Play To Raise Awareness Among Teens

A group of Boston College student actors aim to raise local teen awareness of alcohol abuse by presenting a play depicting two famous figures in the battle against alcoholism.

"Bill W. and Dr. Bob" is based on the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous by Bill Wilson and Bob Smith in the mid-1930s. The play portrays Wilson and Smith as heavy drinkers who overcame their addiction through mutual support, and in so doing were inspired to found AA. The undergraduates will perform the play for pupils, parents and teachers at Newton North High School on Thursday, March 20.

Through a foundation grant, college students are encouraged to perform the play for their peers. Five BC student actors have volunteered for the production, which incorporates monologues on students' experiences with drug or alcohol abuse in their own lives.

"The basic theme of the play is, to try and handle addiction on your own is deadly," said Assistant Dean for Alcohol and Drug Education Kimberley Timpf. "You need support. You need to reach out for help from friends. The whole purpose behind it is to educate people about what people with addictions have to deal with."

The Boston College students have twice performed the play for their peers on campus, according to Timpf, and decided that Newton North students could benefit from it as well. At the conclusion of the performance, cast members will meet with teenage audience members to answer questions about drug and alcohol abuse and their consequences.

Organizers hope the Newton North students who see the play will revise the work to reflect some of their own experiences with substance abuse, and perform it for their peers and for middle-school pupils.

The BC students also plan to present "Bill W. and Dr. Bob" at O'Connell House sometime in April, Timpf said.

- Mark Sullivan

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