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Our Rationale

Our goal is to inspire young people to examine their beliefs and behaviors regarding alcohol and drug use, and empower them to make strong choices in daily life.


Addiction thrives in darkness and weaponizes stigma.

2nd Act confronts shame with truth and theatre.

With plays based on stories from life, performed by teaching artists who are also survivors, our goal is to encourage young people to see behavior that seems either harmless or hopeless for what it really is, and learn how to ask for help.


Actors Rachel Benders and Brooke Myers
Photo by Karen Snyder

We believe that personal stories about Substance Use Disorder can face up to the power of addiction and its stigma. That's why story-telling - that is, truth-telling - is at the heart of any recovery program. Personal stories create common ground out of thin ice. As teaching artists, our company is keenly aware of this transformative dynamic between teller and listener; in another setting, that uncanny, deeply human connection is what we call theater magic. It’s how theater happens, and why it matters. It’s also, often, how we learn.

Stories such as these, made into short plays performed by adults telling the truth about addiction like their own, could reach young people struggling with drug or alcohol addiction in their homes or their lives. Our goal is to intervene between ages 10 and 20: before patterns of denial, misuse or addiction may be set. We use theatre and candor to seize the attention of middle school, high school and college students, and we respond by offering a visceral, social/emotional learning experience that stays with them.

Addiction is entirely equitable and inclusive; education, prevention and recovery must be too.


It is essential that the plays we perform continue to account for race, class and gender barriers. By beginning there, these true stories can then send the message that addiction has no boundaries, and that recovery belongs to everyone: the person living with a disease, the people who love them, and the concentric circles of community around them. Our work needs to represent the faces, voices, and lives of our audience members. That's how we tell the truth. That's what makes true stories real.

Photo by Stefy Hilmer

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