improbable PLAYERS Make Real Life Connections to Addiction, Substance Abuse and Long-term Recovery
Posted On:
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
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I’ll Never Do That is a play presented by the improbable PLAYERS that portrays how a family is torn apart by one person’s drinking. With the support and sponsorship of the Ludlow CARES Coalition, this very  powerful and important message of addiction, substance abuse and long-term recovery was performed for all students at Ludlow High School on Monday, October 23rd, as part of this year’s Red Ribbon Week celebration.

The play is the life story of Lynn Bratley, the founder of the improbable PLAYERS.  It is a story of hope and the reality of addiction and long-term recovery.  The play depicts four different family roles- a person with an addiction, the enabler who helps that person to continue to use, a child who is in the process of becoming an addict. and the caretaker who tries to fix everything.  

Meghann Perry, an Improbable Player actor, explains, “By portraying all four family members there is a better likelihood that students in the audience will make a connection to one of them.  The biggest thing we do is open up a dialogue - we step out of the just say no - to let’s talk. The reality is it’s not that simple - for most teens it’s not black and white.  So we try to present something that is very real and much more relevant to what is happening in their day-to-day lives.”

At the start of the play, the audience learns that each of the actors in the play are themselves in long-term recovery. “We want students to understand and see that long-term recovery is possible and that life does not end when you are in long-term recovery,” explained Perry.  “We are not a bunch of washed up, boring people - we actually have full, meaningful lives.”  

“The play will hopefully help students to understand that addiction can happen to anybody, and it is a disease that we don’t need to attach shame to,” shared Perry. “Everybody touched by addiction needs the help of other people to get better, to heal, to find their way through the addiction. Suffering alone just perpetuates the problem.  We really need to connect with others.”

Following the play, Ludlow CARES member and retired LPS Curriculum Director,  Diana Roy, reflected, “It was impossible to watch the improbable PLAYERS and not feel that they were portraying someone that you know, someone who needs help with substance abuse - a friend or relative, or even yourself.”

Students also echoed Roy’s words. “It was a interesting twist on a harsh reality,” commented Savannah Papuga.

“It explained well how the way you grow up isn’t necessarily the way you turn out and things can always change,” stated Cailyn Pereira.

Angel Estrada shared, “It made me realize some people don’t want to accept the help they need although they realize they have a problem.”

LHS Principal, Lisa Nemeth, thanked Ludlow CARES for sponsoring this play that shared a powerful message to all LHS students.  “ It is an important topic for all of our students to hear. The improbable PLAYERS did a great job getting the message across that drug addiction not only affects the person with the addiction, but it also affects the entire family,” stated Nemeth.  “I think many believe it’s just the addict who suffers, but in reality their loved ones are often suffering in silence. We want our students to know that there are avenues available to them for support and guidance.”

“I hope that students leave knowing it is ok to talk about addiction,” shared Improbable Player actor, Elizabeth Addison. “It’s ok to talk about what is going on in their lives, what they are experiencing, what is going on at home.  I hope they know there is someone out there they can talk to - that they can trust.”

“The one thing that we regret the most is that we weren’t able to talk about it,” continued Addison.  “We weren’t able to talk about what was going on in our household or what was going on with us emotionally.  I think many of us, if we had opened up earlier, perhaps might not have started in the first place, or received help much sooner. I hope seeing this play will make a difference for these students.”  

The improbable PLAYERS

Zac, Elizabeth Addison, Andy Short, Meghann Perry

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