Adolescence explored in Pekin’s Sixteen in 10 Minutes or Less

Piper (Lexi Bowen) pulls an eraser out of James (Clayton Culp), her twin brother's mouth. 

Brody (Cole Earnest) and Vance (Brady Latcham) has a heart to heart about divorce, one of the themes in Sixteen in 10 Minutes or Less.

Lonely Laura (Hailey Criswell) finds comfort in her only real friend as she confides her struggles with her dog.

            Being a teenager isn’t a walk in the park. Social media has changed how 16 year olds interact and see the world, all through their phones or computers. In Sixteen in 10 Minutes or Less, Pekin drama students tackle the challenge of effectively acting out a mere glimpse into their lives and how they perceive one another.

            The two hour play featured nine scenes between two acts, each with its own little message ranging from confidence to social media to divorce. Eight characters primarily make up the cast as they take their audience through each scenario with a combination of humor, honesty and a lesson to be learned.

            “The play deals a lot with of actual issues that students deal with every day,” Drama Director Evanica Brown said. “Bullying is a big theme throughout the play. Social media is our generation’s thing and you constantly see the actors with phones. We want to deliver a message that would help people understand these themes.”

            While each character got a turn in the spotlight, four scenes featured senior Lexi Bowen portraying Piper Lawson, a teenager that Bowen describes as “a very mean girl that thinks she’s better than everyone else and doesn’t believe there’s anything wrong with that.”

            “It was a bit difficult this year for me because I honestly don’t see myself as a mean person, but I got to mess around with it” Bowen said. “She shows that there’s always a mean girl in life.”

            Bowen’s character did everything from bully a shy girl to teasing her own twin brother’s immaturity and insecurity. Though a returning senior to the drama dept, Bowen had not performed on stage last year. Despite the nerves that came with a prominent role and never hearing of the play, she grew to enjoy the performance, working with the cast and conveying the message of her character’s behavior.

            “We all became friends through this play and I enjoyed all their different personalities,” Bowen said. “What happens in the play definitely happens in high school. We probably don’t want to think it does, but this is how high school is for us.”

Please view the November 22 edition of The News-Review for the full story.