Author Topic: "Saving Grace" Play about KIDS on now  (Read 4734 times)

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Offline Leanne

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"Saving Grace" Play about KIDS on now
« on: December 12, 2003, 08:35:00 PM »
Just to let everyone know that "Saving Grace:Based on a True Story" is up and running at the Pumphouse Theatres from now until Dec. 20th. Call 263-0079 for show info. This is based on my niece's experience in KIDS of North Jersey between 1989-1996. We've already had former KIDS come to see the play and got some very good feedback from them. If you do come, and you would like to chat with me afterwards, I'm at almost every show (I'm the co-playwright and director) as is my General Manager, Michelle. There are also feedback forms in the lobby. Our website is http://www.foxglovetheatre.org.

In order to live free and happily you must sacrifice boredom. It is not always an easy sacrifice.
-- Richard Bach

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Offline Anonymous

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"Saving Grace" Play about KIDS on now
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2003, 10:51:00 AM »
Could video tapes of the event be purchased?
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Offline Hamiltonf

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"Saving Grace" Play about KIDS on now
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2003, 06:56:00 PM »
Wonderful to see that somebody in Calgary is sitting up and taking notice
Good luck.  I'm hoping to be there!
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uote of the Year
The Bush administration has succeeded in making the United States one of the most feared and hated countries in the world. The talent of these guys is unbelievable. They have even succeeded at alienating Canada. I mean, that takes ge

Offline Dee Verry

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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2003, 06:59:00 PM »
Good luck I think thats supper! :wave:
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Offline Dee Verry

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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2003, 06:59:00 PM »
supper lol
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2003, 07:37:00 PM »
Could video tapes of the event be purchased?
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Offline Antigen

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"Saving Grace" Play about KIDS on now
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2003, 12:05:00 PM »
http://www.ffwdweekly.com/Issues/2003/1218/the3.htm

THEATRE
by Martin Morrow
 
Tough-love therapy exposed
Saving Grace is a shocking true story about abusive teen rehab centre
Review
SAVING GRACE
Foxglove Theatre Productions
Starring Anne-Marie Leigh, Len Harvey, Erin Millar, Duane Jones and Caroline Buzanko
Written by Leanne Padmos and Anne-Marie Leigh
Directed by Leanne Padmos
Runs until December 20
Pumphouse Theatres
Saving Grace, a new play by Foxglove Theatre Productions, has all the hallmarks of one of those TV movies of the week. It?s an exposé of an outrageously abusive American treatment centre for problem teens, based on the real experiences of a young Calgary woman who spent time there. And, like the better TV movies, it makes for compulsive viewing despite its dramatic limitations.

Grace Fielding (not her real name) is handed over to the centre, located near New York City, after her exasperated single mother has given up trying to steer the rebellious 14-year-old away from drugs and promiscuous sex. The facility, run by an unseen psychologist called Dr. Mallard (who is, as the pseudonym implies, a quack), takes the tough-love concept to the extreme. The kids are bullied, shouted at, penalized for the smallest infractions and forced into a punishing routine of endless group therapy and paperwork. They?re deprived of food and sleep and restricted in their contact with their families. It?s like a cross between prison, boot camp and a religious cult, complete with the classic cult trappings ? a leader whose wisdom is never questioned, a private jargon and no room for independent thought.

Mallard?s method, meanwhile, is a 12-step program gone berserk, with the teens continually losing what little ground they?ve gained due to the fascistic rules. Everyone talks hopefully of "graduating," but progress seems almost nonexistent and the few who?ve successfully jumped through the endless hoops appear to have stayed on as employees.

Where the play departs from the standard TV drama is in its sporadic use of monologues addressed to the audience ? Grace tells her story to us, and other characters occasionally unburden themselves in soliloquies ? and in its backwards storytelling. Act 1 covers Grace?s seven soul-destroying years in the centre, while Act 2 is a flashback to the three years leading up to her treatment ? a structural choice which playwrights Leanne Padmos and Anne-Marie Leigh seem to have made to drive home how extreme the "cure" has been in contrast with the problem. Grace does need guidance, but not the kind this rehab provides, where the deprivation and self-loathing fall just short of hair shirts and flagellation.

Running two and a half hours, Saving Grace is too long (the first act especially needs editing), while the minor characters are stereotypes and the writing sometimes descends to the level of earnest clichés and instructional videos. But the story is both fascinating and shocking enough to overcome such weaknesses and Foxglove?s five-member cast delivers committed, convincing performances.

Leigh is an excellent Grace, giving the older character the sturdy sanity of a survivor and skilfully embodying a mercurial young teenager in the second part. Erin Millar, as the mother, and Len Harvey, as various young men in Grace?s life, are suitable types but never move beyond the two-dimensional. Duane Jones is allowed more depth as one of the centre?s hard-ass counsellors, who turns out to be wracked with doubts about the program, and Caroline Buzanko is scarily accurate as an impressionable girl brainwashed into a stone-faced convert of the Mallard cult.

Padmos?s direction is sometimes awkward and, at one point (a stylized depiction of Grace?s deflowering), outright embarrassing, but otherwise her no-frills staging moves the story along.

Happily, the real treatment centre on which this play is based was shut down in 1999 and the real-life model for Dr. Mallard has been successfully sued by his former clients and is no longer practising. But there are still treatment centres using similar abusive methods in the U.S., Canada and abroad. If nothing else, Saving Grace will serve as a caveat emptor to the parents of troubled teenagers who are considering therapeutic options.
 
 

If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.
http://laissezfairebooks.com/product.cfm?op=view&pid=FF7485&aid=10247' target='_new'>Thomas Jefferson

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"Don\'t let the past remind us of what we are not now."
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2003, 11:35:00 AM »
are video tapes available?
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2003, 02:36:00 PM »
I don't believe so. I know we taped the show for archival and personal purposes - and frankly theatre always loses SO much on video tape ... but I can ask Leanne and/or direct her back to the site to let you know. We are also looking at other forums to present this again because the response we got from those that saw it was amazing. If that happens we will of course post a bulletin letting everyone know in case you'd like to see it. I would also suggest going to the website she mentioned and contact her through there re: video tape and your intention.
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Offline Hamiltonf

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"Saving Grace" Play about KIDS on now
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2004, 03:45:00 AM »
Might I suggest Edmonton's Fringe theatre event next summer.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
uote of the Year
The Bush administration has succeeded in making the United States one of the most feared and hated countries in the world. The talent of these guys is unbelievable. They have even succeeded at alienating Canada. I mean, that takes ge

Offline Anonymous

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"Saving Grace" Play about KIDS on now
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2004, 01:59:00 PM »
It's our story...video tapes aren't available?
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Offline Gal-Ileo

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"Saving Grace" Play about KIDS on now
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2004, 08:18:00 AM »
Based "loosely" (ahem) on Elan is finished; I'm working with several New York City actors NOW.

However, I do want a critical success (well f--k me?).

I am happy to "incorporate" any and all of the "TC's" and "WAASPS" etc. into my "playbill" and "Intro" and decided "against" a strictly "documentary" approach.  

In fact, so far, unless I do a "MAJOR" rewrite, I collapse time to a very short and sharp period.  I have to admit I do risk assaulting the audience, I am trying "not" to have characters speak to the audience... (trying anyway, It's already over two hours, so, if anything, just in readings now there may be some cut-away).

Too long can be...well, it's possible with this subject; Kids, Elan, any program, it's got to collapse a little..shite, critics scare me and I used to DO IT (ugh)...Karma?? Liz?? Lol.

[email protected] is the home for any correspondence related to the play.  Yeah, there's a C. on my draft (copyright) but...this is a critical time.  The next few weeks, then this year for this (and so forth)...

I told you Matt, by January I'd have a draft :smokin:  :skull:

A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother.

--Anonymous

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Lunatics are melodramatic. The subtleties of drama are wasted on them...The final chapters of my book are knitting together: incest, buggery, outrageous women and strange love-cults catering for depraved appetites. All the fashionable bric-a-brac...My \'u

Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2004, 08:23:00 PM »
Dear Anonymous
I understand your frustration about the video . I am sorry I have not replied to you I have not been online for a while . I talked to Leanne tonight and they are finishing the final proof soon .But they are not professinal. They were foucused on the play not on video but if it plays again next year i will really try to see what we can do about this . I am sorry if people were offended . that was no intention of anyone at all . The tapes are $10.00 and you can inquire about getting one one the Foxglove site just email them from the site at http://www.foxglovetheatre.org. You can also email me if you have any problems at all or have any questions about this at [email protected].
hope all is well and again i am sorry.
"Grace"
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Offline Gal-Ileo

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« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2004, 04:08:00 PM »
For those at the "Saving Grace" project:

I read about your "piece" at an ungodly hour of the morning after a one hour of brainstorming the set design for "Before After Galileo."

I imagine, really, due to the "intrinsic" natures of the programs being really "cloned" from the Syanon model in some sense; there is bound to be some "overlap."  So, it's something that hasn't come up for me in my writing programs too often; other than when people are all writing "memoirs" at the same time.  

(Deep Breath)

I've let myself sleep on it, and think heavily about the implications our plays have; for and with each oher-- as "supplements" rather than competitors; and...after much soul-searching have decided to get unflinchingly honest with you.

First-- I Do consider myself a "professional."  However, I have previously written shorter pieces in the theatre/theater.  "Galileo" means "my life" to me at the moment as I have studied the programs, lived through personal assaults and character assassinations for merely wishing to assist (in the beginning) and been regalled into writing about it.  Now, I felt a time is a tickin feeling in December.  However, I also had to enjoy my vacation  :smokin:

A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another; shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement
http://laissezfairebooks.com/product.cfm?op=view&pid=FF7485&aid=10247' target='_new'>Thomas Jefferson  

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Lunatics are melodramatic. The subtleties of drama are wasted on them...The final chapters of my book are knitting together: incest, buggery, outrageous women and strange love-cults catering for depraved appetites. All the fashionable bric-a-brac...My \'u

Offline Anonymous

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"Saving Grace" Play about KIDS on now
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2004, 05:27:00 PM »
Thanks "Grace" for your response on the video.  I will definitely try to cage one for myself.  Thanks again for your attention to the matter and for representing the horror experienced by all involved with various synop spinoff programs.  Thanks as well for your eagerly awaited response about the videos!
 :wave:
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »