Get Healthy West Georgia Theatrical Program Begins Making the Rounds
Posted Date: 3/28/2013
Local performers Ginna Blair, Scott van Patten and Jake Shadrix star in Get Healthy West Georgia’s “A Straaaaange Dream,” a play that teaches the value of good nutrition, exercise and a healthy lifestyle to area schoolchildren.
Get Healthy West Georgia is giving children throughout the region “A Straaaaange Dream.”
That’s the title of the new play making the rounds through the region’s schools, courtesy of the three-year community health initiative launched last year by Tanner Health System, the Community Foundation of West Georgia and other regional partners.
The play was written by copywriters, registered dietitians and health education specialists from Tanner, with input from pediatricians on Tanner’s medical staff. It teaches the importance of eating right—including staying away from sweets and other “empty calorie” foods—as well as the health dangers of becoming overweight and the benefits of a physically active lifestyle.
“A Straaaaange Dream” features a cast of three who assume the rolls of a young girl, a giant candy bar who brings the “straaaaange” dreams, a fairy dietitian, a health and fitness coach and a highbrow character who helps pull it all together. Get Healthy West Georgia contracted with local performers Ginna Blair, Jake Shadrix and Scott van Patten, who also directs the production.
Through the course of the play, the performers encourage participation by bringing kids up on stage, asking questions and singing songs. Children also learn the pediatrician-backed lesson behind 5-2-1-0—five servings of fruit and vegetables, no more than two hours of screen time—such as watching television or playing video games—at least one hour of physical activity and no sugary sodas or sweets, each day. The play also introduces the My Plate model, which has replaced the food pyramid as the preferred way to plan and structure healthy, balanced meals.
“We’ve put on several performances already, and so far the response has been wonderful,” said Millie Davis, a coordinator with Get Healthy West Georgia. “By the end of the play, the kids all seem to grasp the importance of eating well and being active, and how that can help them lead long and successful lives.”
Wednesday morning, the troop of Blair, Shadrix and van Patten performed two shows for about 800 Carrollton Elementary School students at the Joshua R. Mabry Performing Arts Center on the Carrollton City Schools campus. The students clapped, sang along and were eager to answer questions, such as, “how does your body store the sugar you don’t burn?” The answer: “Fat!”
The show, which can be provided at no charge to schools in Carroll, Haralson and Heard counties, can be performed on-site at schools as space allows or in the Health Education and Wellness Learning Center at Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton for groups interested in a field trip.
“This is an innovative way for us to bring the message behind Get Healthy West Georgia into schools in an entertaining and interactive way,” said Denise Taylor, senior vice president and chief community health and brand officer for Tanner Health System. “We realize how important it is to reach these children while they’re young and teach them the value of making healthy decisions now so they’ll have those skills in the future.”
Along with diet and nutrition, the play also touches on issues related to chronic diseases, tobacco use and more.
Educators wanting more information on arranging for a performance of the roughly 30-minute “A Straaaaaange Dream” production can learn more by calling Davis at 770.836.9761 or e-mailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on Get Healthy West Georgia is available online at www.GetHealthyWestGeorgia.org.