PHS Theatre Addict

Turn in out-of-date or unneeded prescrliption and over-the-counter medicines this Saturday in the WalMart Parking lot. Opiates and other medicines have spurred an epidemi of overdose deaths in recent years.

The Payson Longhorn Theatre hopes to illuminate the dangers of drug abuse through the play “Addict,” on Jan. 17, 18 and 19.

With overdose deaths filling the headlines and illicit drug use at an all time high, the Longhorn Theatre Company hopes to help.

The theatre students know that awareness and education plays a large role in the battle to keep people off drugs.

Guest presenters came to the class to speak to the students about drug abuse and the consequences of taking drugs.

The drama students heard from both Gila County Attorney Bradley Beauchamp and Chief Deputy Gila County Attorney Bradley Soos.

Northern Regional Director for Community Bridges, Daren Fry, DPS officer and task force member Eric Axlund, as well as Detective Mike Varga from the Payson Police Department also spoke to theatre director Kathy Siler’s students.

“Pretty amazing that my students got to meet and talk with all of these folks,” she said.

The students then chose to produce “Addict,” a hard-hitting dramatic play about the many tragedies that can occur from using illicit drugs.

The play tells the heartbreaking stories of 10 young people whose experiences will inspire many. Jerome McDonough wrote “Addict” to give the message: “No one needs to suffer alone. No living person is beyond help.”

For 20 years producing this play every four years has been a tradition for the Longhorn Theatre.

This time, PHS theatre graduate Gabe Hesson will direct the play.

The cast includes 26 middle school and high school students.

There will be three performances: 7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 17 and Saturday, Jan. 19; and 4 p.m., Friday, Jan. 18.

All performances will be in the Payson High School Auditorium.

Admission is $6 for adults and $5 for students.

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I cover the Town of Payson, courts, wildfire, business, families, non-profits, the environment and investigative reporting

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