MHS student’s play addresses casual anti-Semitism seen in schools

Students at Monticello High School are using art to tackle a serious topic.
Published: Sep. 27, 2023 at 2:22 PM EDT
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Students at Monticello High School are using art to tackle a serious topic.

“I want people to learn that it’s not always bad people that do bad things, and it’s not always people that are intending to do it in a bad way,” MHS senior Kylie Grunsfeld said Wednesday, September 27.

Kylie says she wrote a play based on something another student did in her math class.

“He did a Nazi salute in the middle of class in a joking way, which he didn’t mean anything by it. But that was sort of the issue is that he didn’t mean anything by it,” she said.

The play is centered around the casual anti-Semitism seen in schools.

“I am Jewish, and my family is Jewish, and I have some Jewish friends who will talk about little things, sometimes just like things that people didn’t really mean much by, but it seems like a lot of us have very similar experiences,” Kylie said.

For nearly 20 years, the high school’s drama program has allowed students to create their own one-act plays.

“The plays are always about issues that teenagers care about,” Hanna Rahilly, the school’s drama teacher, said.

Rahilly says not many students get this kind of experience.

“Plays that started out as an idea in their mind, and then are fully, life-breathing pieces of art on stage,” the teacher said.

The goal of this play is to start a conversation.

“If nobody else was going to talk about it, why not me?” Kylie said.

Opening night for the play is November 3.

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