A series of collaborative workshop to create a one act play. The project’s intention is to make audiences aware, through healthy public dialogue, of mental health issues, promoting awareness and advocacy for the fair treatment of those who are oppressed due to the stigma surrounding mental health in Windsor/Essex and, more broadly, in Canada. You do not need to be in the performance to be a part of this project. No theatre knowledge or experience is necessary! We will be using brainstorming, discussion, visual art and improvisation to create the play.
A Girl LIKE Me is brought to you in partnership with the Greater Essex County District School Board. Special thanks to Motor City Community Credit Union for their support of this show!
After an intense January and February, A Girl LIKE me was created! Nibi, a teen from Northern Saskatchewan, moves to Windsor with her mother and sister following her father’s suicide. As she attempts to navigate through life in a new city, new school and community, she quickly learns that life is vastly different from back home. A Girl LIKE Me is a musical that centers around the impact of social media and how important it is to communicate with peers, teachers, and family members when difficult situations arise. Themes include: small town stereotypes, bullying, issues concerning the LGBT community and many other obstacles facing youth locally and around the world.
Conceived and Directed by Chris Rabideau Lyrics & Music by Chris Rabideau and Kathy Costa Book by Chris Rabideau, Kathy Costa, & Linda Lord Produced by Arts Collective Theatre.
What People Are Saying:
Rami Al-Sharak – Played the role of Rain
I have no words to explain my feelings right now but I would like thank everyone who was with me in the process of making A Girl Like Me. First I would like to thank Chris Rabideau for believing in me and allowing me to be part of this amazing production because you made me work my ass off and perform amazingly, thank you you have helped me gain a lot of acting experience and I hop to work with you again. Linda Lord, I love you. You’ve made forget about all the things that I've been going through and helped me focus on working harder. You are close to my heart, when I see you I smile you will always be In my heart. Kat Rutherford-Costa you are just an amazing human being, you just lift my soul when I see you. Thank you for making me become better vocally. Leslie McCurdy dame you have an amazing personality and amazing dance skills I look up to you. You have shown me that anything is accomplishable in ways that you won't expect. Moya McAlister you are such a wonderful woman. Thank you for being part of this project.
Gina Marshall – Played the role of Ayaina
It was an amazing experience working with these amazing people. I can't believe I have been working on this show since January. It seems like yesterday I walked into that room not knowing what this show will be about or what people I will meet. Working with Chris Rabideau made my acting more improved and I finally feel that my acting is stronger than it's ever been before, thank you. Kathy, honestly, I couldn't have even made it to this without you, you are very special to me and you helped me since the beginning so thank you for that. I want to thank Linda for everything, whenever I needed a friend or someone I could talk to about anything I knew I could come to you knowing that you won't judge me. Leslie, without you we would have dance moves all over the place. Also, you helped me with my posture so thank you lol. Moya, this process couldn't have happened without you, you are so sweet and amazing thank you.
Michelle McDonald - Mother of Emma McDonald who played the role of Phoebe
A Girl Like Me has ended... for now. I know big things are coming for this show. This original musical was by far the most compelling and heartfelt production I have had the privilege to see. It was an emotional roller coaster that had the audience laughing, sobbing (literally sobbing), and most importantly...thinking about real issues that affect all of us, especially our children.
The fantastic music and script were delivered with such honesty and feeling by a cast of talented, wonderful youth who stand to teach us all so much.
I am incredibly proud of Emma and every one of these amazing young actors and mentors. What you brought to the stage was brilliant. You are all an inspiration to rest of us!
I can't say enough about how proud I am of Emma and all of these young actors, and Chris Rabideau, Kat Rutherford-Costa and the rest of the production team!
This original, emotionally charged musical tackles some tough issues that our youth face in today's society and these young talents delivered the intended messages beautifully.
The vocal and acting talents, incredible script and brilliant music are a must see!
Kathy Costa – Musical Director, Creator of the Lyrics and Music for A Girl Like Me
Chris Rabideau, Moya McAlister, Linda Lord and Leslie McCurdy: thank you for welcoming me and giving me the opportunity to both push and trust myself. Thank you for your words of encouragement and feedback regarding the music
Samantha Elford – Played the role of Girl 1
I am very sad to say that A Girl Like Me has ended, but just because it has come to an end doesn't mean I'll ever forget the amazing cast and crew.
Thank you everyone who created this show, I'm happy that I was there to be a part of this amazing process!
Thank you, Chris Rabideau, Linda Lord, Kat Rutherford-Costa, and Leslie McCurdy for teaching me very important lessons about putting on a show! And thank you Moya McAlister for always putting your whole person into everything that you do!
Jennifer Roy – Mother of Tatum Roy who played the role of Mom
Tatum is so proud to be a part of this Youth Collective. What started out as workshops in January has developed into an amazing experience for my daughter and the other teens involved. So many new friendships have been made. I know Chris, Kathy, Leslie, Linda and Moya have spent endless hours bringing this to life.
Nina Marshall – Mother of Gillian and Gina Marshall who played the roles of Nibi and Ayaina
What a project. What a show. A Girl Like Me put on by Arts Collective Theatre working in conjunction with the GECDSB and the Windsor Police Services. Presented for schools across the GECDSB. Raising awareness, and discussion about social media, bullying, communication in difficult situations. Sending a Big Message... You can Talk To Me.... very well done. As a parent of a grade school and two high school students, I have to say that everyone should see it. Parents, students, and teachers. There is a message for everyone. Talk to your kids, shut off your phones, monitor theirs, spend the time and listen. Kids, talk to your parents, your teachers, siblings and friends.
I hope that more schools come to the next shows.... bring your parents. Parents, bring your kids to the public shows. Discuss the show afterward and become aware.
Timothy Hole – Played an ensemble role
I would like to thank all the crew for helping me as I joined late. Chris Rabideau, you did a great job directing. Kat Rutherford-Costa did a great job making all the songs catchy, or in most cases emotional. Linda Lord did a great job making the cast feel like they fit in and made sure it wasn't a cry fest backstage. And Leslie did a great job with movement.
To all the cast and parents. Thank you for making this show great as it wouldn't be anything without the cast. It doesn't matter if it was you're first show and haven't been up there before or have been in 30+ shows. Everyone did really well.
Thank you everyone for making the show the best it could be. What a great time it was!
Linda Lord – Co-Writer and Stage Manager of A Girl Like Me
It all started with a few workshops to discover what the real challenges are for Windsor-Essex youth. What has transpired since then is truly amazing. I have had the opportunity to work with the most incredibly talented people.
A Girl Like Me is an original musical (and I do mean original - written - both script and music book - right here in WE) called A Girl Like Me, a relevant story of teens and what they face. I couldn't believe the issues that these young people deal with on the regular. These are OUR children's stories.