The anticipation and suspense created by Tuesday’s car accident was soon broken by Wednesday’s hospital scene, where the fates of the three victimized teens and their respective parents were decided.
An important factor in the success of this production was the portrayal of an emergency room in such a situation. One of the victims, played by Willis Hao (SR), was seen in a hospital bed, with the appropriate equipment to convince the audience of his severe condition. Many actual doctors contributed to the scene, and their knowledge of the situation made it appear more realistic. The actual storyline was intense, as one of the victims was close to death and required CPR. In doing so, Ghost Out 2016 captured the fear and severity of a situation like this, one which could have happened to anyone in the audience.
The following scene in which the parents learned the fate of their deceased son, Mike, had a powerful effect on the audience, leaving them with the realization that each decision they make has a chain reaction. Played by Coach Martin, the father’s emotional breakdown upon hearing of his son’s death showed how many people can be affected by a small mistake .
When addressing his students at the end of each performance, Principal Tim Corrigan, reminded students that: “We want you to remember the sights. We want you to remember the sounds.”
The conclusion of the fifteen-minute drama left the audience quiet and appalled, contrary to the jolly mood that had ensued earlier. Even as the students walked back to class, the pathway was staged to illustrate Mike’s graveyard, “almost like the drama was continuing with us” asserts Sarena Tseng (JR).
The intensity of the emotional impact wasn’t just with acting skills though. Certainly it “was a big effort of the drama crew,” but the timing also played a part, as Journey Sherman (JR) recalls. Only earlier Wednesday morning, two Chattahoochee students had lost their father in a motorcycle accident on Douglas Road, and thus Ghost Out’s efforts seemed to gain more immediate and tragic relevance. Even the attendance seemed high, with more than half the auditorium filled across all four sessions. It “certainly impacted us after that morning,” Paroma Mukhopathy (JR) explains.
Ultimately, Ghost Out 2016 had a thought-altering effect on Chattahoochee’s student body. It provided a wake up call for all those who choose to partake in distracted driving, compelling them to realize that waiting to send that text can mean the difference between life and death– that it can not only affect you but those you love,“placing you personally inside the perilous situation of careless driving,” concludes Induja.