Henzel writes, directs play, Addicted comes to screens at school

Isabel Kropkowski, Features Editor

     On Friday, May 12, NH held a screening of the play Addicted. The play was presented by the Harford County Office of Drug Control Policy. In addition to a screening at NH, one was also held at Mt. Zion Church on April 22.  Admission was free for both places.

     The play tells the story of three young adults who are struggling with many addictions including alcohol, heroin, and prescription pain pills. The play includes the destructive impact on individuals as well as their friends and family members.

     NH’s school psychologist, Mrs. Christle Henzel, has written and directed the play, with the County’s Drug Control Office presenting the stage production as a screen production. The powerful drama has engaged audiences since 2015 and has been seen by over 6,000 people. Addicted originally started at North Harford in 2015, starring NHHS students. Now the play features professional actors, and a North Harford alumni wrote some of the music featured in the play.  

     The play has had many successes since it first came out, including winning the National Association of Counties’ Best in the Category Award in the Arts, Cultural, and Historic Preservation category. The play was successful in helping to raise awareness, engage stakeholders, and combat stigma. The play received a Governor’s Citation in 2017 and was named the national SAFE community Public Awareness Guide.

     Addiction touches close for Henzel, as she stated “When I was 21 years old, my brother, Jason took his own life at the age of 19. It was very unexpected, and it devastated my family. He struggled with drug addiction throughout most of his life.” This experience helps Henzel to give light to a dark subject. Her goal was to transform power through the art of storytelling, she stated that she “wrote the play Addicted in honor of my brother, Jason.”

     In addition to writing the play for her brother, Henzel hopes to reach many audiences and prevent someone from going down the path of addiction. She wants her audience to know that they are not alone and there are people who can help if they need it.

     Addicted helps to educate many on substance use and can help to start many needed conversations about drugs and alcohol. The screening of the play is open to the public; however parental discretion is advised due to the subject matter of the play; it may not be appropriate for children under 13.