Drug Story Theater takes teenagers in the early stages of recovery from drugs and alcohol, teaches them improvisational theater, and engages them in psychodrama to explore their personal stories. The teens then create their own shows about the seduction of, addiction to and recovery from drugs and alcohol. They weave their stories into a theatrical piece and perform for middle and high school audiences and the general public so “the treatment of one becomes the prevention of many”.
The cast comes out of character three times during the performance to teach the audience about the adolescent teenage brain and why it is at the greatest risk for life-long addiction. “Talk Back” sessions include interactive Q&A with the performers and students after the performance, moderated by DST’s founder, Dr. Joseph Shrand. DST collects pre-and post-show data, with preliminary results suggesting a shift in perception of the addictive powers of drugs and alcohol with a reduction of substance use 30 days after seeing a show.