The cast: (left to right) Jonah, Shiloh, Kristi, and Kimberly
Jerry is a well-adjusted, mature, and confident pre-teen who lives with his grandmother. Despite the changing social environment from elementary school to middle school, Jerry doesn’t change his style or behavior in a way his peers view as “cool.” They label him a nerd and tease him, but Jerry decides he isn’t going to give in to peer pressure. He discovers it’s all right to just be himself.
Malika has low self-esteem. She is an over-achiever who did well in elementary school, but she isn’t as successful at the higher academic challenges of middle school. In addition, her body is just beginning to develop, and she’s embarrassed. Her despair and her difficulty dealing with her feelings lead her to thoughts of suicide. With support from her friends and family, Malika improves her self-esteem, and she’s better able to handle the pressures she faces. Her new self-confidence helps her make positive decisions, including choosing abstinence when faced with pressure to have sex.
Natalie is a 12-year-old girl who is developing faster than many of her friends. She’s proud of the way she looks and has a good self-image and an outgoing personality. Some of her classmates call her names and tease her about her body’s adult appearance. Natalie can handle the teasing because she has high self-esteem and emotional support from her mother and her close friend Jerry.
Nick is becoming popular in middle school. He’ll do anything to be considered “cool” and to hang out with the “in” crowd. Physically abused by his father, Nick struggles with how to control his own anger. He frequently feels angry because he thinks nothing he does is ever good enough; Nick takes his anger out on other students. He also tries to pressure Malika to have sex. In the end, Nick learns that just because he is thinking about sex, doesn’t mean he’s ready to have sex. He learns to deal with the consequences of his actions and finds resources to help him cope with his feelings.
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