Using Laughter to Teach Young People the Truth About Drugs


While it may be true that drug abuse is no laughing matter, especially when it involves young people, using comedy to teach the truth about drug abuse and the risks and dangers that they bring may make conversations about it more comfortable and open.

DirtThe Substance Abuse Prevention Council of the Youth Agency used grant funding to hire Boston comedian and actor John Morello to put up a performance of the one-man show entitled “Dirt.”

The show, set for 7 pm to 9 pm on February 27, Monday, at the New Milford High School auditorium, is open to everyone, especially parents and high school students. While middle school kids are also welcome, parents are warned that the show’s target audience is older youth.

In both a brochure and his website, Morello shared that the show does not aim to “preach, teach, or lecture;” on the contrary, it merely presents characters that are familiar to anyone who goes to high school: “the bully, the Queen Bee wannabee, the ignored, and parents who are hooked on their own drugs of ambition and perfection.”

A New York Times article about the show shared that Morello injects humor into the show in order to make an impact, as opposed to merely poking fun at the situation. He is also drawing from his own family experiences, having witnessed addiction in his own family. Morello has been performing for all over the country for the past 8 years.

Allison Zaccagnini, Youth Agency counselor, shared: “He’s not preachy. It’s real life, but it’s entertainment.”

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