Cornerstone Theater’s “Tangle” weaves childhood trauma into changing harsh school discipline

If you’re in or near Long Beach, CA, the afternoon of Oct. 5, you might want to reserve a seat (it’s free) for a dramatic reading of the play, Tangle, and a conversation about its content and what it means for the punitive approach to  school discipline.

Although I haven’t seen the play, I’ve read the script. It tells the story of how a student’s — and a teacher’s — adverse childhood experiences affect their school lives. This is the first I’ve heard of a play overtly incorporating ACEs as a principle “character”.

The approach that playwright Sigrid Gilmer used to visualize ACEs as the student and teacher interact

with one another is terrific…and that’s as much as I’ll explain. No spoilers!

The play is part of the launch of Talk It Out in Long Beach. According to Cornerstone, it’s “based on real-life stories about school discipline in Long Beach, and performed by community members and professional actors.”

Tangle was developed with Khmer Girls in Action and Every Student Matters as part of The California Endowment and Cornerstone Theater Company’s Talk It Out program. Talk It Out travels to California communities to create short plays about the personal stories of people affected by harsh school discipline (including students, teachers, principals and parents), and fosters community conversation around alternatives to zero tolerance and other punitive approaches.

Saturday, October 5, 2013 @ 1:00 p.m.
Art Theater of Long Beach
2025 E. 4th Street, Long Beach, CA 90814

For reservations, call 888-802-6607 or email There will be refreshments and simultaneous translation available in Spanish and Khmer.

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