Underclassmen Listen to Dirt

John Morello’s Performance Speaks to AHS Students


Elizabeth Roy

John Morello performs his one-man show “Dirt” at Abington High School on Monday, Feb. 4. Freshmen and sophomores attended this show, sponsored by the Anti-Bullying Club and funded by the PTO and Coombs Foundation.

Elizabeth Roy, Staff Writer

John Morello: Actor, Speaker, Activist.

This past Monday, Feb. 4, the freshmen and sophomores at Abington High were called to the auditorium to see a performance called DIRT. The event was sponsored by Abington High School’s Anti-Bullying Club (ABC). DIRT is not a normal lecture about what students should and should not do. It is a one-man play put on by John Morello that portrays the challenges and decisions that young people deal with every day.

Morello talks about and portrays issues related to drugs, bullying, and self-esteem. He gave hope to those that are going through the same thing as the characters in the play. DIRT inspires young people to reflect on their daily actions and how they are perceived by other people.  Aleena Magnasco ‘21, who saw the play said, “I thought it was moving because he taught us that our actions influence others.” 

Some characters in the play are Jason, Melissa, Hank, and David. Jason smokes weed; Melissa is a quiet student who was assaulted and bullied; Hank is a veteran; and David is all caught up in prescription drugs. John Morello played all these characters by changing clothes, his voice, and his overall persona. Hannah Murphy ‘22 said, “I didn’t expect it to be a play because we have always had a person give us a lecture on these topics. It was different.”  

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I thought it was moving because he taught us that our actions influence others.

— Aleena Magnasco

John Morello has been performing this show for 16 years. When asked why he puts on the show he said, “I felt like I had something in me that I wanted to get out. I wanted to share it because I remember what it was like when I was young.” Before bringing this show to middle and high schools, Morello was a theater major in college and an actor after college. He also spent some time in stand-up comedy.  

Freshman Mia Scarpelli who attended the play said, “It was funny and emotional. I loved it.” The show had some parts where the audience was laughing, while other parts moved the audience to silence.  

Along with the play, John Morello wrote a book called “Buckshot Words.” The book, which contains short stories and poems, explains Morello’s “personal experiences with family addiction, bullying, depression, personal loss, and fatherhood.”

Thanks to the PTO and the Jeff Coombs Foundation for funding this event.