High school sweethearts. Two best friends at the top of their class, preparing for college. A partier and his long-time crush. And a girl and her little brother stuck on the side of the road.
Eight people, each one of them affected by the consequences of a drunk, underage driver.
In the Little Elm High School production of Shattered Dreams, these eight actors took the 2014 LEHS seniors and juniors through a roller coaster of events that ultimately delivered a resounding message: drinking and driving will more often than not result in disaster.
“Drinking and driving, it’s not worth it,” said Megan McHuch, a Shattered Dream actress who played the role of one of the high school sweethearts. “Just from being involved in this production, it’s opened our eyes even more to how devastating getting drunk and behind a wheel can be to so many people.”
In the April 17 production, McHuch and her boyfriend are in a car driven by the partier, who is drunk, and his crush after an all-night party following prom. The drunk driver crashes into a car containing the two best friends, played by Nina Alton and Eripitan Osagie-Sule – who just happen to be pulled over on the side of the road, helping a girl and her little brother with a flat tire.
The crush, Stephanie Donovan, is killed, along with Alton. McHuch's boyfriend is severely injured and taken away in a CareFlight helicopter. The older sister has her neck broken in the accident. The drunk driver is arrested by the Little Elm Police, who arrived on the scene along with the Little Elm Fire Department.
“We were just acting, but we’re all friends in real life, too, so it was pretty terrifying even pretending that we were injured or killed in a car crash,” McHuch said. “That’s actually my boyfriend, and I watched him get loaded into a [CareFlight] helicopter today. It was surreal.”
The actors, even though they had rehearsed and prepared for weeks, were in just as much awe as the students during the actual performance when emergency officials arrived and began extracting the injured students from the totaled vehicles.
“The police and firefighters weren’t cutting open the cars during rehearsal, so that was really cool to experience,” Alton said.
Prom is approaching for Lobo students, which makes the timing of Shattered Dreams so important.
“Prom is supposed to be a fun weekend,” said Travis Waddell, LEHS assistant principal. “Let’s hope it’s also an alcohol-free weekend.”
Added Osagie-Sule: “Other people will always be affected – not just the ones in the car with the drunk driver. Look at the girl in the performance – she was hurt badly in front of her little brother. It’s not worth it.”