OUTspoken » OUTspoken Post

How Star Wars Saved My Life – COMING SOON – Vancouver

Posted on November 4, 2017 at 9:35 pm by David Jones — Make a Comment

How Star Wars Saved My Life is an empowering true story of courage from an adult survivor of childhood sexual and physical abuse from priests. Using the power of pop culture’s iconic Star Wars, this play reveals how the film was integral to this child’s coping with abuse, giving a sense of hope that good can triumph over evil. Through the play, the silence of this taboo topic is challenged and ultimately shattered. With Valerie Methot’s direction, this important Canadian play boldly confronts the issues around abuse and reinforces that victims are not responsible for the abuse they endure. Through the playwright’s own experiences, the play takes us on a journey of transformation and of post-traumatic growth and bravery.

I talked with the writer and performer Nicholas Harrison as well as the dramaturge/director Valerie Methot about this powerful theatrical experience.

Congrats on such a heroic undertaking. Taking true life experience and turning it into drama is a challenge that can be very rewarding.

What has been the most important thing to remember while developing this show?

Nicholas Harrison: Perhaps the biggest thing for me was to make sure I had a safe environment to explore and share – the events of abuse are traumatic and revisiting that trauma can really mess with my emotions and well being – Thankfully I have a great team of people – from Valerie, Ken, Elyse and my regular therapy and doctor appointments – I am lucky and blessed that my health care workers encourage and support my healing and journey through this platform.

There is always a challenge when dealing with a trauma in drama that it feels like a documentary and not a story. How are you balancing that?

Having the safety to stop when I need to – and also being able to continually check in with my therapist has been a great asset.

Do you focus on the Star Wars of your childhood or are all the sequels and prequels touched on?

Primarily the Original trilogy – mainly Star Wars and Empire Strikes back – with a touch of Rogue One and Force Awakens – there is no room for Jar Jar in my show.

 

What do you want the audience to take away with this show? What will they experience?

I want the audience to feel empowered – this is a story of hope through crisis and trauma – I would love this show to be a catalyst for conversation – for if people can start talking openly about such subjects, it provides victims and survivors the ability to feel safer to share their stories – and all stories of survival and abuse are important to share. The show has elements of horror, hope and humour. It is an important presentation – not only artistically, but through the message it provides. 

 

Next I talked with the director / dramaturge.

What has been the most important thing to remember while developing this show?

Valerie Methot: There have been so many important things for me to remember while developing this show. Number one is that Nicholas feels safe in the working environment and with the material. I also check in with myself on a regular basis making sure that I have a safe boundary with the material. No one deserves to go through what Nicholas did as a child, so it’s important to me that this is an art piece used as a tool to promote awareness and prevention to child abuse. The power in Nicholas’s resiliency and the commitment from the production team in all aspects of this play is what makes this a truly inspiring work of art.

There is always a challenge when dealing with a trauma in drama that it feels like a documentary and not a story. How are you balancing that?

For me it was clear from the start that this play had to reveal how Star Wars saved Nicholas’s life. As the dramaturg working with Nic for almost four years, the journey of the script moving towards story telling with a balance of humour, fantasy with the serious parts was quite natural to achieve. Nicholas’s talent and ability as an actor makes the play very engaging. The story is mesmerizing with a strong message.

What do you want the audience to take away with this show? What will they experience?

I want the audience to be aware that child abuse happens, how the abusers try to get away with it and the importance of prevention. I hope this becomes a topic easier to talk about so that we can move forward and try to stop child abuse. I believe too much power has been with the abusers over time in the silence of the topic. I hope the audience will be moved into high alert looking out for the safety and well-being of children. I believe in the importance of a community looking out for children. They are vulnerable and need to be cared for, heard and respected. The audience is going to experience an important brave play that is inspirational, moving, horrifying at times, humorous at times and motivating to be the best, loving and kind warriors we can be for the sake of the children.

How Star Wars Saved My Life is created thoughtfully, dramatically and theatrically, using humour in appropriate moments. The artistic team includes Nicholas Harrison (writer/actor), Valerie Methot (dramaturg/director), John Webber (set/lighting), Ken Lawson (music/sound), Flick Harrison (video), and Ken Hollands (technical director/production manager).

Performance Times: Dec 6, 8pm | Dec 7, 8pm | Dec 8, 8pm | Dec 9/10, 2pm & 8pm

Limited seating. For more information and to purchase tickets: www.starwarssavedmylife.com

Trailer:           https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xd9I2CU30jw

For more information on Some Assembly Theatre Company and How Star Wars Saved My Life, please visit the following platforms:

Website:        www.someassembly.ca

Facebook:     www.facebook.com/starwarssavedmylife

Twitter:          www.twitter.com/hswsml 

Instagram:    www.instagram.com/howstarwarssavedmylife

 

David C Jones



EZP