Aaron Fricke, circa 1980,is a gay high school student who is subjected to rejection, violence, and ridicule by his peers, leaving him despondent and with suicidal thoughts. Building up courage and self-worth, Aaron sues his school for the right to bring his boyfriend as his date to the senior prom. His valiant assertions of his liberties and strength prevail, winning the respect and love of the community.
Playing a leading role in “Reflections of A Rock Lobster” production by the Boston Children’s Theatre” is Beacon Hill resident Elias Duncan.
“It’s an identity piece, so I think people will be able to relate to Aaron or bullying. It will open their eyes to how hard it was and is to be gay in high school,” says Elias Duncan, who portrays Bill Quillar. “It will make people think, feel, sympathize, and maybe live their lives a little differently.”
Duncan, as Bill, appears as Aaron’s insolent classmate who beats him for being different in the true story, based on Aaron Fricke’s autobiography. Elias participates in combat training with a choreographer to prepare for the intense fight scenes.
“Bill Quillar is the antagonist. He’s the homophobic bad guy who ends up hurting Aaron physically and emotionally,” describes 18-year-old Elias, who is a senior at Beaver Country Day in Brookline. “I think a lot of things he does is driven from insecurity. When I play that role, I have to be ignorant. My character has a lot of anger.”
Elias is a promoter of gay rights and is nothing like his oppressive character. He believes that nobody should be exposed to such vicious behavior, and that Aaron’s victory was, is, and will be an inspiration for gay students.
“It’s opened the door for this kind of discussion,” Elias says about Reflections of a Rock Lobster. “His court case, his book, and his voice have instilled confidence. He became a hero to the gay community.”
Elias says that Boston Children’s Theatre (BCT) provides opportunities for self-discovery. “It’s a professional environment and I’ve learned more about myself and my acting capabilities. The directors and producers encourage us to relate to our characters.”
Elias Duncan is appearing in Boston Children’s Theatre’s upcoming production, Reflections of a Rock Lobster March 9-17 at the Wimberly Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street. Tickets are $35 and $25 and can be purchased by visiting BostonChildrensTheatre.org or calling the BCT box office at (617) 424-6634.