Reviews: Distortion

I really thought the play was magnificent and was incredibly impressed with the writing and the musicians/actors. Congratulations on a real achievement that will not be soon forgotten by the audience and certainly not the students – it was deep, profound, stirring and empowering. – Daniel Lapp, Composer, Musician

I will say that attending Distortion (twice) was one (two) of the major highlights of the school year. To see students so intricately and personally involved with the creation of this spectacular piece of drama – a play that is not only brilliantly entertaining, but also extremely topical and relevant – reaffirms that SMUS walks the walk when it comes to experiential education.  – Terence Young, Author and Teacher

Distortion is an elegant, shocking, painful, stunningly beautiful script.
- Donna Williams, Vocalist, Musician, Actor, Teacher

Distortion is not just a play which entertains and gives creative students an opportunity to showcase their musical talent. It is also an incredible tool for teaching other students and even teachers themselves about the complexity of the students in any high school.  As a paediatrician who sees teens with multiple social and behaviour issues, and as a mother of son who has succeeded despite his own dyslexia, I was pleased to see an accurate portrayal of many teen issues: depression, eating disorders, abusive relationships, parental expectations and the ever present, too frequent problem of exhaustion as students try to mange school, work, and social life. -  Jane Cassie, MD FRCPC

Since the completion of my Masters in Theatre in Education in 2003, I have been on a decade-long discovery of plays for young audiences the world over. I was amazed at the honesty, vitality and pure entertainment of many of these plays. However, I can say with absolute conviction that on this journey I have not yet seen a play that packed as powerful a punch as DISTORTION.  All of the characters were clear and believable. It is rare to find a play that speaks with equal urgency to parents, educators and youth; yet this one does.  My one thought upon witnessing its impact was that the audience was left longing for a talk back session with cast members and the creative team, given the weight of its content. I feel it warrants time and money spent upon it, to prepare a sort of Drama in Education follow-up package, and that it needs to tour.  Its themes of addiction, loyalties and ways of learning are relevant on a global scale and it is my hope that this play be shared now with the world. – Cam Culham, Drama Educator, Actor

I truly believe that the amazing impact of this play was the combination of the script, the acting and the music.  I have a feeling that the power of the play came from that blend. Let’s just say that the play ‘spoke to me’.  Just for the record it is still speaking to me and I suspect it will continue to speak for some time to come. The play for me was life changing. – Lara Lauzon, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Coordinator, Recreation and Health Education, University of Victoria

I was absolutely mesmerized by the play, “Distortion”. Not only was the writing intelligent, funny, poignant and insightful but combined with the very finely selected musical numbers made for an evening that I think no human could avoid resonating with on multiple levels. Despite the heaviness of the subject matter, it was deftly treated so that we came away with a raw but hopeful snapshot of real teen struggle brought into the light. A perfect community outreach tool for youth and an opportunity to connect with kids who may be on the verge of falling into isolation. Truly stunning performances by the talented young cast of actors and musicians made it a superb, multi-faceted delight! So exciting! I can’t wait to hear about it running across the country and beyond! – Anne Schaefer, composer, vocalist, musician

I just read your play and I think it’s brilliant. It made me laugh and cry and I can only imagine just how moving the performance must have been. It has so much in it – the music, the education system, learning issues, normal crazy teenagers! You know a lot about a lot of things, and this is a really good play. I’m impressed. – Carol Matthews, Author

We LOVED Distortion.  Our only complaint was that it was not on the next weekend so that we could see it again and tell everyone we know about it!  Brilliant. – Annabel Curry, Accountant

I wanted to tell you both how completely impressed I was with Distortion. I saw it Saturday night and if I had known how good it was I, like my son, would have gone twice. The subject matter was very real and very challenging. I really appreciated that you took that on in such a compelling way. I was impressed that you were able to make Ms. Shrike’s character compellingly complex and not just “a bad guy”. I admired the way the music imitated how our young people live in their musical worlds, moving with ease between cellos and electric guitars and from modern to bits of classical, all beautifully played and arranged. I thought there was courage and respect and love and leadership and service and learning and passion and compassion woven through the play. It was healing to see difficult adolescent issues covered respectfully and with an appropriate degree of depth. – Patricia Lane, Lawyer/Mediator

Distortion was outstanding and particularly pertinent to our interest in differentiated learning. Given how we are better understanding our students and their learning styles, this play addressed so many relevant issues. It would be wonderful if we could schedule an encore performance for all faculty (from all campuses) to see. It would be one of the most effective professional development exercises we could possibly hope for. – Dorothy Hawes, Teacher Senior English

I was impressed with the talent, the hard work that had gone into the production, the way in which music and acting were brought together in such a brilliant piece of theatre but more than anything the obvious enjoyment of so many students participating. Congratulations to all involved. – Joan Tweedie, School Librarian

I will say that attending Distortion (twice) was one (two) of the major highlights of the school year. To see students so intricately and personally involved with the creation of this spectacular piece of drama — a play that is not only brilliantly entertaining, but also extremely topical and relevant — reaffirms that SMUS walks the walk when it comes to experiential education. – Terence Young, Author and Teacher

Distortion was a living breathing example of the school’s mission statement and its commitment to experiential learning.  Both casts deserve accolades for their nuanced acting, brilliant musical performances, creative staging and heartfelt  exploration of the themes of inclusiveness and differentiated intelligences. – Janice McCachen, Author and Teacher

Having been to the opening night of Distortion, it was such a triumph (both of writing and execution) and thus is a testament not only to the quality of craft and leadership, but also to the vital role that such a production plays in our school community. The students clearly thrived on the opportunity, and coupled with the thoughtful performances and meaningful contemporary themes presented through the text, the entire production was important. Please keep writing Jennifer! – Peter Butterfield, Choir Master

The kids can’t stop talking and raving about Distortion!! They just loved it, best play ever!! Congratulations!! – Terry Stockus, Real Estate Agent

I was in the audience for the Saturday Matinee. It was absolutely grand to see the quality of the actors’ work in presenting the story. You have done a fine job….and your creative skills as a playwright are highly notable. Every music teacher needs to take time to look closely at the leadership they offer from their “exalted position”….and evaluate their influence, honestly and often. Thanks Jennifer…It was stellar. – Mary Smith, Musician and Teacher

I just came back from Distortion. It was so absolutely brilliant.  Thank you. – Susan Vachon, MEd, Learning Resource Specialist

Congratulations for an amazing performance Thursday night! The acting, music, lighting, singing and playing of instruments was amazing. The last scene, however, was a most powerful ending. I lost it. Both Katie and I wept from the back of the theatre (highly embarrassing). It was the perfect ending.
- Alex Butterfield, Grade 12 Student

When my daughter first told me you wrote the play, I was surprised because I had thought surely it was well known professional published play.  It was amazing and we were totally entertained.  The play demonstrated a keen understanding of human nature.  The music was selected and performed very well.  In short it was a total winner.  Bravo!  You should be very proud of this work. – Gary Richards, Parent

I just wanted to congratulate you on your play. I thought it was really well done.  Paul and I have had season’s tickets at the Belfry for the past 20 years and Distortion was as good or better than most of the plays we’ve seen there in the past few years.  It deserves a much wider audience than just us lucky SMUS parents, and hopefully this is just the beginning! – Monica Petersen, Parent

Wow! Thank you for creating such an amazing show! A friend and I attended last night’s performance and it was incredible. It was very thought provoking and certainly raised a lot of issues worth discussing at the dinner table! I loved the music and could see how much the students enjoyed performing it. Thanks again and I’ll be coming again over the next few days! – Megan Stone, Parent

Saw the play tonight and just had to tell you I loved it.  Many great insights, wry comments, difficult topics openly explored, and some gorgeous language. Not to mention the great music and some riveting performances. Congratulations and thanks for a wonderful evening of theatre. – Joan Kyle-Jones, ESL Teacher

Go to Top
WP Like Button Plugin by Free WordPress Templates