Reality Stage Play Captures At-Risk Imaginations And Loyalties

Submitted. The Westcoast Boys Club Network Foundation (aka Boys Club Network or BCN) is pleased to present their acclaimed reality stage play Man Up! in Abbotsford from November 25 through 28, playing to a targeted audience of high school students, educators, youth workers, families and other stakeholders at the W.J. Mouat Secondary School Theatre. General admission tickets for an evening performance on November 27 are available to the general public. (tickets required for entry).

Man up! is the gritty, heart-wrenching, emotional and life-changing story of two determined eastside Vancouver educatiors, a group of at risk boys on the sharp knife-edge of life, a handful of generous and visionary Lower Mainland businessmen from all walks of life, and the compelling four-year journey they took together – from the edge of frustration, hopelessness and despair, to the pinnacle of hopefulness and success.
Man Up! shares authentic, deeply personal stories of individual struggle, overcoming demons and realizing dreams.

BCN is a registered Canadian charity with a mandate to establish connectedness, trust and accountability to at-risk young men and help grow them into good men. The Network uses drama – more specifically the reality stage play – as a creative platform to spread their message of H.O.P.E.(Hope, Opportunity, Positive mentorship, Education) to communities throughout the lower mainland, to ignite discussion, and to inspire stakeholders to set-up new BCN chapters.

BCN independently operates seven chapters in Vancouver, North Vancouver and West Vancouver secondary schools with the cooperation and assistance of school districts and stakeholders in youth work and law enforcement. Close to 100 mentors, representing all facets of Canadian life, from break-even to billionaire, mentor a membership of more than 200 boys. The Network is grateful to Mr. Gino Bindi, a long-time BCN mentor and new Assistant Superintendent, Abbotsford School District, for introducing Man Up! to the city of Abbotsford, with its diverse population and eight secondary schools.

BCN has strong district ties through several of its mentors, including founding patron Frank Giustra who was raised in the Fraser Valley, and who together with Francesco Aquilini, underwrites Man Up! in its entirety. Frank, whose role as BCN mentor is referenced in the 60-minute production, is as passionate about the Man Up! message as he is about the dramatic works of Lions Gate Entertainment, the multi-billion dollar film studio he founded in 1997. “like many great stories, Man Up! is based on a compelling thruth,” says Giustra.

The truth in Man Up! is possibility – mentor-empowered possibility that transcends socio-economics and circumstance, and closes the gap between despair and happiness, failure and success. “What young people (boys and girls alike) should understand, and what I tell the BCN boys all the time, is that, regardless of circumstance, ultimately we can all create our own truth. Ultimately, almost anything is possible. We just have to believe in ourselves, stay focussed and work hard,” he concludes.

Man Up! messaging is entirely relevant to today’s students and educators, and parallels Curriculum Learning Outcomes in BC Secondary courses Planning 10, Health & Career 9, Drama Curricula, and lessons in Focus on Harassment and Intimidation. The supplied Companion Study Guide for Educators and Reflections on Learning student worksheets address topical issues like anti-bullying, personal accountability, gratitude, philanthropy and empathy.

Along with presentations for secondary students, Man Up! will have a performance for the general public at the WJ Mouat Theatre. Tickets for this public performance are free in advance, and available online via Eventbrite:
• for November 27th (7pm)

This performance will run approx. 60 minutes plus a 30 minute talk‐back and Q&A. (Note: some coarse language is used during this performance.)
This presentation is sponsored by the Abbotsford School District.

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