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MWAH! performance group showcases real life challenges, successes to students

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 3:17 p.m. CDT
(Photo by Scott Harrington of Photography by Harrington)
MWAH! artist Jillian Gomez (standing on left), a freshman at Naperville Central High School, reaches out to a Brooks Middle School student as part of a musical tribute during an appearance by the traveling teenage ensemble on Nov. 4.
(Photo by Scott Harrington of Photography by Harrington)
MWAH! Performing Arts Troupe members gather behind their troupe banner following their 90-minute current issues-oriented performance on Nov. 4 at Brooks Middle School.
(Photo by Scott Harrington of Photography by Harrington)
MWAH! artist Rob Delgado portrays a jealous and controlling boyfriend in a song about abusive relationships as sung by troupe member Alex Oechsel, a senior at Benet Academy in Lisle.

BOLINGBROOK – A performing arts group presented a current issues-oriented performance at Brooks Middle School Nov. 4, highlighting the tragic consequences of the influx of narcotics in the western suburbs for the school’s eighth-graders.

The 12-member MWAH! Performing Arts Troupe – an acronym for Messages Which Are Hopeful – is real life drama combined with contemporary music and lots of audience interaction, according to a news release from the troupe, made up of performers ages 12 to 18 from throughout the Chicago area.

The performance also focused on several recent cyber-bullying related youth suicides, and, in a positive contrast, recent success stories involving Brooks Middle School students and staff members.

The idea was to move Brooks eighth-graders to think about real life and death issues presented by peers and then relate the messages to their own lives, the release said.

The nonprofit troupe is affiliated with Kids Do Count, Inc. and the Chicago Area Project, a grass-roots service and advocacy program based in downtown Chicago and part of an Illinois-wide community services network targeting at-risk youth and their families.

For more information about the MWAH! Performing Arts Troupe, visit www.mwah.net.

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