The cast: (clockwise from top) Kimberly, Lenard, Shiloh, and Kristi
Jerry lives with his grandmother and is a well-adjusted, mature, and confident preteen. Despite changes in his body and the outside world, Jerry does not change his style or behavior in a way his peers view as “cool,” and he is labeled a nerd. Although teased, Jerry chooses to be an upstander when he sees others being teased and forms a surprising relationship in the process. He also decides he is not going to give in to peer pressure, as he discovers it is all right to just be himself.
Malika has low self-esteem and is an over-achiever who did well in elementary school but is struggling with the greater academic challenges of middle school. In addition, her life feels difficult because of fighting between her parents, financial and housing difficulties, questions about her sexuality, and arguments with her best friend. With the help of a counselor and her peers, Malika’s self-esteem increases and she is better able to handle the pressures she faces. Her new self-confidence leads her to make positive decisions about her health, including quitting vaping and expressing her boundaries with a friend by refusing to text explicit pictures to them.
Natalie is a 12-year-old who is developing faster than many of her friends. She is proud of the way she looks and has a good self-image and an outgoing personality. Some of her classmates call her names and bully her because of her confidence and adult appearance. Her relationships with close friends begin to shift. Fortunately, Natalie can deal with the teasing because of her high self-esteem and the emotional support of her mother and close friend Jerry.
Nick is becoming a popular student and seems to have lots of friends and a great life. On the inside, though, he is upset about the racial discrimination he faces. He is also being pressured by his older brother to begin having sex and engage in “sexting.” Over the course of the webisodes, Nick learns to cope with the challenges he faces and find resources to help him deal with his feelings. He also learns that just because he is thinking about sex does not mean he is ready to have sex.
To write a letter to the cast or your favorite character, please send it to:
Nightmare on Puberty St.
Kaiser Permanente Educational Theatre
1438 Webster St., Ste. 205
Oakland, CA 94612