Four Legs To Stand On is a modern American story. All is not well on the home front. Sam freshly home from his first year at college finds himself and his family in new, strange territory. Two illnesses are eating away at his family’s foundation. Only cancer is allowed a voice at the dinner table. Substance abuse and addiction are the other malady. This story exposes the secrecy that shrouds the topic of addiction. Opening up to this problem and highlighting the importance of support and family are the goal and the hope. Through humor and realism contrasted against hypocrisy this story invites the audience to take a seat at the table. We all need to acknowledge our American struggle with addiction. It is as close as friends and family.
THE PLAY ILLUMINATES ADDICTION AS A CHRONIC DISEASE AND DRAWS ATTENTION TO THE NECESSITY OF TREATMENT INTERVENTION. THE STORY JUXTAPOSES CANCER AND PRESENTS THE DOUBLE STANDARD OF BEHAVIOR OFTEN SHOWN TO PEOPLE SUFFERING FROM ADDICTION, AS OPPOSED TO THOSE SUFFERING FROM CANCER. ADDITIONALLY THE STORY HIGHLIGHTS THE DANGERS OF PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE AND HOW TEENAGERS OFTEN OBTAIN PILLS FROM FAMILY MEDICINE CABINETS.
this production is called therapeutic theatre. Throughout the creation and rehearsal process the artistic team infused therapeutic goals for participants. The audience is offered a space for cathartic release, introspection, and reflection. The collective experience of witnessing the performance creates a community for a brief moment in time. Each performance is followed by a twenty-minute talkback in which the audience is given a space to process their unique experiences. We have discovered this as a profound process for our participants. Themes that arise in the talkback help participants to explore emotions, discuss intervention and prevention, and aid in examining detrimental societal norms. The talkback ultimately becomes an exercise in community building, behavioral change, and source for social change.
“You are the hero in this story.”
THE PLAYWRIGHT’S INTENTION IS TO PRESENT A UNIVERSAL STORY. THROUGH THE USE OF RELATABLE CHARACTERS THE AUDIENCE is INSPIRED by empathy TO UNDERSTAND ADDICTION. Beyond the struggle of addiction THE PLAY EXPLORES FAMILY DYNAMICS, SHAME AND GUILT, AND EFFECTIVE VS. INEFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION.
THE SCRIPT WAS CREATED FROM AN ARRAY OF STORIES COLLECTED ABOUT ADDICTION, LOSS, RECOVERY, FAMILY, AND COMMUNITY. THIS JOURNEY OF ONE FAMILY’S STRUGGLE IS INDICATIVE OF ALL OF OUR STRUGGLES WITH THIS DISEASE. THROUGH THE AUDIENCE’S Empathetic RESPONSE AND HONEST CONVERSATION THE PLAY HELPS TO DISSOLVE STIGMA.
*WE BELIEVE IN THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIALLY ORIENTED APPROACHES TO HEALTHCARE, THIS IS OUR FIRST CONTRIBUTION.
PAST PERFORMANCES: (RHODE ISLAND & MASSACHUSETTS)
Jamestown Arts center AS220 BLACKBOX THEATRE THE PHOENIX HOUSE KINGSTON CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH ANCHOR RECOVERY CENTER NOWELL LEADERSHIP ACADEMY ARTISTS’ EXCHANGE BLACK BOX The Alley Theater Revere High school Tri-County High school
SOUTH COUNTY Hospital, HEALTHCARE RETREAT ALPERT MEDICAL SCHOOL, BROWN UNIVERSITY MONTY TECHNICAL HIGH SCHOOL THE ALLEY THEATER THE CONTEMPORARY THEATER Alpert Medical School, Brown University Boston Children's Hospital North River Theater Monty Technical School Block Island Maritime Institute Westerly High School