Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts launches new set of dramas about teen issues

Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts launches a new series of student-acted adolescent dramas with "Out of Control," a realistic look at the pressures, temptations and consequences facing inner-city and suburban teens, Monday, June 3 at 7:30 p.m. The performance will take place in the Quick Center's Wien Experimental Theatre.

"Out of Control" follows seven characters who end up in a drug rehab center, including a high school dropout in search of his next high; a stressed-out honors student caught abusing a prescription drug; and a star lacrosse player whose future is changed by a drunk driving accident. The play is acted by Wilton High School students and written by Fairfield resident Barry Halpin, a director, acting coach and abuse prevention specialist who works with teens throughout Fairfield County.

"Out of Control" represents a new focus on teen issues being introduced as part of the Quick Center's ArtsBound Outreach series for young audiences. It also demonstrates the kind of collaboration the Quick Center hopes to duplicate at two area schools next year: Teens and a theatrical expert working together to produce plays about topics such as HIV/AIDS, teen pregnancy and parent-child communication.

"The program will give teens a forum to talk about issues with their peers," explains Deborah Sommers, the center's director of programming. "It will also encourage them to use their writing and social science skills to put these shows together."

Educators, parents and students are encouraged to view "Out of Control," which debuted before the Wilton community in April. About 20 students are involved as actors, musicians and stage crew. To help the students prepare for their roles, Halpin coordinated a three-hour trip to Liberation House, a Stamford-based drug rehabilitation center.

He compares "Out of Control" to "Rent," the true-to-life Broadway show about the trials and tribulations faced by a group of young people trying to make it in New York City. "We have a rock and roll band on stage," he says, "and the story is really about friendship, decisions and helping other people."

A $5 donation is suggested. For more information, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free 1-877-ARTS-396 or visit the website, www.quickcenter.com.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on May 13, 2002

Vol. 34, No. 231

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