One of the things I try to accomplish on a regular basis is to do something that takes me outside of my comfort level and jolts fear through my system. After seeing my new play “Seven Ways to Get There” come to life, I’ve accomplished that goal and then some. The story takes place 17 years ago. It’s based on true events. Many of these events have been recreated now on stage but I have to confess that I was shocked with the emotion that came up as I saw my own life being recreated on stage.
I wrote the play with Bryan Willis. It runs through March 15th. It offers a peek inside a room where confidentiality is the rule, conflict resolution is the goal, and comedy is in full supply to get through difficult times. It’s based on a true story that follows seven men in group therapy trying to work through their issues. Each path is different, but these guys show there are truly seven ways to get there. Seven Ways to Get There is directed by the critically acclaimed John Langs. The play investigates the largely ignored or secretive world of men’s group therapy. In a tightly wound room where the slightest mistake can erupt in a hilarious explosion or heartbreaking meltdown, one brave therapist must coax these men to a better place.
But the real value of the play is not about me. It’s about social judgments and how we tend to steer clear from people different than us. We make judgments about people before we even get to know them. The reality of this for me was that these people who I’d shunned usually brought up something in me that I didn’t want to see in myself. Now I have learned that we are more alike than we are different. I’ve also learned that the true and powerful learnings about yourself can only dramatically be made when you get outside your circle of comfort.
Seven Ways to Get There premiers this week at Seattle’s ACT Theatre. Proceeds go to charity, Sound Mental Health, supporting over 16,000 people in King County, Washington (the Seattle area). For tickets and show times: www.acttheatre.org