The cast of Creative Stages Youth Theatre’s “The Love and Hate” is, clockwise from left, Thomas Graca, Arianna Torman, Connor Sample, Dani Burley, Marshall Scott, Eric Zagar, Kelsey Hontz, Zander Tristoloere, Megan Hanks, Jacob Stovall, Nicole Rowe and Morgan Migliorisi.

Submitted photo

Morgan Migliorisi catches glimpses of her friends’ lives in the Jim Gradillas-penned drama “The Love and Hate.”

The play, which opens Friday at Creative Stages Youth Theatre in Peoria, revolves around four teenage couples and the ups and downs of their relationships.

Migliorisi, 16, a Valley Vista High School sophomore and cast member of the show, said the play is touching and moving and appeals to both teens and adults.

“I really think it hits teen relationships on the spot, especially with what we go through today,” she said. “The adults could probably identify with these characters because they could have been just like them when they were in high school.”

Gradillas, director of “The Love and Hate” and artistic director of Creative Stages, said he wrote the play to examine teen relationships.

“When you’re younger, being in a relationship often takes over your life and even your personality,” he said. “I’ve seen kids be completely devastated and turn on their friends if it doesn’t end up perfect.”

For Gradillas, the play became the perfect avenue to teach a lesson.

“I wanted to get across that everybody goes through it, but don’t let anyone change you,” said Gradillas. “You can deal with it, learn from it and move on.”

“The Love and Hate” features a cast of 12, ages 12 to 18, who provided some input on the script.

“I wanted to make it as realistic as possible, and if they thought it was a little out there or off-base a little, they would let me know,” Gradillas said.

In the play, Migliorisi portrays Ellie, who has low self-esteem. Her relationship with her boyfriend deteriorates right from the start.

Migliorisi learned a lot about relationships since she’s joined the cast.

“It’s taught me to have fun, and I have plenty of time to get into a serious relationship when I get older, but maybe not just now,” she said.

Mitchell Vantrease may be reached at 623-876-2528 or


WHAT: “The Love and Hate.”

WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday through Jan. 29.

WHERE: Creative Stages Youth Theatre, 19209 N. 83rd Ave., Suite 106, Peoria.


INFO: Visit

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