Students to perform production raising awareness about state’s opioid crisis

Students to perform production raising awareness about state's opioid crisis

Sawyer Husain and Coco Bloomer

In the 21st century, most find entertainment on phones and televisions screens while classical forms of entertainment like theater have fallen to the wayside. This winter, the Indianapolis Young Actors Theater created something new, aiming to not only entertain but create change. With a $150,000 budget and two years in preparation, the Indianapolis Young Actors Theatre has created Love Over Dose.  

The funding for the production came from the Nina Poulsen Charitable Trust in hopes of making a positive change on the Indianapolis community by making a statement on the opioid crisis. Love Over Dose is a play that addresses the teen opioid crisis while aiming to discourage ineffective, preexisting teen drug programs. 

“They really wanted us to make something that was different. They really stressed the idea of an unreachable kid, like someone who needed intervention,” cast member and sophomore Mira Bloomer said. 

The 19 person cast includes several NC students, including sophomore Mira Bloomer, sophomore Sidney Dixon, junior Resse Stephens, freshman Lucy Bozel and freshman Sadie Sheets. The plot follows a teenage girl named Riley Hembrey who has no shortage of friends or popularity but can be found using drugs on the weekends in efforts to mask the pain of her parents’ divorce. When Riley runs short on pills, she turns to heroin, which quickly kills her, launching the play into action.

Although Riley dies at the beginning, the entire play backtracks to the root of Riley drug use and carefully illustrates how things could have ended up differently. The rest of the cast is built around Riley. Each of the six supporting characters represent the impact of Riley’s drug use and demonstrate the way drug use affects personal relationships.

Love Over Dose will be performing at various venues throughout Indianapolis in the coming months, including the Indiana State Museum on April 4 and The Phoenix Theatre on April 17 and 18. Tickets are available for purchase at www.loveoverdose.org/performances.

“We hope with every show to make a difference. That’s what it’s all about,” Dixon said.