A word from the playwright (okay, more than a word):
I am not overly fond of notes from playwrights, BUT...The characters in this play are fictionalized composites, but the issues are quite real. I was forty-three when my thirty-nine year old wife and companion for twenty years died. My biggest surprise was the paucity of help for young widows and widowers. It is true that many of the issues in this play are common to any age, but there are particular issues that young people have very little clue how to handle, such as identity, children, dating, inlaws, nannies and more.
I hope that the play offers some good chuckles and a warm experience.
I am proud of the Interruptions company for their sensitivity and caring for this all too common condition.
Thanks to Marcia Rodd for her untiring energy, well above and beyond the call of duty, and her help and support for the company and the play; and my family for their support and just putting up with me, not only during the production of this play, but in general.
Interruptions began its life in Washington, D.C. in the fall of 1987. As long ago as that is, it also represents a long journey for the form of the play. Starting out as a farce about city life, we opened at the Kennedy Center and toured if for a while on the east coast. The play was pleasing enough to audiences, but I was never satisfied. That instinctive, primal voice was telling me to let it gestate and eventually it will re-write itself and it will become the play it has to become. Just accept.
Then life happened. My wife died of breast cancer in September of 1989, throwing me into a grieving state. I was not very good at grieving, and subsequently met many others equally inept at the grieving process, whether it be about death or other loss issues. Looking around, I found very little definitive information about the process and very little help. I finally found Our House, a bereavement center which specialized in young adults who have lost a spouse and children who have lost a parent or sibling.
The process then began, and I learned that grieving is a normal state, one that everyone goes through, and one that must be handled carefully. It manhandles the immune system, psychological health, interactions with people. I learned that you do not have to lose your loved one in order to pick up the pieces and live again. In other words, you dont have to erase the memories, you dont have to hold on to the pain, you dont have to feel guilt about living. That person is still there in your heart and in the impact that he or she had on your life.
So, the play called to me and said, now. Well, now is now, and the play is here, with a follow-up coming soon. I hope this play gives you ideas, stimulates you into accepting your own state, and being sensitive toward others who may be deeply into a grief state. Even the loss of a pet can throw off an otherwise down-to-earth person. Everyone experiences loss.
The reaction to grief is irrational and unpredictable, but human. After all, where is it written that emotions are logical? Understanding this helped me when odd irrational expressions of grief came to me. I learned to accept myself as human, not an expert griever or a superwidow.
Grief support groups and programs serve all sorts of ages and losses, and the event does not have to be recent. Grief can last years or even pop up for the first time years after the event.
If you know anyone experiencing grief, dont hesitate to contact us.
Now that the summer, 2000 Los Angeles run is complete, we also wish to thank the many audience members who took the time to acknowledge the positive impact that Interruptions made on their lives. The production and the interaction with the company was exciting, cathartic, fun, warm, rewarding. We look forward to the subsequent productions of Interruptions throughout the country.