Was Shattered Dreams More Shattering Last Year?

Was Shattered Dreams More Shattering Last Year?

Angelica Capote, Staff Writer

This years Shattered Dreams involved the usual theater presentation and outside staged car crashed, but seemed to have a different effect than the previous year. The in theater presentation was hosted by Dori Saves Lives, a non-governmental, no-profit, public service organization dedicated to traffic safety. The presenters were a lawyer, a chief of police, and then a doctor, all involved with the Dori Saves Lives organization.

The purpose of this pretention was to use fear and facts as an informational scare tactic to persuade the audience into not drinking and driving, as well as not texting, changing the radio, and performing other distractions. Last years presentation was more full of heavy visuals and information, making students leave clutching their stomachs and in tears, but somewhere along the way word got up to the heads that the show and tell was too graphic, too scary, too home-hitting. So, the presentation was watered down. In retrospect, this change should have been for the better, but over time not only the fear factors were removed but also the tense atmosphere.

The in theater presentation starts the event and is meant to set the tone for the two parts, of a serious tone is not set, then the information will lose its value. Sadly, that’s exactly what happened this year: the humorus lawyer started off the presentation and even admitted to “tackle the subject in a different way then his colleges”. This was the first mistake of the day, and the rest of the event suffered because of it. With each joke the lawyer told the mood became more and more light hearted. He joked about car accidents injuring people as if it were cartoon violence and people losing so much money in court that they had to sell their dog.

The next two presenters were less memorable. The cop talked about how you will get arrested if you get caught drinking and driving and DUI’s. The doctor talked about head trauma and only showed three modernly graphic photos, nothing a high school in a science class hadn’t seen before. This information was important, but no one was listening and paying attention.

Alix Krolick, a senior who went to last years presentation, said “I feel that last year’s Shattered Dreams had more of an impact on me. Last year we watched videos taken from street cameras of people getting into car accidents. I won’t ever forget the image of a man being crushed by an eighteen-wheeler”.

Even though the scare tactic can be harsh, Alix Krolick, senior, said its more effective in getting the point across. When asked their thoughts on this years theater presentation, many students didn’t much to say, let along remember. When asked about last year they were able to remember whole videos, words that were said, presentations, and the way Shattered Dreams made them felt.

After the production in the theater ended, students were ushered outside onto the football field’s hot metal bleachers. As students walked up they got an up-close view of a staged crash involving three cars, numerous cop cars and fire trucks on site, and a black hearse waiting in the distance. The demonstration started with paramedics pulling “injured” students out of the cars (in bloody outfits) and laid them out on the floor, while fire fighters readied the Jaws of Life to save trapped students. What looked like a great beginning to an intense car scene soon enough turned into a confusing mess.

Rescue people walked around without direction in slow motion, there was no hast of an emergency. “Injured” actors laid motionless on the floor with little to no attention given to them, workers just stepped over them looking for something to do. The Jaws of Life held the audience attention briefly, but the process of cutting through metal takes a long time and soon enough students grew bored. A point of focus was never established so it was unclear as what was happening where and when. A loud speaker tried to narrate the event, but it was drowned out in the commotion.

The audience was not engaged; the performance had long gone lost their consideration. Students were on phones, reading books, doing homework, and chit chatting. The intense heat didn’t make things better and audience members only seemed to perk up when the trauma hawk came down, blowing a thick breeze everywhere. The whole performance looked directionless. The audience didn’t know where to look, the rescuers didn’t know what to do, everyone but seemed bored and ready to head inside.

When comparing both year’s presentations, senior Andrew Siegel said, “I think last year’s presentation was taken much more seriously, and as a result more hard-hitting. This year’s was almost casual in delivery”.

The production seemed unrehearsed, slapped together, and executed poorly. An attitude of hast, danger, and adrenalin was never established, along with the lack of serious that carried on from the theater.

The big question now is: what needs to be done so that 2016’s Shattered Dreams can be perfect? “I think that for Shattered Dreams next year someone who lost a loved one to drunk driving should share their story with students”, said Alix Krolich. She also added that presenters in the theater should be “more interactive” and “maybe getting a volunteer to try and walk with drunk goggles on”.

When asked about improvements for the outside show, Andrew said, “I think the drama kids were asked to do the live reenactment in the past, that’d be really cool if they did it again” meaning actors with previous experience may create a more intense experience.

Other things that would add to the effect would be to add more powerful visuals and to cut out all jokes to keep a seriouse atmosphere. Presenters could even talk about accidents from their own experience, giving the audience a first hand look into a drunk driving accident. The outside show should be more organized and easily to follow. An even better idea would be to film the staged crash and present it as a video to the students while they are in the theater. This would eliminate the time it takes to get to the football field and have everyone sit down, the uncomfortable heat, and lose of direction. Intense music and editing can also be used to make sure the atmosphere is kept serious.

This year’s Shattered Dreams was good, but it wasn’t good enough. Next years needs to bring back old fear factors and use new tricks as well to make a great performance.