Maine Playwright Debuts Musical Based on Personal Trauma
According to the Kennebec Journal, a man named Michael Gorman has been able to inspire many with his ability to take his pain and trauma and channel it into art for many years. Michael is a playwright and the newest musical he created is called,
“The Ahab Inside Me – A High Seas Blues Opera,” This weekend the musical will be held at the Colonial Theatre in Augusta. The show is at 7:00 pm Friday and Saturday; and 3:00 pm Sunday, September 4th.
According to the article, Michael's older brother, a commercial fisherman lost his battle with addiction nearly 25 years ago and that is what has inspired Michael to write. There is a donation and pay-what-you-can-option to watch the show so that anyone who needs to see it can.
After the show on Friday leaders from the addiction and recovery community will hold a discussion along with the performers. Maine director of opioid response, Gordon Smith will moderate this discussion.
Since 1998, when Michael lost his brother, the addiction issue has gotten much worse. As the article states,
Last year alone, more than 600 people died from overdoses in Maine, the highest yearly total on record. Prior to 2014, the state had never lost more than 200 people in any one year.
During this time, Michael never stopped writing plays and has now finished a trilogy about the topic that began for him to personally help with the loss of his brother, but now is something everyone can relate to.
I think I wrote that first play in response to (my brother’s) death. It was my own way of processing that loss. But I just kept mining that and adding to it and adapting it. I still work on other things, you know, but I keep coming to this.
Michael's play is lightly based on Moby-Dick. Captain Ahab lost his leg to the whale and the whale is serving as a metaphor to addiction.
Michael continues to work with others to spread awareness on this issue and create conversation and assist anyone in need of recovery. He works alongside leaders and advocates within the addiction community.
He has become an advocate for those that need someone during what may seem like an impossible time.
It is commendable that due to his own loss of his brother, he was able to turn that trauma and pain into inspiration, creativity, and art.
I didn’t necessarily always view my plays as having an advocacy angle. I wanted them to just be plays and be judged on that merit. But the pull was so strong. It seemed like this happened in my life for a reason.
He will continue the conversation through his art and hope that people understand that their is a bigger risk in ignoring the problem.
Despite some theatres not wanting to host his play, he has persisted in his art and will not stop attempting to erase the stigma in his brother's memory. The truth sometimes is hard to watch.
Sometimes, it’s not always things that people want to see but what they need to see,” he said. “And there is a real beauty in that.
Their is a strong therapeutic feeling in using your art as a way to grief. If you'd like to see the show, you can check out the Facebook Event Page here.