(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre is hosting a free program this weekend that is meant to raise awareness about the heroin epidemic. The project is called “With One Voice: Letters from the Opioid Crises Zone” and features a dramatization of personal stories, poems and letters from those directly affected by the issue.
Co-Director Annette Kamps says the goal is to not only build awareness and understanding but to present the program in such a way that people can empathize with the fact that users and their loves ones are people facing an issue that needs to be addressed.
The community theatre recently received a grant from the newly-established Dodge County Crime Prevention Funding Board to develop a performance that shines a spotlight on the heroin problem. Kamps then partnered with PAVE, People Against A Violent Environment and CARE, Community Awareness Recovery Environment.
PAVE Executive Director Teresa Nienow says addiction and victimization go hand-in-hand. Nienow says someone addicted to opioids or something else make the perfect victim because they are easy to control and manipulate. She says unfortunately, addiction has become the norm in recent years and needs to be addressed in the community.
CARE Vice-President Brenda Tratar says her organization wants to get the word out about substance abuse, substance use disorders and recovery. She says there are not enough options for people in Dodge County who are in recovery so they are trying to create a network linking those in recovery with support groups and recovery coaches. Tratar says the more the community addresses the problem the better the chances that solutions will arise.
Following the performance, there will be a panel discussion with opportunities for the audience to ask questions of counselors, law enforcement, human services representatives and the district attorney. With One Voice is on the stage Friday (1/26) at 7pm and Saturday (1/27) at 4pm at the Beaver Dam Community Theater located at 219 North Spring Street. Parents are encouraged to bring children age 12 and up. Admission is free, proceeds from any donations will be directed to PAVE and CARE. More information is at www.bdact.org.
Pictured: (top row, left to right) Trevor Kastien, Christina Miller, Sheryl Milarch, (front row, left to right) Co-Director Dan Doyle, and cast members Barbara Vockroth, and Jim McMillan. Others in the staged reading cast are Seth Barudin, Elisha Barudin, and Joe Lord.