be LGBT to be bullied."
Clark, who has done a series of plays focused on justice through the eyes of a child, says that putting on this production and taking on such sensitive themes in a children’s theatre, even in Boston, was a risk.
It appears that the risk paid off, as the show’s debut last year generated praise from sources like actress Susan Sarandon and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.
"One of the great things about the BCT production of ’Rock Lobster,’" said Fricke, "is that it’s bringing the whole message to gay and straight audiences."
In a time when bullying headlines pervade our media, "Rock Lobster" is a glimmer of what could be: gay, straight, young and old coming together for the common cause of doing the right thing, standing up for oneself and for others.
"Every generation has their cause," said Clark. "And I really think it’s this generation’s issue. The story of Aaron Fricke is just as relevant today as in 1980."
For more information or tickets for "Reflections of a Rock Lobster," call 617-933-8600 or visit www.bostonchildrenstheatre.org.