Lost In The Game: A Musical Story of Relationships, Sex and Gender Politics

Durham Academy a cappella group XIV Hours takes on hookup culture, relationships and respect as reflected in pop culture and music. Their music video, in three acts, breaks down some of the sexist lyrics and themes that teens navigate every day. The students’ powerful, poignant message is also inspiring, as they close emphasizing a sense of community and support for each other.

This video was six months in the making, but its roots reach back much further to a campus-wide dialogue that began in fall 2014 around issues of relationship expectations and respect. In working on the set for their first ICHSA competition XIV Hours and Upper School Music teacher Mike Meyer realized they wanted to deliver an important message and inspire conversation on a larger level around those themes.

Act One asks: what if people actually said in real life what “club anthems” discuss? The overtly sexual nature of some of those lyrics, when sung by teens, can be uncomfortable to hear or watch.

Act Two follows a couple whose relationship is intentionally vague, and is complicated by the fact that they are dealing with weighty decisions at a young age and may not be communicating with each other clearly.

Act Three begins cluttered and asymmetrical, showing the fallout from hookup culture: broken hearts and loneliness. In a breakthrough moment, our characters realize that open communication and holding each other up, rather than tearing each other down, is at least a start toward navigating relationships safely.

This video is the result of a collaboration between faculty and students. It was entirely shot, edited and produced by them. The story behind the making of Lost in the Game: http://bit.ly/1K28IV3

Does your school do something similar?

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