Multidisciplinary Art Installation and Performance Piece at WCU Spotlights America’s Overdose Crisis

West Chester University’s Departments of Art + Design and Theatre & Dance will this week come together to present a multidisciplinary art installation and performance piece that spotlights the current opioid addiction and overdose crisis in America. The project is the work of brothers Adam and Charlie DelMarcelle. Adam, a printmaker, and Charlie, a Barrymore Award-winning actor, each respond to the 2014 death of their younger brother to an overdose through their respective art disciplines.Epidemic image 1

Epidemic is an art exhibition by activists and artists Dr. Eric Avery, MD and Adam DelMarcelle. It is on display from October 4 - 29 in the Knauer Gallery, West Chester University’s Swope Music Building and Performing Arts Center, 817 S. High Street. Gallery hours are Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. An Opening Reception will be hosted on Thursday, October 7 from 5 – 7 p.m., with an artist talk by Adam DelMarcelle at 6 p.m.

Epidemic bears witness and calls for public action as the overdose crisis claims the lives of 255 people a day in the United States. Avery’s historical prints position the opioid epidemic in a larger context of earlier epidemics including HIV/AIDS. Adam DelMarcelle’s prints and social art actions take the viewer through the streets of Lebanon, PA. In the gallery will be a Harm Reduction art action space to educate and offer Naloxone training.

Performances of the one-man show, A Shadow that Broke the Light, written and performed by multi-Barrymore Award-winning actor and WCU theatre associate professor Charlie DelMarcelle will run in conjunction with Epidemic. In Shadow, DelMarcelle shares first-person accounts collected from the family and friends of victims of the current overdose crisis. A Shadow that Broke the Light will run October 6, 7, 8, and 9 at 7pm, and on October 10 at 2pm in the J.P. Adler Theatre, E.O. Bull Center for the Arts, 2 E. Rosedale Ave., West Chester. The performance is free to students, faculty, and the public.  No reservations are required.

Adam DelMarcelle says, “After Charlie and I lost our brother to an overdose, I committed my life to the betterment of the community through my work as an educator and artist. Charlie and I share the belief that art can save lives. We also share a goal to support the development of a deeper understanding of the overdose crisis, and to encourage reflective thinking and harm reduction as a needed immediate response.”

On Saturday, October 9, a post-show discussion will be held following the performance of A Shadow that Broke the Light. It features Philadelphia journalist Christopher Moraff.  Moraff has spent over a decade reporting on the intersection of policing, criminal justice and civil liberties.

Charlie DelMarcelle has been working as a professional actor, director, and theatre educator for over twenty years. He currently resides in Philadelphia where he serves as an educational outreach specialist for the Lantern Theatre Company, Delaware Theatre Company, White Box Theatre, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Charlie is a full-time tenured associate professor at West Chester University, where he teaches acting, musical theatre, children’s theatre, and playwrighting. As a performer, Charlie is a multiple Barrymore Award winner, and has appeared at Walnut Street Theatre, Arden Theatre, Theatre Horizon, Delaware Theatre Company, Inis Nua, Lantern Theater, Azuka Theatre, EgoPo Classic Theatre, Commonwealth Classic Theatre, Shakespeare in Clark Park, and Act II Playhouse.

Epidemic 2Adam DelMarcelle is a guest lecturer at Wilson College and an adjunct professor at Lebanon Valley College, Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, and Kutztown University teaching courses in graphic design, printmaking and Visual Communication. He holds a BFA from Pennsylvania College of Art and Design and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. His work is in the permanent collections of The Cushing Witney Medical Library at Yale University as well as the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.

All faculty, staff, students, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth when indoors. Face masks may be worn when outdoors, but it is not an obligation of this policy notice. Mask and COVID-19 safety measures at West Chester University will continue to be updated here. Please check ahead for updated information before attending your performance.


Through October 29, 2021 - EPIDEMIC

OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, October 7 from 5 – 7 p.m. with artist talk at 6 p.m.

Knauer Gallery, Swope Music Building and Performing Arts Center, 817 S. High Street


A SHADOW THAT BROKE THE LIGHT - Written and performed by Charlie DelMarcelle

J.P Adler Theatre, E.O. Bull Center for the Arts, 2 E. Rosedale Avenue

October 6 – 9 at 7 p.m. and October 10 at 2 p.m.


Through October 15, 2021 - SPRING: Kristopher Benedict

Baker Gallery, E.O. Bull Center for the Arts, 2 E. Rosedale Avenue


October 25 – December 10, 2021 - LARRY WILL: RECENT WORKS

OPENING RECEPTION: October 27, 2021

Baker Gallery, E.O. Bull Center for the Arts, 2 E. Rosedale Avenue


November 8 – December 10, 2021 - HEADCASE DESIGN: A RETROSPECTIVE

OPENING RECEPTION: November 11, 2021

Knauer Gallery, Swope Music Building and Performing Arts Center, 817 S. High Street


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