On Saturday, April 26th, the Center for Prevention and Outreach and the Department of Theatre Arts celebrated 20 years of Prevention Through the Arts at Stony Brook University. Since 1995-96, students have been dramatizing real stories about behavioral health and creating the show, "Swallow This!" which is then performed to engage audiences in dialogue about healthy choices. Topics include bystander intervention, depression, sexual assault, self-esteem, and substance use. Over the history of the program, the show has been performed for tens of thousands and is currently a core part of new student orientation.
The event, which was held in the Wang center, featured performances from alumni and current cast. Honors were given to the program's founder, Kathleen Flynn-Bisson, and to Dedunu Suraweera, a cast member from 07-08 who has carried the mission of prevention through the arts forward into her professional career and involvement in arts and activism.
For Photos from the event, please, follow the link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0t68WVDk8Uxa3pka2pJMm51MmM
A new "Swallow This!" show is devised each year through the Prevention Through the Arts community performance course. Created by dramatizing real stories from the university community, content deals with the three main health issues facing college students: 1) alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs; 2) depression and suicide; 3) sexual assault and rape. The aim of the show is to encourage dialogue and reflection on these issues and to ultimately inspire students to make healthier, more informed choices. Students are admitted to the course after audition and become trained in both peer health education and theater. The show is written and performed by students, for students.
"Swallow This!" debuts each academic year in late fall, and performs throughout the rest of the academic year at campus events, including orientation.
For more information, visit the Center for Prevention and Outreach website.
If you have a story of the target health issues for sharing, submit it here.