A story where there once was a breast…
In 2004, at the ripe old age of 29, I had retired from my life in professional theater. It had been a wonderful and exhilarating 10 years, but I was looking for more stability, less stress.
As I began to build a life as a “civilian,” I discovered a big hole – I missed telling stories! I didn’t miss the craziness that goes with mounting a Broadway-scale musical in 10 days (yes, that really happens and, yes, it’s really as frantic as it sounds), but I missed the moments of quiet connection with the audience.
An idea began to brew in the back of my mind … what about telling REAL stories on stage?
That thought eventually turned into my very first writing-and-performance workshop. A group of 8 breast cancer survivors gathered to write their stories of diagnosis, treatment and recovery, co-facilitated by bestselling novelist Jodi Picoult and myself.
I took the best pieces of their writing and compiled them into a 90-minute script.
Over the course of three nights, over 500 people came to see these women on stage at a small school in Hanover, New Hampshire.
That led to invitations to perform at venues around New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts. There was a flurry of press coverage, as well as invitations to write about our process in the Journal of Cancer Education, a peer-reviewed medical journal.