On Monday, Sept. 24, at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at Belfast Area High School, New Hope for Women, the domestic violence, dating violence and stalking resource center serving Waldo, Knox, Lincoln and Sagadahoc counties, will bring a special production, performed by the award-winning Deana’s Educational Theater, to help students in grades 9-12 and their parents better understand and deal with the problems surrounding dating violence.

Students, as well as their parents, are invited to see The Yellow Dress, a powerful and dramatic one‐woman play that tells the story of a young woman who is involved in a relationship that begins as young love, full of passion and promise, but ends in tragedy. The play will help the students identify the warning signs of abusive behaviors, understand the unique aspects of teen dating violence, learn how to help friends and family members and develop school community awareness of the issue.

The Yellow Dress program is produced and directed by Deana’s Educational Theater, a non‐profit organization based in Wakefield, Mass., which uses theater as a way of educating audiences of all ages about dating violence, bullying and promoting healthy relationships. Deana’s Educational Theater was established in 1994 after the death of Deana Brisbois, a young woman from Topsfield, Mass., who was a victim of dating violence.

According to Christine Shaw, Executive Director of Deana’s Educational Theater, The Yellow Dress gives students important strategies to help themselves and their classmates who are in abusive relationships.

“Most teens turn to their friends first when they need help and support with problems. This incredibly powerful performance gives them accurate information, tools for intervention and reinforces the concept that verbal, emotional and physical violence are never acceptable in any relationship,” Shaw said.

New Hope for Women has arranged for Deana’s Educational Theater to perform an anti-bullying play at nine Waldo County elementary schools on September 24, 25 and 26 during the school day. The free evening performance aimed to address and prevent teen dating violence is a gift from the theater company to the community. Funding for the Deana’s Educational Theater collaboration with New Hope for Women was made possible in part by the Waldo County Fund of Maine Community Foundation and by the Maine Women’s Fund. For more information about any of the violence prevention programming taking place next week, please contact Meg Klingelhofer, Community Education Director at New Hope for Women at 594-2128.