Brainstorm was not just a show that demonstrates what a teenager thinks (yes they do think, and deeply!). The award-winning Upper School Belfry Club performance made you laugh and cry, and sometimes at the same time. The main thread throughout the show was that you are unique, and you are not alone.
Inside every adolescent brain, 86 billion neurons connect and collide to produce the most frustrating, chaotic, and exhilarating changes that happen to human bodies. Brainstorm is a theatrical investigation into how teenagers’ brains work, and why they’re designed by evolution to be the way they are. Created in collaboration with neuroscientists Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore and Dr. Kate Mills, the play is a blueprint for a company of teenagers to create and perform by drawing directly on their personal experiences. In order for this production to be successful, it required more than just memorizing lines.
“I think it was a such an interesting creative process for this play,” said Madison Quinter ’24. “There was a blueprint for the script and then we had to figure out, ‘What do you want to
talk about? What do you want to mention?’ Having this creative journey was such a cool process because we spent the first month and a half collecting ‘data’ to include in the show. We also learned about what it’s like for each individual person in the cast to be a teen. That was really meaningful for me because it was a good reminder, ‘I’m not the only person going through all of this right now. I feel stressed, I’m happy, I don’t know what’s going on!’ It was just a good reinforcement in that we all have each other.”
Director K. Richardson said, “Brainstorm was unlike any show I’ve been involved in. It was at times terrifying and others exhilarating. I feel so lucky to get to work with these amazing young people and have their trust. It’s a memory I’ll hold in my heart.”
Brainstorm moved the whole cast and crew, as well as those in the audience. “I’m really proud of the work that the whole cast put into this show,” said Liam Richardson ’24. “It's so different than any other show I've done and a much more vulnerable kind of acting, as we were asked to be ourselves fully onstage instead of a character. I'm super glad that the people who saw the show heard us and understood what we were trying to do with this piece.”
Next Up! Germantown Academy will produce the musical, “Ride the Cyclone,” in March.