Play aims to boost awareness of painkiller abuse


Emilee Gruntz and Colton Hurley

School officials hope to raise awareness of painkiller addiction by bringing in a professional theater company to perform a play for students next Wednesday.

The Saltworks Theatre Company will be performing its play, “Off Script.”

The play deals with substance abuse, peer pressure, and prescription drugs. It also deals with how normal people with aspirations who are prescribed strong pain medications can easily become addicted — which can lead to other types of drug abuse, such as heroin.

“Heroin over dosage is at epidemic proportions in Pennsylvania and  surrounding areas,” school social worker Dr. Annette Giovanazzi said.

The play is highly acclaimed, she said. It features actors who portray three high school students: an athlete, a scholar, and a drug dealer.

It chronicles initial addiction, their struggles, and their journey in recovering.

“I want to help bring awareness to young people of painkiller addiction,” Giovanazzi said.

The play will be performed twice: in the morning for ninth- and eleventh-graders, and in the afternoon for tenth- and twelfth-graders.

“Other co-workers have highly praised the play. I am very anxious to see it,” Giovanazzi said.

Later in the month, another event based on drug addiction and awareness is being planned, she said.