Read Bill White's interview with Improbable Players' Founder and Director on his website, William White Papers. Go to > Leadership Interviews > Recovery Advocacy Interviews, "Theater as a Tool in Addiction Recovery and Primary Prevention: An Interview with Lynn Bratley of Improbable Players".
"I started the company...
...with three others in 1984 to inform people about addiction and recovery through theater. My own story, which once seemed so ordinary to me - a story of closet drinking, nightly blackouts, and endless promises to quit - became the basis for the first play, still performed today: it tells a timeless story of the hope and reality of long-term recovery."
"What did I do last night?!" Meet Charlie, the 2nd of 6 masks that dramatize the merry-go-round of addiction. I designed and made the masks, and looked in the mirror to get the expression right. This is what it feels like.
I did WHAT?
Erin with Elie and Jon - End of the Line
Erin auditioned for the Players when she moved to Boston in August 2016. After her audition she went to see a show in Dorchester - she was nervous about acting with the company but afterward was excited to see the affect it had on the students - the students came in to the auditorium all noisey and wound up, but as soon as the show started they all were very quiet. She saw "I'll Never Do That!" and loved the performance and the story.
"Having been through addiction myself, all the characters in the play were very familiar to me."
"What I like best about being an improbable player is having this creative way of dealing with addiction and sharing it with other people - my fellow cast members and the young people we perform for. The performances really open up conversation with our audiences - I most enjoy the Q&A after each program to learn what the students are going through. Putting these stories out in the open makes it less heavy and easier to deal with."
Elizabeth A., Theater studies, City College of San Francisco, composer/lyrices of original performances - Boston
Austin B., Williamstown Theater Festival, Esper Studio Conservatory, actor in NY theater and television - New York
Amie C., MFA in Acting from Catholic University, Washington DC - New York
Justin C., BA in Theater from Wesleyan University, MFA Candidate, Brandeis University - New York
Abby E., studied psychology at Guilford College, Greensboro, N.C. - Boston
Christina E., BA in Theater Arts and Management, UMass/Boston - actress, singer, and voice-over artist - Boston
Matt F., BA in Theater Arts, UMass/Boston - actor - New York
Erin H., BS in Psychology, City College of NY, Recovery coach - Boston
Brian J., MFA in Acting, ACT: American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco - actor, singer, Polarity Therapist - on leave
Shahjehan K., BFA, UMass Lowell, musician and actor - Boston Paco L.,MFA, acting, FSU, Asolo Conservatory, BA in Theater from Marquette University stage actor - New York
Michael P., BA in Theater from Lehman College, actor, comedian writer - New York
Jonathan R., Vassar College, music teacher at Plugged In Needham, - Boston
Elie S.. BS in Business Management, UMass, working toward M.Sc in early childhood education, Wheelock College - Boston
Dennis S., BFA in Theater Education, Boston University, actor stage and television - Boston
Peter S., BFA in Acting, Pace University, actor in theater and television - New York
Mary V., BA University of Hartford, B.F.A. in musical theater, The Hartt School, stage and television actor - New York
Maiken W., BA in Drama, University of Washington, Seattle, stage and film actor - New York
"by our silence we let others define us" - Missouri Recovery Network Campaign slogan to encourage people who are in recovery to become spokespeople in the new faces and voices of recovery advocacy movement.
visible, valuable, vocal
Some might say the Improbable Players' message is "we drank and took drugs and had fun, so you can do it too, and then get sober like we did" --thereby encouraging substance abuse.
Our track record and our reviews prove this is not true: the Improbable Players do not demonstrate drug use or portray it in a glamourous light. The plays and follow-up discussions show that alcohol and other drug abuse was destructive in our lives, causing pain and loss with consequences we live with today.
Today we: * Remind people that one doesn't have to be an addict to have a devastating life-changing/altering experience because of drinking too much.
*Support those who have decided not to use.
* Provide inspiration and encouragement to people who are trying to stop, by telling our own stories and providing information about where to get help.
*Introduce community resources: people and organizations.
*Changed our lives from being destructive people to people who are making a positive contribution:visible, valuable, vocal.