Entertain and Change Lives with A Night in Jail



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Madeleine Shelton: MadeleineMShelton@gmail.com
(Other actors can be contacted by reaching out to Heidi here: Contact Heidi)

Billy Gallo kindly allowed me to work with his talented young actors. They used improvisational prompts, primarily based on peer pressure to use THC. This is a highlight video of their acting work which is followed by a discussion. I am so grateful to these gifted artists for sharing their work and opinions for this video. What they say in their performances and conversation are insightful for a viewer of any age. The entire workshop was so eye-opening, and the youth so honest and compelling, I have posted the full, unedited workshop below. I hope this inspires others to have similar events.

Scenario Ideas for Skits/Improv/Films and Discussion Prompts:

Scenario 1

The story shows a young man and an older man who meet in a jail cell. Create a scene with a young adult female and an older woman who meet in a jail cell.
Discuss: How are the experiences of being a homeless woman different than those of men? 
Extra Credit: How would a woman experience peer pressure differently? Drug abuse? Is there an increased risk of sexual violence? Unwanted pregnancies?

Scenario 2

The book and play show the first time Danny smokes a joint. Create a scene where a person is offered marijuana for the first time. Be creative: is it a vape pen? A dab? An edible?
Discuss: What's the most comfortable way to refuse it? 
Extra credit: Play it out with two endings--accepting the drugs and not accepting the drugs. Discuss: How did these choices make you feel? 

Scenario 3

The book and play show how Danny uses drugs in his daily life. In the era of the story, there was no Social Media. Create a present-era scene where Social Media is a part of a person's daily life. Show how teens are influenced by Social Media to use drugs.

Discuss: what are the specific pressures a person experiences on Social Media (as opposed to in-person)?
Extra credit: How do celebrities encourage and normalize drug use on Social Media? Do they have a financial incentive to get young people using?

Scenario 4

In the play and the book, Danny's best friend casually offers Danny a joint. The young ladies Danny wants to impress are anxious for Danny to take a hit so they can have some. Write a scenario where YOU are the person offering the drugs. Think about WHY you want to convince someone else to try drugs. How does it benefit you?
Discuss: Does understanding the point of view of a pusher make it easier, harder, or have no effect at all, on a person's ability to refuse to be coerced into using?

Scenario 5

Danny's best friend, Steve, got his supply of pot from his older brother. His older brother got his drugs from their father. Today, many parents consider weed to be a harmless substance. Many consider it to be medicine. Create a scene where a parent, or the parent of a friend, offers weed to a teen.

Discuss: How does a younger person stand up for him/herself while respecting the parent?
Extra credit: The parent thinks pot is the same as it was 20-50 years ago. What's the best way to explain how marijuana has changed?

Scenario 6

In the book, Danny describes how his interest in drugs became more important than his interest in basketball. In the era the story was written, it wasn't very common for athletes to use drugs. Create a current-day scene that shows athletes vaping in the locker room. It could be interesting to show if the Coach or Athletic Director address the issue or pretend it isn't happening.
Discuss: How does this affect the athlete's experience? How do drugs affect an athlete's performance? In your experience, it common for athletes to use drugs? What do you think may have contributed to this cultural shift?
Although not accredited to teach, Heidi is available to hire for creative and artistic support. Please go to the menu item: Contact.
*If you would like to hire an educator who teaches Applied Improvisation, I highly recommend Linda Hargrove. I have personally done improvisational exercises with her. She has taught improv over Zoom and in person. Linda is fun, educates people of all ages, and makes everyone comfortable. About | Improv 4 Education

Whatever choice suits your group best, your audience will have lots of questions--which is great! A Night In Jail Toolkit has the answers which are based on scientific evidence. Download our Toolkit to hold your own lively Q and A.