Theater company to perform free play about teen pregnancy

Wednesday, February 13, 2008 | 8:52 p.m. CST; updated 5:03 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

COLUMBIA — With a few events behind them, a new theater company with an emphasis on adult themes is trying to make a difference in the community.

As part of its outreach program, Theatre NXS will perform “Tough!” – a play about teen pregnancy – for the Columbia Housing Authority’s Moving Ahead Program. The program offers a range of opportunities, including after-school tutoring, for children in kindergarten through eighth grade.

If you go

What: Theatre NXS’s performance of “Tough!” by George F. Walker (rated R for language) When: 7 p.m. Friday Where: Blind Boone Community Center, 301 S Providence Road Admission: Free and open to the community For information: 639-0889 or 443-2556, ext. 1273.

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“The program is designed to increase the number of students who are succeeding in school,” said coordinator Carol Zu-Bolton.

Theatre NXS founder and artistic director LR Hults said the theater’s goal is to present productions that are challenging and of artistic and social importance to members of the community.

Focusing on teenage pregnancy, “Tough!” depicts two youths who unexpectedly become parents and the implications it has on their lives.

Zu-Bolton hasn’t seen the play yet, but tutors she asked to attend an earlier performance at Mojo’s said it is compelling and thought-provoking.

Zu-Bolton has witnessed the struggles of teenage mothers firsthand and thinks it is important to show young people what good parenting looks like as well as the challenges parenting presents.

This is the new theater company’s first venture into outreach. Hults said the intent behind the program is to offer exciting and important theatrical productions.

“Theater can be both of these things,” Hults said.

The play is also open to the larger Columbia community.

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