"While writing the new script I fell in love with every one of my characters. So much so, that my heart broke when they felt pain, pulsed with joy over their accomplishments, and keeled over in tears in their sorrow.
In their struggle I found myself wanting to erect a large lifeboat to save them all. I had to hold myself back from writing a happily-ever-after. I wanted so much to re-write their stories, to take away their pain, mistakes, and troubled days.
Act I is a seat at the table of a “typical” American family, but one where we find a picket fence that is deteriorating. We find ourselves entangled in a mother’s guilt and shame, in a sister's pleas for connection and return to normalcy, a father torn between love for his son and naiveté, and Sam stumbling down the rabbit hole of addiction…
Act II we pull up a seat in group therapy beside Sam. A place where we’re exposed to the successes of recovery and the heartbreak of relapse. We find ourselves exposed to the intimate space that exists between therapist and patient, patient and peer, and patient and disease.
These pages are littered with the voices of two-plus years of audience member’s reactions, friends that have recently passed, blogs, research papers, intimate conversations, and all of the moments in-between.
I want to tell you all of the characters find long-term recovery, reunite with their families, fall in love, and ride off into the sunset.
That wouldn’t be true to life.
Addiction isn’t a feel-good movie. Loss doesn’t come neatly wrapped in a bow. And this public health crisis, unfortunately, isn’t slowing down.
We lost more than 72,000 Americans last year to overdose.
What I can tell you is that writing humor and connection between these characters who are fighting for their lives, brings hope to the stage. And performing publicly blows stigma out of the water and creates communal healing.
And what does it do for me you ask? This script helps me to keep my friends alive; the ones who’ve passed and the ones I still have left who fight every day to live healthy lives. You are the ones I do this for.
Let’s keep fighting. You are all so worth fighting for. "