Verizon Wireless Underwrites "Cheap Sunglasses" To Raise Awareness Of Domestic Violence

LEXINGTON, KY — Verizon Wireless will create an open dialogue in Kentucky about domestic violence awareness this month by sponsoring "Cheap Sunglasses," a play about domestic violence and its effects on teenagers and adults.

Students from five Lexington high schools and the University of Kentucky will attend "Cheap Sunglasses" at the Lexington Children's Theatre March 22 through March 26. The play is expected to be viewed by approximately 550 Lexington 11th- and 12th-graders and UK college students.

"Verizon Wireless has given the Fayette County Public School System high schools a wonderful gift with the play "Cheap Sunglasses," said Donna George, associate director for Student Support Services for the FCPS. "The play's instructional focus will provide positive strategies for our students to deal with the issues of domestic violence, harassment and abuse in their families and friendships at home, school and work."

The play is set in the present with flashbacks to the years 1968-1979. It follows the lives of seven characters, and its purpose is to dispel certain assumptions about domestic violence victims and their perpetrators, and to raise awareness about how to deal with this difficult issue. "Cheap Sunglasses," by James Mirrione, was originally commissioned in 2000 by the McCarter Theatre of Princeton, N.J., in association with the New Jersey Hospital Association. Following each play, a domestic violence expert will join the "Cheap Sunglasses" cast for a brief audience discussion about the issue.

"Verizon Wireless is committed to helping combat domestic violence through awareness and prevention," said Greg Haller, Verizon Wireless region president for Kentucky/Indiana/Michigan. "We hope this play will open the dialogue about domestic violence and raise awareness about how to deal with this issue. We want all people — young and old, married and single — to recognize the signs of domestic violence and to know that there are alternatives to this abusive lifestyle."

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