Thursday, October 29, 2009

All For One

Alcohol was a presence in our house. It was a nail in the coffin of a marriage. I could not make it better. I could not eliminate it. A fog settled over the house daily. A fog settled over this family of four.

A friend, a high school counselor, asked if I would write a play for use with the Insight program. Insight was developed to find kids at risk and to help them and their families find a healthier life. Many of these kids were substance users and many times from families dealing with a parent who was a user. Sessions were held monthly for these families. My play would be the hub of the program.

The subject of alcoholism was easy to write. I knew the feelings of the family trapped with the bottle. I knew what it had done to my children. In my work at the school, many kids at risk surfaced. Yes, I knew the subject well.

The play focused on a dysfunctional family of five: I was the wife of the alcoholic, my stage husband was the alcoholic (in real life the son of an alcoholic) and many of our stage children came from such families. My own children grew up acting in the show. We were a family healing. Often we cried together while doing a show. Sometimes we opened old wounds. Our casts of "All For One" always became family. Over 12 years of performance, we had many families.

This show began my journey into social dramas. This show began to reach beyond Insight. We performed for health days, teacher training, community programs, corporate training, etc. Soon a request came for shows on teenage pregnancy and AIDS. Shows created to change lives, to provide a oral message reinforced with the visual trying to reach as many people as possible.

We are not alone in our pain, in our problems. Sometimes our help comes in helping others. Mine came in a script and on a stage.

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