MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – “No Big Deal?,” a drug and alcohol use and decision making focused theater performance, will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 6 at the Metropolitan Theatre in Morgantown. It is free and open to students.

The performance will be conducted by North Carolina-based Theater Delta, which uses an interactive experience as an innovative way to enact social change in communities worldwide. Using hyper-realistic scripts and candid audience participation, Theater Delta fosters open and honest discussions about problems specific to a community.  

The interactive scripts, which are researched and written by Theater Delta, deal with a wide range of issues, including sexual assault/harassment, mental health, academic integrity, inter-professional communication, and many others. Theater Delta has reached audiences in universities, military bases, and medical settings across the globe.

“Between the realistic scenes, the opportunity to interact with the characters on stage, and taking part in a structured dialogue, audience members feel empowered to change themselves and others,” Ben Saypol, Ph.D., the company’s director, said.

Actors remain in character throughout the performance, which audience members report makes the performance more realistic. It allows the audience to gain insight into the thoughts and motivations behind characters’ choices.

A trained facilitator then moderates an open dialogue where audience members share their reactions and perspectives and challenge each other’s preconceived notions and attitudes.

Theater Delta then goes further, ending every performance by connecting individuals in the audience to local resources that can help them around the issues.

Evaluation data reveal extremely positive responses from audience members regarding the realism of the scenarios, the interactive format, the post-performance conversations, and the facilitation.

In addition, the data indicate that audience members experience significant growth and acknowledge their intention to change their behavior around the issues presented.

Sponsors for this event include the: Governor’s Highway Safety Program, WVU Interfraternity Council, WVU Panhellenic Council, WELLWVU, and the WVU School of Public Health.
For more information: Angela Jones-Knopf, News Service Coordinator, 304-293-7087
rk/ajk: 02-17-14