Former drug addicts teach students through informative acting

The Newtonite

by Malini Gandhi and Jacob Schwartz
The Improbable Players, a group of actors, who used to be drug addicts and who are now in recovery, performed at this school during C-block today, in the little theatre. Their goal was to teach students about the consequences of drug abuse.

P.E. Health/Wellness teacher Kirsten Touhy introduced the Players and their skits. “Drug and alcohol abuse is one of the worst health problems in the U.S.,” she said to students. “But we don’t always see it.”

In the first skit, the actors portrayed stereotypical drug addicts, wearing trench coats, hats and twisted masks. At the end of the skit, the actors removed their top layers to reveal that they were wearing t-shirts and jeans. This was done to show that drugs often hide a person’s true self.

At this point in the program, all four actors announced that they were drug addicts in recovery.

Another skit involved two friends, each of whom was either drinking alcohol or smoking marijuana. The friend who was drinking kept telling the friend who was smoking to quit. Similarly, the friend who was smoking repeatedly mentioned to the drinker that he should stop consuming so much alcohol. Both characters showed hypocrisy because, while they did worry about their friends, they were unable to recognize their own problems.
In the final skit, the actors chronicled the life of a family plagued by drug and alcohol issues. The mother is an alcoholic, the father does not want to face the reality that his wife has a problem and instead takes out his frustration on his family, the son is getting into drugs himself and the daughter is desperately trying to pick up the pieces.

Each year, the characters pose for family pictures, which reveal  their downward spiral. In the end, the family finally come to terms with the fact that they need to get help.

At the end of the presentation, the actors answered questions from the audience.