BMTE presents: a Play Reading of WELL BEINGS by Greg Vovos
Friday, October 13th, 2017
132 W. State St
Brick Monkey Theater Ensemble, Southeast Ohio’s professional theater company, will present a reading of the play Well Beings by Greg Vovos, directed by Brian Evans, at ARTS/West, Athens, Ohio, at 7pm, Friday, October 13, 2017.
Ohio University’s College of Health Science and Professions will host the event “Standing Together: Fighting Our Community’s Opioid Epidemic” October 11-13, 2017. It will feature keynote speaker Sam Quinones, author of “Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opioid Epidemic,” on Wednesday, October 11, 2017, from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. in the Walter Rotunda on the campus of Ohio University.
Brick Monkey Theater Ensemble will present the play reading in conversation with the event. Greg Vovos’ play “Well Beings” traces the journey of three heroin addicts at various stages of recovery. Looming over all these characters is the Gravedigger who buries the dead. This sometimes absurd, sometimes all-too-real drama examines one of the biggest crises facing our society today.
If Mr. Vovos’ name sounds familiar, you may have seen him featured in a New York Times article earlier this spring about Ohio’s opioid crisis and the state’s playwrights’ reaction to it. In it, he explains, “If you arm people with understanding, that’s a good thing. Before you solve a problem, you have to wrap your mind around it.”
In 2013, Mr. Vovos was asked to write a play for high school students to warn them about the dangers of opiates. After writing that play and interviewing many young recovered addicts, he said “I knew I wanted to write a different play that could be told to a wider audience in an honest and raw manner. Through my research, I saw firsthand that our community was losing smart, talented, and engaging people, and I wanted to put faces to the statistics and tell their stories. It was my hope that doing so would help create understanding and empathy, and help our communities come together and heal.”
We see the horrifying statistics that in 2016, over four thousand Ohioans died from unintentional overdoses of heroin, fentanyl, and other drugs. The imagination of the artist enriches the story and theater can help us understand the emotional life of the people who use these drugs. Greg Vovos has given us another dimension to the conversation that may not be explored in journalism and or statistics on the page.
Mr. Vovos embraced telling these stories through theater. “Theater allows us to tell the stories of our communities in a way like nothing else can. And in this case specifically, it gives our communities the opportunity to come together and witness the struggles that people face when they are caught in the grip of heroin and opiate abuse. When a group of strangers are assembled in a room, playing witness to the events unfolding in front of them, they gain not only a better understanding of the truth of the character’s struggles, but also a greater sense of empathy. From there, conversations naturally begin and our community can come together to support each other. As one recovered addict once said to me, it is only through sharing our stories that true healing can occur. What better place to do so than in the theater?”
Audience members are encouraged to stay for a talk-back after the reading featuring the playwright. Brick Monkey Theater Ensemble is supported by the Ohio Arts Council and Kleinpenny Education Fund.
Friday, October 13, 2017 at 7pm
Where: ARTS/West, 132 W. State Street, Athens, OH, 45701
Suggested Donation: $5/adults, $2/students, $10/family
“Well Beings” written by Greg Vovos
directed by Brian Evans
Daniel C. Dennis
Janice Paxson Evans