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Recovery displayed on stage

September 12, 2012
by Shannon Brys, Associate Editor
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Recovery art is something that has always intrigued me.  I love the way people can truly be creative and express themselves freely about the struggles and triumphs that they've had along their journey to recovery.

I recently wrote an article about recovery art at two different treatment centers.  Both centers were very different in the way they approached art with their residents.  Timberline Knolls had art in (what seems to me as) the traditional sense--painting, drawing, etc.  The artists were told to create a piece of artwork that shows what "Honesty" means to them and they did just that.

Over at the Sigma House and Larry Simmering recovery centers in Missouri, the pieces of art were created in a much different fashion.  There was no painting or drawing involved, but rather thinking back to the time before their treatment and having a photographer take photos of them in the clothes and environment that they would've been seen in before treatment.  Then the participant directed the next photoshoot as well, only this one was in their current state.  Clothes that they wear and an environment that portrays whrere they currently are in their life after treatment.  They also worked with a writer to create a 50-word summary of their journey from addiciton to recovery.

Both of these examples are so different but extremely profound ways of helping those in recovery cope with their struggles and truly be able to visualize how far they've come.

Searching the web today, I came across another type of "recovery art," but this time, it was theater.  Six women from the Outreach Center for Women and Children will perform dramatic scripts for a live audience.  The project is part of a collaboration between the center and The Plastic Theater of Lafayette.  The show is called "Off the Streets" and the scripts were created "based on the stories of these brave women's lives as they share how they have dealt with addiction and homelessness on the streets of Acadiana," according to the center's website. 

Looking at the various pieces of artwork at the treatment centers I mentioned in my previous article, I was able to feel the emotion that the participants were feeling.  Even looking at pictures of the artwork, I felt like the artist was personally sharing their story with me.  I can only imagine the powerful emotions that will be displayed at these performances this week from the women of Acadiana

If you are in Lafayette, you should take the time to check this out (and be sure to let me know what you thought!).  The show runs tonight through Saturday, September 15, 2012.  All performances are at 7:30 p.m. and are free to the public, although donations will be accepted and split between the Outreach Center for Women and Children and The Plastic Theater of Lafayette.

Has your treatment center ever held anything like this?  Are there other types of recovery art going on at your center? 

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Shannon Brys