Art Installation and Play by WCU Professor Honors His Brother, Raises Overdose Awareness

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art installation
Image via Daniel Kontz, The Philadelphia Inquirer.
As part of the exhibition, West Chester theatre professor Charlie DelMarcell hangs up paper squares made from fibers of the donated clothes of overdose victims.

A West Chester University theatre professor Charlie DelMarcell and his brother Adam, are turning tragedy into art at a Philadelphia theatre, writes Jane M. Von Bergen for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

In honor of their late brother who passed away from a fentanyl overdose, “A Shadow That Broke the Light” is a multi-disciplinary exhibition that raises awareness of overdoses and advocates for harm reduction.  

Charlie DelMarcell’s brother passed away in 2014. He was a social worker and fitness buff, as well as a father and husband. Through Jan. 28, Charlie and Adam, an art professor, will be telling their late brother’s story, and the stories of many overdose victims.  

The production incorporates an art installation and an anthology of plays that are each 5 minutes and 39 seconds long, signifying the time that each person in the U.S. dies of an overdose each day. Once that time has passed, a gong will sound, moving onto the next play or musical performance, sometimes stopping performers mid-sentence.  

Hypodermic needles incorporated in the art installation will be donated to harm reduction groups after the production is over. The brothers support safe injection sites, where people who use drugs can do it under medical supervision.  

The production is at the Simpatico Theater and Louis Bulver Theatre at the Drake in Center City.  

Read more about this harrowing art installation and play in The Philadelphia Inquirer.  

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