Deanna’s Educational Theatre Presents “Remote Control” to Educate Students on Abusive Relationships

Renee Abbott, News Editor

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On Wednesday, Sept. 25, Deana’s Educational Theatre performed “Remote Control,” a three-person play about abusive relationships, to WHS juniors and seniors. Deana’s Educational Theatre is working with ”Domestic Violence Ended” an agency that educates students on abusive relationships, which coordinates with WHS guidance counselor Marie Doherty, the leader of Walpole’s DOVE program. 

“Dove has brought so many people of different grades and cliques together to have intelligent conversations about such an important topic and the club has been able to reach a wide audience through health class presentations, our all day training, and these assemblies. I think the school has become more conscious of the signs of abuse and the wider student body has started to have the same intelligent conversations since the formation of the club,” senior and DOVE member Francesca Theofilou said. 

The assembly portrayed the relationship between Amy and Josh from the perspective of Darryl, a friend of both characters. Darryl pointed out the red flags in Amy and Josh’s relationship to the audience, and involved students in coming up with solutions to help his friends in an interactive performance. Darryl’s remote is used as a way to navigate the timeline of the relationship, demonstrating where the relationship went wrong while also engaging students with an object that they are familiar with. 

“I thought the assembly was very informative. It shared many of the red flags of an abusive relationship that can go undetected by some,” junior Kimberly O’Donnell said. 

Deana’s Educational Theatre will return to WHS on Oct. 9 to perform “Yellow Dress,” a one-person play about domestic violence, to freshman and sophomores. “Yellow Dress” portrays a victim’s perspective as she suffers through the hallmarks of an abusive relationship. The goal of this play is to help students identify the warning signs of an abusive relationship. Students trained by DOVE faculty members present in health classes about domestic violence as well. To become a part of the DOVE program, students must undergo an all day training before being eligible to present to health classes. 

“It is more powerful when someone your age is part of the presentation. Some kids who are part of the DOVE program have actually had kids approach them,” Doherty said. 

The Massachusetts DOVE association was founded in 1978 in Quincy, MA and has expanded to educate people all across the state, as well as impact others through their 24 hour hotline. 

“I really feel strongly that students are not children; there are kids in this school that are possibly in abusive relationships, could be in abusive relationships, or have witnessed domestic violence at home,” Doherty said.