The Way Out

Grades 6-12
The issues: Cycle of Addiction, Opioid Abuse



Scene 1: The show opens with the actors reading obituaries of young adults who have died from heroin overdoses. The last obituary read is Kayla’s, the main character whose story is told as the play moves back in time. The audience sees her journey from a promising young gymnast to a young adult in active addiction.

Scene 2: Kayla’s memorial service. The audience meets her mother, brother, and friends. One of these friends, Nick, shows up to the service high. The audience learns that Kayla had overdosed before but had been brought back with Narcan. Her final overdose involved fentanyl, though, and doctors couldn’t revive her.

Scene 3: A Narcotics Anonymous meeting. Kayla’s brother, Chris, is attending in support of his friend Hunter, who has been clean for two years. Chris receives a phone call that Kayla is in a coma. The audience learns that she was in a recovery center but left.

Scene 4: An interlude. The actors become news reporters and give the audience information about the opioid epidemic.

Scene 5: An intervention. Chris, Hunter, and Kayla’s mother share their concerns for Kayla. Her mother tells her she can’t live at  home if she is going to continue to use drugs. Kayla agrees to go to rehab.

Scene 6: Hunter, clean for a while but still struggling with his addiction, calls his sponsor for support. He asks if he is ready to be involved in Kayla’s intervention.

Scene 7: Kayla is convincing Nick to try heroin with her. Chris finds them and kicks Nick out, blaming him for Kayla’s drug use. Chris encourages Kayla to talk to Hunter, who is in recovery.

Scene 8: An interlude. The actors are news reporters and give the audience information on fentanyl and Narcan.

Scene 9: Chris returns to his apartment to find Hunter, who is currently using drugs and living in his car. The audience learns that Chris kicked Hunter out after he stopped paying rent and was found passed out in the bathroom multiple times.

Scene 10: Kayla tells Hunter her prescription pain killers were stolen and asks him to provide her with street drugs in order to cope with the pain. He refuses, telling her she doesn’t know what she’s getting into.

Scene 11: Kayla visits Nick, who has recently been in a car accident. She tells him she lost her prescription pain killers and convinces him to give her some of his.

Scene 12: Hunter tells his mother that he wants to go to college. She tells him she will help him pay for it if he stops using drugs and alcohol and gets accepted.

Scene 13: Kayla visits her orthodontist to ask for a refill of her medication, claiming she is still in a lot of pain from getting her wisdom teeth taken out.

Scene 14: An interlude. The actors become reporters and tell the audience about doctor shopping, the process of visiting multiple doctors to obtain prescription medications.

Scene 15: Chris has been accepted to college and Hunter wants to celebrate by snorting heroin. Chris refuses and the two argue. Chris finds out that Hunter has been using heroin for a while but is not worried about addiction.

Scene 16: Kayla has suffered a serious injury. She learns that she may never compete again and is prescribed pain medication to aid in her recovery. The audience learns that she began abusing this prescription in order to cope with her depression after her injury.

Scene 17: Chris and Hunter are getting high together. The audience learns that Hunter’s father is physically abusive and incarcerated and his mother is verbally abusive. Kayla confronts Hunter about being a bad influence and warns him to be cautious of addiction.

Scene 18: Kayla, Nick, Chris, and Hunter are at a youth poetry slam. Kayla reads a poem about her lofty goals in both gymnastics and life. Hunter reads popular song lyrics and passes them off as his own work.

Scene 19: An interlude. The actors share more information about the dangers of heroin and fentanyl.

Scene 20: Kayla tells the audience that her story could have ended differently and shares how Nick’s story will end. The day after her memorial service, Hunter asks Nick to meet him because he is concerned that Nick has hit rock bottom.

Scene 21: Nick has signed himself into rehab. He learns that he cannot battle addiction on his own and that he needs help.

Scene 22: One year after Kayla’s death everyone gathers at her grave. Chris apologizes to Nick for blaming him for Kayla’s problems and Nick tells Kayla’s mother that Kayla’s death saved his life.

Scene 23: Kayla shares Nick’s obituary. After helping others battle addiction, he dies from natural causes at age 93.


Bring a Saltworks play to your students and watch them use their imagination to resolve conflict, reach out for new healthy relationships, and discover hope for their lives!