sealPurdue News

March 1, 2002

Issues faced by adult children of alcoholics featured in play

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – "Amor Fati," an interactive theatrical performance highlighting the issues faced by adult children of alcoholics, will be presented by HumanRITE at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 7, at the University Church, 320 North St., West Lafayette.

HumanRITE, Human Relations Interactive Theatre Ensemble, is composed of graduate students from the Purdue Theatre department. Their purpose is to raise awareness and educate people about challenging issues through interactive theatre.

"Amor Fati," written by HumanRITE, follows the fictional lives of siblings Mark and Paige, the children of an alcoholic father. Through three scenes they grow from childhood to adulthood, experiencing a range of frustrations, embarrassments, stumbling blocks and triumphs.

Donna Marie Flanagan, a social worker with Purdue's Counseling and Psychological Services, (CAPS) will lead discussion after each scene. Audience members can speak to the actors, who will remain in character. Flanagan says the performance should stir emotions and spark discussion.

"I can't think of a more powerful way to present the forces that play upon a child of an alcoholic than HumanRITE's experiential theatre," Flanagan says.

HumanRITE director Katherine Burke says interactive theatre is a powerful medium for discussion and change.

"The fictional world of the play allows the audience to open up, and to become a part of the performance," Burke says. "It's a safe environment that gives one the freedom to explore new directions and to challenge assumptions. Also, the generous donation of the performance space from University Church provides an ideally intimate setting to explore this complex topic."

Don Werden, CAPS outreach coordinator, says audience members should be able to relate to a number of issues presented in the performance.

"Growing up in a home where alcohol is prominent is fairly common in our society," Werden says. "As children emerge into adulthood, there is often a struggle with issues that are carried over from childhood. The experiences are varied, but usually involve negative perceptions of self, the family and one's effectiveness in relationships."

Each of the five HumanRITE members, all graduate students in the Division of Theatre, participated in the writing of "Amor Fati." Company member David Levine will direct the production. Actors Jeremy Clark and Carla Hallock will portray Mark and Paige.

During the spring semester, HumanRITE produced three other original works: "Trouble The Water: A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.," a diversity workshop presented at the Black Cultural Center and a sexual harassment workshop.

HumanRITE is available to create workshops for both on- and off-campus organizations. Potential subjects include sexual harassment, sexual assault, eating disorders and substance abuse. For more information, contact Burke at (765) 494-0415.

CONTACT: Katherine Burke, (765) 494-0415,; Donna Marie Flanagan, (765) 494-1707,; Don Werden (765) 494-1707.

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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