Deana’s Educational Theater (DET) develops and produces violence awareness programs to promote healthy relationships and to educate K-12, college, military and other audiences about dating violence, bullying, cyberbullying, domestic violence and sexual assault. The Deana’s Educational Theater Acting to Prevent Violence collection includes ten plays for various ages.
DET was created in memory of Deana Brisbois, a young woman from Topsfield, MA. Deana had been in an abusive relationship for more than two years and had gotten restraining orders against her partner and tried multiple times to leave him. One of the last decisions Deana Brisbois made in April 1994 was to get into a car with her abusive boyfriend. The ride later resulted in a crash that killed her. To this day, the circumstances that led to her death aren’t clear.
Twenty-five years after the Topsfield native’s death, Deana’s Educational Theater keeps her memory alive by teaching children and young adults to recognize signs of abuse. Since then, the scope of our work has expanded to include bullying prevention understanding that we cannot start teaching our kids about healthy relationships early enough.
“The effects of Deana’s death devastated so many people – her siblings, her friends, and our friends alike. We had to do something to memorialize her, something to keep what happened to Deana from happening to anyone else.”
– Mary Gorfinkle, Deana’s Mother
Why our kids & parents need the tools to beat the odds
- Nearly 1 in 5 students report being bullied during the school year
- Approximately 1 in 3 students report experiencing cyberbullying during their lifetime
- Approximately 160,000 teens skip school every day because of bullying
- Students who experienced bullying or cyberbullying are nearly 2 times more likely to attempt suicide
- Girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence — almost triple the national average.
- Though 82% of parents feel confident that they could recognize the signs if their child was experiencing dating abuse, 58% could not correctly identify all the warning signs of abuse.
- Suicide ideation and attempts among adolescents have nearly doubled since 2008, making suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for individuals 10-34 years of age
What We Offer
Ten (10) live plays starting for audiences ages 8+ that tackle bullying, cyber-bullying, responsible digital footprint and teen dating violence
Actors that are trained in post-show conversation
Real tangible takeaways that help kids build the confidence and the skills to face difficult situations as a victim or a bystander
Resources for parents and teachers to help recognize the signs of trouble
Introduction to a few digital app solutions that can help kids/adults stay safe
A common language to talk about difficult concepts
A great resource for Guidance Counselors to connect with the kids
A roadmap to keep these important conversations going as your kids enter adolescence and adulthood
Ideas to offset the cost of plays
“Teachers and students developed a common language, and we saw an increase in disclosures after the bully prevention plays and teacher training. We witnessed incredibly powerful effects that lasted throughout the year.”
– Ilyse Frische Manchester Memorial School, Manchester MA
Funding The Shows
We do our best to minimize the costs of our shows so that we can reach the most audiences possible. We are always working on grants to pass along shows at a discounted rate. The cost of a show will depend on the number of actors and the distance from our Wakefield office. Within a 50 mile radius of Boston, plays range from $895-1150.
A few ways to offset the costs:
- Ask your PTO to budget for the shows. We are happy to present to the PTO.
- Asking Parents to pay for a show. When the cost is divided between 300 kids, it comes out to $3.00 per student on average – less than a cup of coffee.
- Book more than 1 show! Booking more than 1 shows allows us to lower the cost per show.
- Referring us to another school that books us results in discounts as well.
- Grants: Schools can apply for grants that we can’t. We will assist you with any help needed when choosing to apply for a grant.
- Fundraiser idea: Wilson Farm’s: Pies at Thanksgiving, Flowers, potted plants – So many options! http://www.wilsonfarm.com/v2.0/community/fundraising.html