Michigan: "Prom Date" Play Has AIDS Message for Teens
April 7, 2010
A new HIV/AIDS awareness play starring local teens opens tonight at the Northwest Activity Center. "Prom Date" centers on a high school football star who plans on losing his virginity on prom night but has second thoughts after watching a friend die of AIDS.
Playwright Deon Rippy, who mentors youth, said he wanted to highlight the decisions and issues teens face. "Prom night is a main event where young people lose their virginity," he said.
Young people are particularly at risk of HIV/AIDS. In Michigan, people under age 22 comprise 11 percent of total HIV/AIDS cases. In addition, the virus disproportionately affects African Americans and Latinos. "Detroit is a red zone for HIV and people don't realize that," said Rippy.
Rippy, a married father of two young children, said parents and teens often avoid conversations about sex and its consequences. The play, his first, sends the message that HIV can touch anyone.
"Prom Date" runs through Saturday, and audience members can receive free HIV testing and condoms. Representatives from AIDS Partnership Michigan and R.E.C. Boyz, which works with young black men who have sex with men, will be on hand to provide information.
To purchase tickets, telephone 313-578-7500 or visit www.nwac-detroit.org/.
04.07.2010; Ursula Watson