Other People’s Kids

by Robert Hall
Media Specialist at SAY San Diego’s North City Prevention Coalition

Do you watch those ripped-from-the-headlines TV dramas? “Breaking Bad” told the story of a big-time methamphetamine cooker and how his life was corrupted by his actions. Realistically, though, not too many of us can relate to the car chases, shootouts, and explosions that made “Breaking Bad” a success.

“Other People’s Kids,” however, tells stories that hit closer to home because it’s about how meth impacts real people and families. Mabelle Reynoso of the Playwrights Project developed the play based on stories of real San Diegans whose lives were touched by methamphetamine.

Chrystal Mintz, a counselor with the McAlister Institute, takes a question from the audience. Mintz was a panelist at a December presentation of Other People’s Kids. Other panelists included U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy and Dr. David Shaw, a cardiologist who has studied meth’s impacts on health.

The presentation features something else you won’t see on a TV drama. After each performance of the play, there will be a panel discussion about methamphetamine. Experts from law enforcement, healthcare, prevention, and substance abuse treatment will take questions from the audience and discuss meth’s impacts on the San Diego region.

Nancy Gannon Hornberger, SAY San Diego’s President and CEO, will be one of the panelists.

“Knowing people who have suffered meth addiction and death is part of my personal and professional experience,” she said. “I have friends and colleagues who have lost loved ones—including teenagers—to meth, or have lost children, spouses, and friends to the justice system because of the ravages of addiction.”

The presentations of “Other People’s Kids” came about through the work of several partners, including the U.S. Attorney’s office, the Playwrights Project, and SDSU’s School of Theatre, Film, and Television.

A second play, “Finding Our Way,” will also be presented. It’s a look at addiction from first-time use through recovery. It was created by the Out of the Yard Playwrights at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility.

The plays will be presented at SDSU’s Experimental Theater at 7:30 p.m. on March 16 through March 18, with a fourth show on March 19 at 2 p.m.

The performances are free, but reservations are required. Call 858-384-2970 or email write@playwrightsproject.org.