Shattered Dreams hits a nerve


Godson Iheanacho

In despair, senior Lexi Breed clutches the arm of Shattered Dreams victim senior Reagan Head during the crash scene on March 12. Senior John Tolander (left) and Biology teacher Brent Grissom (not pictured) were also killed. “I decided to participate because one of my family members is an alcoholic and I wanted to show them what they can do by drinking and driving.”

Lauren Kriss, Editor-In-Chief

This year’s Shattered Dreams production, on March 12-13, aimed to illustrate the consequences of impaired and distracted driving to the student body who viewed it.

This year senior Wolfcast Technical Director and Shattered Dreams Director Brianna Ray wanted it to be the best production possible.

“It’s important to me because the better the movie is, the more attention people will give it,” Ray said.

According to Ray, her primary objective was to make the student body think before driving drunk.

“I hope everyone will think twice before they drink and drive,” Ray said. “Hopefully, before they go out, they make plans to be picked up. Just something. I don’t want to see anyone from CPHS getting into a potentially fatal accident.”

In a departure from the norm, beloved Biology teacher Brent Grissom served in the cast as a crash victim in hopes of expanding the scope of Shattered Dreams.

“I thought it might be beneficial for students to see the affects outside their peer group,” Grissom said. “I think it’s good for them to see how small decisions can have drastic effects on everyone around them.”

Another key component of this year’s production was senior Wolfcast Executive Producer and Shattered Dreams Assistant Director Monica Harkins. As part of the script writing team, Harkins co-wrote her role as the party hostess.

“I was thrilled to get to do in front of the camera work instead of behind the scenes like I had during the last Shattered Dreams,” Harkins said. “That particular role seemed so much fun to portray.”

While there were fun moments playing that character, Harkins admitted the burden of the character’s actions weighed on her.

“I felt guilty and overwhelmed, especially after seeing the footage of the outcome,” Harkins said.

After her character is arrested for serving alcohol to minors, along with several other related charges, Harkins filmed a scene in the county jail with senior Lexi Breed, whose character was arrested for driving while intoxicated.

“The hardest for me emotionally to film was the jail scene,” Harkins said. “We filmed after the accident scene after school, so the emotion was still fresh.

During the filming, Harkins said she had a wake-up call.

“I broke down when I later saw the footage of my mug shot,” Harkins said. “It made me think of all the times I’ve made dumb decisions and how this could have been real. I felt like I was looking in on my own life. I never want to be arrested.”

Similarly to Harkins, Breed took on the emotional responsibility of her character, who killed multiple passengers and the driver of an oncoming vehicle.

“It was emotionally taxing knowing that I was responsible for a friend’s death, and that I took away a child from their parent’s because of my selfish actions,” Breed said.

The accident scene, which featured hearses, LifeFlight, Police, a fire truck and an ambulance, put everything into perspective for Ray.

“One of the things I will always remember is looking on our accident scene that we staged,” Ray said. “The complete chaos and terror of the moment kind of got to me.”

Along with learning the true consequences of impaired driving, Harkins took away a greater appreciation for the people in her life.

“I remember distinctly after it was all done a feeling of desperation,” Harkins said. “I just really wanted to hug my mom and to tell her I loved her just because, and I wanted to hear my dad say he was proud of me.”

After participating in Shattered Dreams, Breed had a message for the student body:

“Before you go drink and drive, think about what you would say to the parents of the kids you just killed and your future with that guilt.”