The Centurion

One-Woman Show Looks at Alcoholism & Recovery

Maia Van Valkenburgh

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“Drunk with Hope,” a one woman play that talks about the stories of  recovering alcoholics, was written and performed, free to the public, by Tara Handron in the Zlock Performing Arts Center at Bucks County Community College on Thursday, Nov. 16.

The set was minimal; only six wooden chairs sat askew on an otherwise empty stage.

Tara Handron, the one-woman performer, wore an all black outfit. The stage was lit with a warm wash alternating with a cooler blue wash as Handron switched in and out of the vignettes.

The show, which ran approximately one hour in length, switched between Hope’s monologue addressing the audience about her journey of recovery and short monologues of different characters on their own journey of recovery.

Through comedy and wit, she depicts stories of women who vary in the way they deal with alcoholism.

The writer and star of the play, Tara Handron, is the current vice president in the Greater Washington, DC area for the Caron Treatment Centers, a nonprofit organization which focuses on the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction, according to Handron’s resume on her website tarahandron.com.

According to her website, with her M.A. in communication, culture, and technology from Georgetown University and her B.F.A. in drama and performance at New York University, she wrote this play with hopes ‘to spread awareness about the disease of alcoholism and recovery and reduce stigma.”

Through her performances she hopes to “elicit emotions, provoke thoughts in people, and inspire them to take action in their own life.”

The play has been performed in a variety of venues from theater festivals, public performances, conferences, recovery-related events and treatment centers, and colleges all across the country stretching from New York to L.A.

Tickets for the play were free to the public and it drew up a considerable crowd with roughly 100 people in attendance.

One of the people in attendance was Conor Sears, a 20 year old business administration major from Holland, PA.

He said “‘Drunk on Hope’ was entertaining for the first half, but lost me towards the end because it became repetitive; there was nothing new happening after a while.”

The performance features numerous characters with their own experience with alcoholism.

Some characters are angry with the process of recovery and are frustrated that all the books just keep telling them the same exact thing without helping at all.

While other characters are shy and ashamed of going to alcoholics anonymous meetings, but feel like it’s better than waking up in or near vomit night after night.

She ends the show as Hope and leaves the audience with a powerful message, citing something her uncle told her: “this will be you some day; [the definition of] restore.To bring back to life, to bring back to health, to bring back to a normal condition, to a state of vigor, to a former condition, a better condition, to give back anything lost or taken away.”

She says “alcohol took me and many others away, we were lost. But one day at a time and one meeting at a time, hope has been restored.”

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One-Woman Show Looks at Alcoholism & Recovery