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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Media Contact: Jan Wenzel, 401-874-2116

LULU & ME to premiere at URI Providence Campus
Play addresses teen pregnancy, peer pressure and bullying

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- February 11, 2003 -- A new play, LULU & ME, will premiere at the URI Providence Campus March 6–8 at 8 p.m. School matinees will be held Friday, March 7 at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. The play, free and open to the public, will be held at the campus, located at 80 Washington St.

In the play, Scituate resident Lenny Schwartz addresses teen pregnancy, peer pressure and bullying faced by young people today through the play. He explores these complex and serious issues without being heavy handed or depressing. Indeed, the story Schwartz weaves is often romantic and humorous.

The play lets us see the world through the eyes of two characters: Lulu Robinson, captain of the cheerleaders, and Burt Manchester, a target of bullying.

Lulu is pretty and popular, but unhappy. She has to maintain an image and expectations and fears people who want to be near her do not want to know the "real" her. Not wanting to be seen with faults, Lulu hides behind a mask of cheerfulness and sarcasm. She dives into activities to avoid the truth of loneliness and self-doubt and easily falls prey to peer pressure. Peer pressure, Schwartz shows, that can lead Lulu and others like her to eating disorders, alcohol and drug abuse, and sexual activity in an attempt to hold on to the title of "most popular." Lulu’s act of superficiality, being witty or criticizing others, is an attempt to avoid having her imperfections discovered.

Burt’s question "Am I a loser?" is always answered with a resounding "Yes!" A target of bullying, Burt’s many wonderful qualities go unrecognized because they are not packaged for success. He plays the fool or the clown as a mask for self-preservation on a course set for self-destruction.

Schwartz focuses his play on the intersection which becomes a crossroad for these two characters. Their collision is often rocky and full of potholes, yet an honest exchange begins, woven with humor and self-discovery.

What does it take to survive the journey? Schwartz lets the characters search for the answers, exploring life and these difficult issues with honesty.

For More Information: Steven Pennell, 401-277-5206

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