Boomer Rose ’23 (Bachelor of Arts in University Interdisciplinary Studies) presented his senior research project “The Road to Me” on Friday, Dec. 2, in the Harold Herman Lab Theatre. “The Road to Me” is a story of how trauma can have a long-lasting impact on lives, and is an autobiographical play that details the journey of an individual overcoming adversity to find hope. The work features the music of Matchbox Twenty, Elton John, Freya Ridings, Jason Robert Brown and Elvis Presley. It discusses difficult topics that may be triggering, including domestic violence, child abuse, substance use, death, cancer, grief and loss. A question and answer session was also held after the performance.
Rose began his studies at Shenandoah University in Fall 2007, pursuing his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting. Before finishing his degree, he had to drop out of school due to his addiction. Fifteen years later, he returned, once again a student, to complete his bachelor’s degree.
Rose is a grateful recovering addict and UX/UI expert. Having experienced incarceration, institutions and a near-fatal overdose, he understands the challenges individuals face upon re-entry and early recovery. He uses his theatrical background and personal experiences with addiction, trauma and the criminal justice system to better understand the needs of those searching for services at a deeper level. Rose has developed several mobile applications, including Clean (addiction/recovery), ETC App (re-entry) and Affirm (mental health).
Rose has been working with his former and current mentor, Professor of Theatre Kirsten Trump, M.F.A, to bring this idea to life since September. “The Road To Me” is a blend of the modalities Boomer has learned throughout his academic, professional and personal life. Combining his skill sets in theatre, social work, public health and peer support, he has sought to create a unique piece of educational theatre. “The Road To Me” is his senior research project at Shenandoah University and is presented in partnership with the College of Public Health at the University of South Florida (USF) and the Harrell Center.
Rose is also a current student at Long Beach City College. He hopes to pursue his master’s degree in public health at USF next fall.