Then and Now

by Roseneath Theatre’s Artistic Director, Andrew Lamb

16 year old photo of my Grade 11 self still up outside the auditorium at Leaside HS

Last week I had the opportunity to catch our production of Wrecked by Chris Craddock at two schools. The first, a middle school and for the second I got to revisit where I spent my teens – Leaside High School.

It was absolutely thrilling for me to return to the auditorium where I had participated in numerous Sears Ontario Drama Festivals as well as acted in our school play Our Town and, in my graduating year, the musical Guys and Dolls(which I’m currently directing with students at Earl Haig SS).

The students at Leaside were really listening to the piece and engaged throughout. I learned from speaking with the principal afterwards that the issues of substance abuse addressed in Wrecked are very relevant to many students.

Students at Leaside HS in Toronto enjoying Wrecked.

This can be seen by the survey released in 2011 by CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Heath). There were 9,288 students across Ontario from grades 7-12 surveyed for this project and 1 in 6 students reported being drunk or high at school at least once in the last year. The survey also reported that there are approximately 223,500 students in Ontario who are drinking five or more drinks on one occasion at least once a month and 5% reported binge drinking four or more times in the past month! 7% of adolescent drivers reported driving within an hour of consuming two or more drinks containing alcohol, representing an estimated 21,500 students. One in four students (24%) reported getting into a car with a driver who had been drinking.

To read more about this report, visit the CAMH press release.

It was this survey from CAMH, that inspired me to remount our award-winning production of Wrecked to tour into Ontario schools. It is our goal at Roseneath to be a catalyst for discussion on topics that students are currently faced with and clearly the issues of alcohol and drug abuse is an ongoing problem we absolutely cannot let fall through the cracks.

Currently our tour is in the Sudbury area and then headed to the Thunder Bay area before returning to Toronto for the first week of December.

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