On average, 130 people die every day from an opioid overdose.


The Problem: Too many lives lost.

Less quantifiable but even more pervasive are the stories of desperation and helplessness from those dealing with addiction and the people close to them. Too many lives have been lost, side-tracked, or burdened by the slippery path to addiction and the much slower uphill trudge to recovery.

Even as the opioid crisis hits Indianapolis with higher rates of overdose than the state and national averages, there isn’t a simple solution.  



Youth theatre can have an impact.

Young Actors Theatre, the only theatre in Indianapolis that produces original works by youth and for youth, specializes in exploring difficult social issues that affect youth.  With support from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, we are expanding some of our previous projects about drug abuse to reach a much larger audience and make a bigger difference.

Young Actors Theatre is spending two years examining our community’s experience of the opioid crisis. We'll spend 2019 researching and writing an original play about the opioid crisis, and then we’ll spend spring and fall 2020 performing for school groups, community centers, and the general public in the Indianapolis area.

Love Over Dose is the title of our theatre-based campaign to educate and engage Indianapolis youth with the tragedies of opioid addiction and overdose, while offering hope for how we as a community can have more empathy, understand the treatment process, and save lives in the future.


awareness of addiction issues will save lives.



We believe deeply that our grassroots theatrical intervention of the opioid crisis can achieve real results, most importantly by educating and engaging thousands of Indianapolis-area youth. If communities are better educated about opioids, those dealing with addiction will be more likely to seek and receive the help they need. We expect the following results for all students who attend Love Over Dose:

  1. Students will gain empathy for people who are dealing with addiction, and they will be encouraged to focus on harm reduction.  

  2. Students will gain awareness of the gravity and the ubiquity of opioid addiction, nationally and in their own communities.

  3. Students will be able to identify the warning signs of drug addiction and abuse, both in themselves and in others.

  4. Students will have information on where to go locally if they or someone they know has a drug addiction.

  5. We will encourage attendees to sign a pledge not to abuse opioids, and their names will be incorporated into a work of public art in Indianapolis.