Anti-Bullying, ‘Growing Up Gay’ Themed-Play Re-Opening at BCA

Ian Shaine as ‘Aaron Fricke’ asks his boyfriend ‘Paul Guilbert,’ played by Felix Teich, to the senior prom

Bullied, ridiculed, misunderstood and gay. That was the life of Cumberland, Rhode Island high school student Aaron Fricke.

The year is 1980 and as an openly gay high school student, Aaron is subjected daily to violence and rejection–leaving him feeling dejected and with thoughts of suicide.  Rising from his despair, Aaron strikes back by suing his Rhode Island high school for the right to escort his boyfriend to the prom.  

By standing up for his personal and civil rights and for refusing to apologize for who he is, Aaron not only wins in court, but he also wins in the hearts and minds of his peers and his community. His strength and ultimate victory help pave the way for legions of gay and lesbian students.

That’s the true story behind “Reflections of a Rock Lobster,” a critically acclaimed play based on Fricke’s life. After premiering in March of 2012, the show returns this March to the Boston Children’s Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts.

With last year’s premiere, BCT became the first children’s theater in the country to address the issues of bullying and growing up gay in a mainstage production.

“We knew it was a risk to produce a new work that focused on these sensitive themes, but it was a risk we were willing to take because of the importance of the message,” said the show’s director, Burgess Clark.  “The play has had a tremendous impact on our audiences and the community. The ground swell of support was so strong that we felt a responsibility to produce the show again for an even broader audience.”

Currently residing in San Francisco, Fricke has continued to work closely with BCT since the World Premiere last season. 

“I was overwhelmed by the reaction to the piece from the public and from school groups,” he said. “I think everyone is able to relate to what I experienced. The fact that bullying and prejudice still exist today in our society, makes this play even more relevant and powerful.”

Mayor Menino said in a statement he recognizes the importance of putting on this type of production for the public.

“I applaud Boston Children’s Theatre for producing a play that addresses issues that have such a profound impact on our community,” said Menino. “Bullying, prejudice and anti-gay sentiments cannot be tolerated in our schools or in our society.  ‘Reflections of a Rock Lobster’ teaches us all the importance of acceptance and tolerance in an entertaining, creative and powerful way.  I congratulate their efforts and I encourage everyone to experience this ground-breaking production.”  

The cast includes local students from Boston, Brookline, Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, and Newton, and adults Richard Snee as ‘Walter Fricke;’ Doug Bowen-Flynn as ‘Principal Richard Lynch;’ June Kfoury as ‘Marie Cote;’ Nate Punches as ‘Ronald Chase;’ and Arthur Waldstein as ‘Judge Pettine.’

Performances will be in the Wimberly Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont St. in the South End on March 9, 10, 15, 16 and 17. Tickets are $ 35.00 and $ 25.00 and can be purchased by visiting the BCT website at or calling the Box Office at 617-933-8600

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