PUSH Physical Theatre’s Jekyll and Hyde opens at Blackfriars Theatre Jan 29. Should you bring your kids? | Kids Out and About Rochester

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PUSH Physical Theatre’s Jekyll and Hyde opens at Blackfriars Theatre Jan 29. Should you bring your kids?

PUSH Physical Theatre’s Jekyll and Hyde will premiere on January 29, 2016 at Blackfriars Theatre in Rochester, NY.

A note to parents: “To Bring or Not Bring (your children). That is the question.”

by Heather Stevenson

PUSH Physical Theatre’s Jekyll and Hyde Jekyll and Hyde deals with mature subject matter.Its retelling of the classic tale pairs with an intense script, written by Danny Hoskins, Artistic & Managing Director of Blackfriars Theatre.

While most of PUSH’s work would be considered ‘PG’ or ‘PG 13,’ PUSH has rates this performance as a whopping ‘R.’ That’s because the script uses complex vocabulary, dusted with adult language for an irateMr. Hyde. The movement showcases a variety of styles, including mime, ballet, vaudeville, and acrobatic partnering, and is both violent and seductive in nature, emphasizing the allure of selfishness. Emotional conflict prompts violent outbursts between characters. Furthermore, the intimate setting of Blackfriars pushes these emotionally charged eventspractically onto thelaps of audience members.

Having mentioned all of the above: complex vocabulary, cursing, sensuality, and violence, the million dollar question is: “Should you bring your kids?” Here are a few things to consider…

The reasons against bringing your kids may the same reasons TO bring them:

  • Complex vocabulary
  • Variety of movement styles
  • Art created from a classic work
  • Themes of violence and struggle within one’s self, presented in a safe environment
  • A hard look at dealing with the consequences of our own actions
  • Collaboration between professional movers, a script writer, a lighting designer, and a sound and projection specialist
  • A production that makes for engaging car talk for you and your teen after the show

If you choose to have your children see the show, this is a production to bring your kids to – not to drop them off at. Healthy processing with a trusted adult is part of the learning process. Personally, I recommend this show for ages 10 and above. This may be a memorable outing for you and your 'tween or teen.

Car Talk Questions:

Mr. Hyde is the evil within Dr. Jekyll. The play introduces other aspects of Jekyll: anxiety and lust. These clash with the good in Mr. Hyde. They create an ‘inner struggle’ between all that is good and right and all that is self-serving and destructive.

  • Have you experienced that feeling of ‘inner struggle?’ Have you wanted to behave in a different way than you were behaving?
  • Have you experienced emotional conflict about what you’re expected to believe versus what you would like to explore about your own beliefs?

When someone is described as a “Jekyll and Hyde,” it is referring to how quickly he or she can change from ‘everything is fine’ to anger. It’s like a switch is flipped, turning the anger on without warning to the people around him. These relationships can feel unsafe because you never know when that switch will flip. Sometimes you may suspect what’s triggering that response and stay away from anything that might do so.

  • Have you seen a parent, teacher, friend or coach have a “Jekyll and Hyde” moment, where their emotions change suddenly from contentment to anger? How did that make you feel?

Strong emotions often build up physical energy. In our family, we recommend behavioral choices for our kids when feeling anxious or angry:  yelling into a pillow, writing in a journal, exercising, doing laps around the house.

  • Are there tools you can use to calm your worry or settle your anger without causing harm to yourself or others?

We all struggle. We are complex human beings. I have found that when I am willing to learn about myself and strive to improve my responses to stress, I become emotionally safe for others. Remember that uneasy feeling you have when someone has an outburst? It can put you on edge, not knowing who is there – Jekyll or Hyde.

Dealing with the consequences of our actions is a real thing. Whether our actions are accidental or intentional, results naturally follow. We can make excuses and run from them, or stand up and handle these consequences honestly. The choice is ours.

If you think it would be a good idea to talk to a trusted adult about your inner Jekyll and Hyde, please ask to speak to a school counselor. They are there to help you. Or, ask your parent to set up an appointment for you to speak with someone outside of school.

The PUSH Team at Blackfriars Theatre hopes you enjoy the show!

Heather R. Stevenson
Co-founding Director, PUSH Physical Theatre


PUSH Physical Theatre’s Jekyll & Hyde runs for 11 performances:

Friday, Jan. 29 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 30 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 31 at 2 p.m. (Sunday Salon, show followed by talkback with PUSH)
Thursday, Feb. 4 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 5 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 6 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 7 at 2 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 12 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 13 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 14 (sold out) at 2 p.m.

Tickets begin at $31 ($15 students/$3 off for seniors) at blackfriars.org or (585) 454-1260.