Juliet and Romeo in Junkieland Along the Ohio River
“America once fought a war against poverty – now it wages a war on the poor”
“One of the most difficult duties is to listen to the voices that suffer.”
The original KKSongs song “Chillicothe Is Burning”@
Tell the honest story about the family poverty and symptomatic addiction crippling communities facing addiction deaths in Trumpland. No happy endings and no hope as an epidemic of family and childhood poverty grows.
The Problem: The Living Nitemare
Heroin addiction drug overdose is #1 cause of death of ALL Americans <55. It is up 22% PER YEAR in last few years. Accompanying the deaths is an increase in childhood poverty now standing at 20%+. Ohio has most number of OD deaths of any state 4200+ last year. OD deaths project to go up 200% in 5 years.
Julie and Rome are teen lovers along Ohio River. Rome OD’s, Juliet wants justice and enters the corrupt world of legal/illegal drugs.
“I think we’re looking at a fairly grim period of investment to try to solve a problem that we’re going to still have around for some time…The problem has outspent the resources. You know, the problem has far outraced the resources,”
Singing for the Distressed: Music and Theatre as Awareness and Empathy Building
Art can be a voice of people who can’t speak for their own misery. We can tell these stories, using art, the theatre and music and help build awareness and empathy as a foundation for social and political action.
Popular media coverage, largely, episodic video and audio “bites” is the content of most awareness and exposure this epidemic. Effectively, no one will read or engage in longer form knowledge building. The musician contributor, has had success with the song “Chillicothe Is Burning” in informal public performances which is the impetus for this project.
Simple, stark – set in a idyllic small town, local airport, strip club near airport, crematorium
Over a few weeks in Spring
Both original, copyrighted music and popular music available
- Julie – Teen girl
- Rome – Teen boy
- Baby Girl – mother of 4, dancer
- Virgil – racist, redneck biker/bouncer at dance club
- Mr. Blackwell – Pharma company CEO
- Lee Ann – Mortician
- Dr. Patel – Local family doctor
- Singer-Songwriter – wandering minstrel, “greek chorus”.
Project Versions: Graphic novel, novel, short stories, radio drama
Contact Us today! firstname.lastname@example.org, 312-725-0647
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Julie and Rome meet in small city along the Ohio River. Their love is true and innocent and offers the promise of a better life for them. The promise of hope. At the same time, along the Ohio River, jobs and money are rushing away. The town is being abandoned by companies, politicians and its own people. Experiencing this Julie and Rome want to stay and start a family, to rebuild. At the same time, addiction is rushing up from Mexico and flying in pharma company sales people from Connecticut. Rome’s divorced mom has a car accident, gets painkillers. He has a lacrosse injury, “borrows” the pills, get addicted in one day and ends up dead in crack house. Julie ends up in basement crematorium of the funeral home watching Rome’s body in a cardboard box get shoved in the fire. She vows to Lee Ann, the mortician, she will find out who is at fault and bring them to justice.
The trusted family doctor, is where Julie starts. He is said to be at the “country club.” At the same time, Baby Girl: a dancer feeding 4 kids, Virgil: the biker/bouncer, Mr. Blackler: the pharma company CEO flying into town. All converge on “The Second Circle Gentleman’s Club.” Julie drives by and sees Dr. Patel’s new yellow Corvette in the lot. She goes inside and meets Shade the bartender/dealer but is also – oddly powerful. Baby Girl is dancing, Virgil is bouncer. Seeing Dr. Patel and Mr. Blackwell in the VIP, Julie confronts the doctor and Mr. Blackwell. They flee the club. Baby Girl is furious that Julie ran off her customers. She gets a hit from Shade, goes to parking lot. Virgil, Shade and Julie stand on club porch watch chaos in parking lot: Doctor crashes car, Mr’ Blackwell takes limo to airport, Baby Girl OD’s in her car. EMTs arrive.
As EMTs take Baby Girl’s body away, Virgil and doctor and Julie chase Mr. Blackwell to airport. Shade slips syringe to Dr. Patel and warns Julie will expose them all. In limo, Lee Ann is driving Mr. Blackwell who is furious his business deal is interrupted. At the airport, Julie jumps from car and runs down Mr. Blackler. He brushes her off, threatens and gets in private jet. Back in car, Julie calls the police, Dr. Patel injects her in neck with OD, but pretends to try to revive her. Virgil looks on, confused. Weeks later beside new grave, at Julie’s funeral, Lee Ann reads verses from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Shade and the doctor look on from cars parked nearby. Shade passes the doctor some drugs. The doctor realizes Shade is engineering all the death and is the devil. Shade is pleased and an animal roar in the distance is heard.