Improv Comedy to Educate Kids on the Dangers of Drugs
Warren Area High School alumnus Brent Scarpo recently brought his anti-drug message to his alma mater on a less than typical way. His presentation, Last Call, is an interactive, theatrical program that is unlike any drug and alcohol program out there. Carrying a bottle of booze and asking the teens their alcoholic drinks of choice is a bit startling. The he asked for a show of hands from students who have drank alcohol, for those who have operated a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, been charged with DUI, and other activities that are illegal for almost every high school student. He asked for transparency, for honesty. As out of the box as it may appear to some, many students raised their hands in response to each question. Scarpo then called on volunteers to talk about certain subjects – from finding “liquid courage” to being charged with underage consumption. He had volunteers perform improvisational comedy.
Scarpo didn’t tell the students not to drink or take drugs, but he warned them of some of the possible consequences. In terms of fines, legal fees, and other monetary costs, a DUI charge costs the driver $3,000 to $5,000. Scarpo informed students that they can be charged with DUI without getting behind the wheel of a car and that tractors, boats, bicycles, even skateboards and wheelchairs are vehicles in the eyes of the law.
He told them to prepare in advance by putting the numbers of taxi companies or people who will pick them up without questions in their phones, keeping money that they will never spend except in a true emergency, and not leaving any situation alone. Scarpo listed the signs of alcohol.
The students were impressed. They actually confessed and opened up. The students felt on his level and the improv brought some comedy to it, but it also had a serious moral.
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