Members of the George Street Playhouse recently visited Edison Intermediate School to perform Anytown, a powerful musical about opioid abuse and its impact on teens and families.

Anytown tells the story of a fictional high school star athlete with “a 4.0 GPA and limitless potential” who becomes addicted to prescription painkillers after a boy she likes offers her “one little pill” to reduce the pain from a soccer injury.

“You need to understand how significant this is,” said Edison principal Dr. Matthew Bolton in addressing the 8th graders who watched the performance on Feb. 7.  “Every character [in the musical] represents someone in real life.  Every instance that occurs [in the musical] has happened across the United States.”

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According to the George Street Playhouse, Anytown is based on interviews with opioid prevention experts, law enforcement officials, educators, and families struggling with “the disease of addiction.” 

The New Brunswick-based playhouse says that the touring production of Anytown was developed in partnership with the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey and RWJBarnabas Health “in response to the devastating impact prescription opioid misuse, heroin, and fentanyl have had on communities throughout New Jersey.”  Key research and feedback was provided by  RWJBarnabas Health’s Institute for Prevention and Recovery.