HOPE! Drama Troupe is a group of youths whose mission is to end child abuse and neglect and strengthen families in Polk County. The troupe created a special, filmed set of monologues addressing the prevalence of abuse during the pandemic.

About HOPE! Drama Troupe

HOPE! Drama Troupe was started by the Child Abuse Prevention Council in 1993 in response to an increase in child abuse cases in Polk County. The program was housed at The Des Moines Playhouse, later moving to Des Moines Public Schools Central Campus, and was directed by area theatre professionals, including T Valada-Viars, Tim Wisgerhof, Kim VanHaecke, Joanne Wilson and more. In 2018, the Child Abuse Prevention Council voted to grant the rights to HOPE! to Des Moines Young Artists’ Theatre, where Jenna Darsee, Nate Jorgensen, and David Van Cleave took over leadership. In the summer of 2020 amidst the pandemic, HOPE! found a home at The Playhouse and will continue programming in partnership with The Playhouse.

HOPE! Drama Troupe is a group of 20 middle school and high school youth whose mission is to end child abuse and neglect and strengthen families in Polk County.

Each year, HOPE! Drama Troupe members use an original script to educate area youth about child abuse and the impact it has on children and families. Their 25-minute performance defines the types of abuse, demonstrates the consequences of abuse, and identifies how to get help. The troupe tackles tough issues that are difficult for youth to talk about and portrays ways to discuss problems and seek assistance. 

​There is a documented link between childhood abuse and long-term health effects, including visual, learning and hearing deficits, increased illness, emotional disturbances, delayed language development, low self-esteem, and aggressive tendencies. According to Prevent Child Abuse America, the most costly long-term effects are those associated with responding to adults who, because of earlier abuse, are involved in criminal activity. Their report puts those costs at over $5 billion annually in the United States.

Polk County statistics show that child abuse is just as prevalent in Polk County as in other parts of the country. Educating young people about the consequences of child abuse and advising young victims to seek help is vital to the prevention of child abuse as well as important for early intervention for juvenile delinquency. Since it began in 1993, HOPE! Drama Troupe has always been well respected in local schools for its ability to communicate with teens about physical abuse, neglect, drug and alcohol abuse, date rape, teen pregnancy, and the many other problems associated with child abuse.

The troupe generally spends one day each month, November-May, with their professional directors and a counselor, touring Central Iowa and performing for various middle schools, high schools, community groups, and more.

    Schedule

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    08aug10:00 amLive Theatre Drive-in10:00 am

    08aug7:00 pmLive Theatre Drive-in7:00 pm

    HAPPENING NOW

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