Visions Play Goes Off-Broadway, Again!
Visions, a play about addiction and recovery, had its start in 1991 as the brain-child of recovering alcoholic Bob L. After several unsuccessful attempts at getting local colleges and community theaters in New Jersey to put on the play, Bob L. had a stroke of luck. The play landed in the hands of a friend, who passed it along to a Hospital and Institution (H&I) convention committee. Visions would have its first performance at an upcoming convention.
Bob L. states that the Visions play “depicts powerful scenarios of alcoholics and addicts hitting rock bottom, and also deals with homelessness, domestic violence, HIV, and youth at risk.” The troupes performing the play are volunteers—most of whom have suffered through an addiction themselves. As the New York Daily News reported, one of the volunteers “has spent most of his life preparing for his stage role—but he probably wishes he hadn’t . . . Ray plays a tramp. In real life, Ray is a forty-three-year-old recovering alcoholic waiting to get a liver transplant” (Gardner, 2000). Visions has over five hundred of these volunteers, who have helped the play reach over forty thousand people in rehabs, shelters, and prisons.
Bob L.’s play has been performed at the Rayburn Room of the House of Representatives, has won the Presidential Points of Light award, has received accreditation from the Addiction Professional Certification Board of New Jersey, and has been used in training at the West Virginia University Medical Center (Hazelden, 2005). The play has also gone Off Broadway and been filmed as the subject of a documentary that premiered at the Reel Recovery Film Festival in New York City (Wilkerson, 2012).
In the same tradition as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other such groups, the Visions play is about shared experiences. Bob L. “sees the play as a medium for doing Twelve Step work,” writes noted treatment center Hazelden (2005). “After the short performance, the clients were weeping and hugging us,” Bob L. writes, “. . . we are witnessing our audiences jump out of their seats, their hearts brimming with love and gratitude.”
From November 26 to December 1, 2013, Visions will be going Off Broadway for the second time, and 50 percent of all seating will be donated to treatment centers and shelters in the area. The play will be performed at the Hudson Guild Theater in New York City.
For more information on the play, or ticket information for upcoming shows, visit the Visions website here.
For special ticketing arrangements for treatment centers, e-mail Bob L. at [email protected]
Gardner, A. (2000). Lines they know by heart: Addicts in recovery get roles of their lives in ‘Visions.’ New York Daily News. Retrieved from http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/nydn-features/lines-heart-addicts-recovery-roles-lives-visions-article-1.878552
Hazelden. (2005). Play on addiction and recovery is about passing it on. Retrieved from http://www.hazelden.org/web/public/ade50105.page
Wilkerson, M. (2012). ‘Visions’: From church basement to big screen. The Fix. Retrieved from http://www.thefix.com/content/visions-church-basement-big-screen00356