The third event in New Hampshire Theatre Project’s provocative new Elephant-in-the-Room Series of playreadings and community discussion will focus on the topic of the Opioid Crisis Effect on Families, featuring a reading of A Wider Circle by Mary-Ellen Hedrick. A playwright and civics teacher from New Hampshire, Mary-Ellen’s previous work, Throw Away People (featured at NHTP’s 2017 Intelligent Theatre Festival), focused on the devastating consequences of heroin addiction for both individuals and the community. As an advocate for the recovery community, she felt compelled to address the topic of addiction as a family disease. With New Hampshire leading the nation in opioid related deaths, this issue is having significant consequences in all of our communities.
New Hampshire Theatre Project is partnering with their Portsmouth West End neighbor, Safe Harbor Recovery Center, on this Elephant-in-the-Room presentation. A program of Granite Pathways, Safe Harbor Recovery Center is committed to assisting individuals and families impacted by Substance Use Disorder both professionally and personally.
Following the playreading of A Wider Circle, Timothy Barretto will host a discussion with the audience and a panel of community members working in the field of recovery. Elizabeth Miller is the Director of Safe Harbor Recovery Center and a member of the Governor’s Recovery Task Force Commission. Elizabeth is a strong advocate locally, and at the State and Federal levels. Her advocacy work includes reducing stigma, increasing support services for individuals and families and spreading the word there is HOPE. Vicki Hebert is the Coalition Coordinator for the Dover Police Department’s Drug Free Communities Program. She has worked with city leaders to develop policies for first responders, educate medical professionals on stigma and substance use disorders, launched prevention based media campaigns, and worked to install permanent medication drop boxes in the community. Karla Pilla works with Safe Harbor as a recovery coach. Her son has struggled with Substance Abuse Disorder for five years and is in the early stages of recovery.
Admission to the reading and discussion is free, but donations will be cheerfully accepted to benefit Safe Harbor Recovery Center.
NHTP’s Elephant-in-the-Room Series presents playreadings and performances about subjects that we as a society often have difficulty discussing. This season’s past topics have included Human Trafficking/Sexual Abuse and Mental Illness; the final presentation on May 3 will focus on Death & Dying. Each event is moderated by Timothy Barretto, known for his UNH courses on Managing Conflict in the Community. Questions focus on attitudes about ethical issues involved in the subject over time and today, and our responsibility as a society to bring these issues out of the shadows and into the cultural mainstream. Audience members who wish to help bring these social issues out into the open will be provided with an Action Plan for positive action steps and ways to get involved.
NHTP’s Elephant-in-the-Room Series is possible through generous funding by NH Humanities and the Seacoast Women’s Giving Circle. The March 22 presentation is sponsored by Exeter Hospital. For more information, visit www.nhtheatreproject.org.
Saturday, September 21