George Street Playhouse Premieres Musical at Conference
George Street Playhouse’s Educational Touring Theatre, courtesy of support from The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey and RWJBarnabas Health, will premiere a new musical about the opioid crisis and its impact on teens and families. Developed in response to the devastating impact prescription opioid misuse, heroin, and fentanyl have had on communities throughout New Jersey, Anytown will premiere on September 25 at George Street Playhouse as part of a special Spotlight Conference on Opioid Abuse.
The Spotlight Conference will feature a keynote address from New Jersey State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal along with workshops for educators, school administrators, and public health professionals conducted by experts in the field from RWJBarnabas Health’s Institute for Prevention and Recovery.
“Opioid abuse and misuse is a public health crisis that is destroying families across New Jersey. George Street Playhouse is grateful to partner with The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey and RWJBarnabas Health on the commission and development of Anytown,” said Jim Jack, director of education and outreach for George Street Playhouse. “This musical will tour middle and high schools across New Jersey help raise awareness about the dangers of opioid abuse and help prevent further impact on teens and families.”
Anytown explores the story of star athlete Hope Baker who has a 4.0 grade point average and limitless potential. But when a boy she likes offers her a pill to reduce the pain from a soccer injury, Hope makes a decision that rapidly transforms her dreams into an escalating nightmare.
The play focuses on the consequences of opioid abuse and its impact on teens and families. Presenting the seriousness of this national crisis as a cautionary tale, this musical empowers students with the knowledge to make positive decisions to avoid opioid use and helps them understand the dangerous consequences of substance abuse disorder.
George Street Touring Theatre is a troupe of four actors and a stage manager (all recent college graduates with degrees in theater) who travel about 7,000 miles each school year in a van filled with costumes, props, and sets performing over 150 shows to schools throughout the state of New Jersey. Each performance is followed by a post-play discussion with the students to examine and discuss the themes of the show. The Touring Theatre actors are trained in conflict resolution and peer mediation techniques which enables them to facilitate these important conversations with our young audiences.
The tour is available from October 1, through April 6.
The play is targeted to middle and high school students in grades seven through 12, reaching up to 10,000 students annually. For more information and to book Anytown for a performance at a school or organization, visit gsponline.org or call (732) 846-2895, extension 117.