Project: Shattered Silence still keeping our attention

P:SS has been on the radar for quite some time, but now their latest documentary is up for national distribution.


Several years ago, artistic director Jared O’ Roark launched Project: Shattered Silence.

Since then, hundreds of Tampa Bay teenagers have participated in the production, which is a guided, 10-month journey ultimately serving a single purpose – to give these teens the strength to bare their souls and share their personal stories of struggle.

With O’Roark’s help and encouragement, the teens often delve into heart-wrenching, controversial and inspiring stories – some of which focus on such taboo topics as self-harm and eating disorders.

The journey eventually culminates in an original stage performance at Ruth Eckerd Hall (1111 N. McMullen Booth Rd., Clearwater). In the months leading up to this performance, the teens devotedly rehearse and, by default, have the opportunity to bond with those who may share similar struggles or outlooks on life.

Though the participants are "performing," P:SS doesn’t feature acting in the traditional sense; typically referred to as “reality theater,” performers in this production represent themselves and portray their lives in an extremely true, personal and organic way.

Earlier this year, the critically-acclaimed documentary “Project: Shattered Silence” premiered. The hour-long film, which is a co-production of Ruth Eckerd Hall and WEDU PBS, follows a group of teens through their journeys, ending with the anticipated production Project: Shattered Silence – in the Blue Hour performed at Ruth Eckerd Hall.

A recent episode of WEDU Arts Plus features a special minute segment from the documentary; this episode went on to win a Suncoast Emmy Award this past year.

Last week it was officially announced that the program was accepted for national distribution by American Public Television — beginning August 2014, PBS stations may start airing it.

If you need your P:SS fix sooner rather than later, check out the sixth annual productions entitled Compositions premiering tonight, Thurs., June 12 at 7:30 p.m. Entry is $15.

The production runs through Sun., June 15. To view the full schedule of showings, visit

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