By Brandon Voss – Published in The Advocate
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The Children’s Acting Academy will present Out of My Comfort Zone, Ivy Vale and Rick Reil’s new rock musical about bullying and the struggles of LGBT youth.
Directed by Vale and artistic director Mimi Stuart, the musical will play February 5–8 at the Chernuchin Theatre at the American Theatre of Actors.
Set in a New York City middle school, the show “is about self-identity, gender, love, expectations, stereotypes, cyber-bullying, and friendship,” according to press notes. “It’s more uncomfortable to be something you’re not than to be who you are. Out of My Comfort Zone pokes holes in school stereotypes and suggests that finding your comfort zone sometimes comes at a price.”
“We were driven to write Out of My Comfort Zone as a way of making a strong statement against bullying, specifically bullying that targets any child or teen who may be perceived as gay or identify as LGBTQ,” says Vale in a statement. “There is a clear need for reality-based material for young teens who want to see shows that reflect their own lives and deliver characters they can relate to. The songs, influenced by everything from The Who’s Tommy to ’60s girl groups to The Beastie Boys, really resonate with our 12-14 year old cast.”
The cast of Out of My Comfort Zone includes Will Ehren, Violet Vale, Savannah Leroy, Michael Flynn, Reuben Levine, Elliot Lipman, Kailie Strutin, Lily Santangelo, Zoey Mae Dillon-Levine, Ruby Karp, Wiley Kimelman, Kiara Coleman, Mikayla Rose, Irena Kogarova, Claire Stein, Ness Krell, Michael Ning, Jerrell Jones, Alana Deller, Kirah Murray, Jasmine Mateo, and Helena Milburn.