The project: Mr. Pham created a director’s pitch for a theatrical production of Reflections of a Rock Lobster, a play based on the story of Aaron Fricke, who in 1980 sued his local school board for the right to take a male date to the prom. Mr. Pham envisioned forming a traveling theater company that would perform the play to teenagers ages 13 to 18 to support and encourage understanding and acceptance of LGBTQ teens.
From his pitch: “A lot of LGBT people are still afraid of coming out to their friends and their family. The goal of my project is to show people that acceptance is the key to helping people who are struggling with their identity. Furthermore, my project is also to send a message to people who are struggling with their identity: The first step to end the stigma is to accept yourself.”
Biggest challenge as a scholar: “The deadline, and when and how to do stuff, because I’m terrible at organization and I was like, Oh my god, the deadline’s coming and I haven’t done anything yet, how am I supposed to do this?”
Surprising discovery: “How supportive my colleagues and my teachers were. When I was told it was an independent project, I didn’t expect my friends would be so eager to help me on it.”
Tip for future scholars: “Two things. First off, definitely have a solid idea where to begin the project. And second, make the most detailed timetable you can possibly imagine. Those two are going to be really helpful.”