Student troupe uses drama to campaign against drugs


May 15, 2001|By Debra Taylor Young | Debra Taylor Young,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

A GROUP OF student actors is using its talents to help teen-agers deal with the social pressures and sometimes-harsh cultural realities of today's world. The troupe, FoolProof Improvisational Theatre, tackles issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, suicide, date rape and child abuse.

On Thursday, eight members of the troupe, consisting of Carroll County teen-agers, performed at Freedom Community Center in Eldersburg for the Lions clubs of Taylorsville and Eldersburg, and the Knights of Columbus of Eldersburg.

Typically, the students perform at schools as part of "Just Say No" programs. But Thursday's event, held by Freedom Optimist Club, Zone III - which includes Westminster, Freedom, Randallstown, Gamber, Reisterstown and Owings Mills - was an opportunity to inform and build support for the troupe's efforts. Roberta Gore founded FoolProof in 1987 and the troupe is directed by Paul Zimmerman.

FoolProof performed five scenes Thursday evening.

One situation dealt with the death of an alcoholic and how it affected his friends and family. The actors portrayed a daughter, a best friend and drinking buddy, a boss and a son. Each had suffered abuse from the alcoholic.

The characters approached the deceased one by one, and as they said goodbye over the casket, revealed to the audience the emotional damage he had caused.

The alcoholic, not realizing he was dead, was trying to engage in conversation with the bereaved, but couldn't. He was tormented by the havoc he had caused in their lives. After the performances, the audience interacted with the actors and asked questions.

"This stuff is out there," said Pauline Rosier, vice president of Freedom District Lions Club in Sykesville. "It really makes you stop and think."

Performers were Mitch Hawkins, 18; Sean Hopkins, 17; Johanna Horton, 16; Tony Cimino, 15; Angie Pollock,18; Mallory Sutphin, 17; Noah Mazaika, 18; and Jason Krznarich, 19.

Auditions for 2001-2002 academic year will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 16.

The troupe is open to all Carroll County high school students.

Information: www.foolproof

Churches sing out

ESCAPE Ministries Inc. will hold its 10th annual Ecumenical Sing at 7 p.m. Sunday at Wesley Freedom United Methodist Church on Johnsville Road.

According to ESCAPE board member Sherry Graham, 10 groups from eight churches will perform.

Nine middle school pupils will participate, with choir and congregational singing at the end of the evening.

ESCAPE is a coalition of 24 churches in South Carroll that provides emergency assistance obtaining food, clothing, shelter and helps with fuel costs.

An offering will be taken at the sing.

Information: 410-795-9406.

Century support

Century High School PTSO is holding a Family Night fund-raiser from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow at Pizza Hut on Route 32 in Eldersburg.

Anyone who wants to contribute should present a fund-raiser coupon at time of payment.

Pizza Hut will donate 20 percent of net sales from the Century High group to the PTSO.

Dine in and carryout are available.

Information and coupons: 410-795-0404.

Debra Taylor Young's Southeast neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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