Peoria Unified students will have the unique opportunity to attend a performance of a play titled “Eric & Elliot” performed by Childsplay Theatre Company in collaboration with Peoria Unified’s Arts Education Department and Student Support Services Team.
“Eric & Elliot” is the story of a family’s search for healing. Eric is around 10 years old, and his brother Elliot is in his early teens. The two set out on a journey seeking help for their mother who has spiraled into a debilitating depression. Along the way, the boys get lost. They encounter others who encourage them to try different paths in order to find their way. Eventually the brothers discover that it is only by facing their own pasts and the tragic events of a particular day the previous summer that they will find help for their mother – and for themselves.
Through metaphor and dialogue, the audience finds out that Elliot committed suicide last summer. The words depression and suicide are never spoken in the play. The suicide referenced in the play is not shown, for in truth, the play is about the family who was left behind. Told with a mix of gentle humor, fantasy, metaphor and emotion, “Eric and Elliot” encourages audiences to discuss the serious issues of depression and suicide. The play offers hope for those affected and encourages alternatives to a permanent solution for temporary problems.
Childsplay partners with the Legacy Foundation and the local health and human services agency, Valle del Sol, who will provide counselors for all performances and will lead a discussion after the play. Peoria Unified staff will also take part in Professional Development along with Childsplay and will be on hand to provide additional support.
Parents and guardians will have the opportunity to view the performance and attend a Community Resource Fair where multiple agencies will be on hand for families who may have further questions or need more assistance. The performance and Community Resource Fair will take place at 6 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 3 at Peoria High School’s Old Main Building located at 11200 N. 83rd Ave., Peoria, AZ 85345.
Further information and resources about teen suicide and depression is available on our website at www.peoriaunified.org/schoolsafety.