Trauma is everywhere in art. In movies, songs, stories and novels, writers and performers create characters who go through terrible, difficult things and who then respond to the world and other people in it in all the challenging ways we know. Past trauma is a convenient shorthand to explain a character's anger, depression, addiction or bad behavior.
In 2013, I was frustrated by the lack of trauma healing shown in art. Where are the songs, stories and films that show the real story, that there ARE effective therapies? What I still see are characters (often men) who find greater peace through connection and love (usually with a woman). We know that human connection is part of the puzzle, but it's not a magic bullet, nor is it the whole story in the real world. I was also frustrated seeing characters who found healing through spending an extended time away from civilization and its stresses. Sure that can help, but it isn't an answer available to most people.
LOOK FOR ME is my response. This original dramatic musical shows the journeys of four characters through and ultimately out of the often-endless post-traumatic treadmill. The characters are diverse in age, cultural background, and their specific traumatic experiences. Connection is important to their healing, but so are a couple of evidence-based therapies. The parallels among their experiences are clear. The audience learns about trauma and the brain ... through a song.
Creating a full-length stage work with music is a years-long process. For a writer, art meant for performance can only be evaluated and polished by seeing it performed. There have been two readings of Look For Me, the most recent one last month in Los Angeles. I'll be making changes to the script in the next several months to get it ready for consideration by theaters and producers.
Before that happens, though, another performance is coming up fast. A 25-minute excerpt, showing one of the four storylines, will be performed twice in the next two weeks as part of the New York New Works Theatre Festival. (Sadly, there isn't enough time to include The Brain Song.) I hope you'll come if you're nearby!
Details: Look For Me, part of the NY New Works Theatre Festival programs on September 5 and September 11. 7:00 p.m. at the Acorn Theatre at Theatre Row, 410 W. 42nd Street, New York. Tickets are available now through the Festival website: https://www.nynwtheatrefestival.com/