It was a personal experience with her son that led Trish West to write Skin Deep, a play about self-image. “He had a project in Kindergarten where they had to explain what made them happy, sad, etc… His teacher pulled me aside one day to share with me what he said.” While West insists that you have to see the play to find out what those words were, their importance made a shattering impact. “It was at a time when I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror, but my little boy saw what really mattered instead.”
The play will be performed at the Arts Project from April 2-5. There will also be a special performance at the Elgin Theatre in St. Thomas on April 12th with proceeds going to Wellspring London. In conjunction with the play, a display of artwork centred arounds ideas of self-image will be ongoing at the Central Library’s Red Wall for the month of March, before moving to the Arts Project from March 25th-April 5th. TAPS is also holding an opening night for the exhibit on March 26th at 7 pm, including an auction of artwork related to the theme and giving 100% of the proceeds to Wellspring.
Skin Deep tells the story of a family with two daughters, and the struggles of both girls and their parents to understand how the way they look relates to how they value themselves. It’s not just about how young women feel either. West delves into concepts of aging and how adults represent themselves in the workplace to get ahead. Still, the playwrights wants the play to get across their message to young women, and to anyone else who might have doubts about their place in the world based on how they look.
“Looks, unfortunately, are the first thing that people use to make an assumption about who you are. You know the saying, ‘You can’t judge a book by a cover’? It’s true. [It's important] to get to know who [someone is] besides their complexion, outfit or figure and see that they have interests, dreams or smarts. As [the people] who influence these girls, we need to try our best to support and encourage them to be themselves without the need to ‘fit’ into any other mold than that of their own.”
You can buy tickets through the Arts Project by phoning 519-878-4452.
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