Puberty show addresses pressures of adolescence

Kaiser performs ‘Nightmare on Puberty St.’ at Buljan Middle School
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There was a lot of giggling going on in the Buljan Middle School gymnasium Thursday, April 14. That’s because the students were listening to conversations about spontaneous erections among teenage boys, hair growing “up there and down there,” girls getting their first menstrual periods, and other physical and emotional changes — and challenges — that accompany puberty. Seventh and eighth graders attended “Nightmare on Puberty St.,” an educational play put on by Kaiser Permanente to spark discussions among students, teachers and parents about the pressures of adolescence. A cast of four performers used comedy, music, dance and drama to wrestle with the big question, “Am I normal?” During the 45-minute assembly, the actors and actresses dealt with peer pressure and self-esteem, developing feelings of sexual attraction, depression and thoughts of suicide, violence at home and bullying at school. Ultimately, the characters realize they aren’t alone in facing the challenges of puberty. After the play, the performers held a Q-and-A segment with students. “Nightmare on Puberty St.” is part of Kaiser Permanente’s educational theater program, which is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary. The puberty show has been performed since 1991. ~ Sena Christian