The Circuit Playhouse hosts New Colony Theatre of Chicago's The Warriors for Newtown, a benefit to support the Sandy Hook Elementary Victims Relief Fund. The evening will include a one-night-only reading of The Warriors written by former Playhouse on the Square Company Member Evan Linder, and conceived by actress Mary Hollis Inboden, also a former Memphis actress and a Jonesboro, Arkansas native. The Warriors for Newtown will be held on Monday, February 4, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. at The Circuit Playhouse, 51 S. Cooper Street in Midtown.
Description for The Warriors: At 12 years old, Chicago actress Mary Hollis Inboden survived the Westside Middle School massacre, one of the most shocking events of the 90s. But who writes history when nobody's the victor? In an honest and irreverent homecoming that mixes fact, fiction, identity, and history, Mary Hollis recruits an ensemble of her former classmates to help capture their stories, not of the tragic event that unites them, but of the daily battles and triumphs that define their present.
Mary Hollis channeled her survivors' guilt into something productive; she reached out to her classmates, now adults, who also survived the shooting, and with their help and the help of some of her friends in Chicago, she wrote The Warriors, which was produced by The New Colony in the spring of 2011. Many of Mary Hollis's former classmates could not attend the Chicago production. She says, "As Playhouse alumni, Evan and I are so excited to bring The Warriors closer to home, and to the place we began making theatre together. I am grateful for the opportunity to share this story, my experience, with the community in which I became an artist and the opportunity to bring this play closer to the other survivors from my hometown just across the river. My hope for all of us is that we find strength and comfort in one another and that our collaborative efforts supports our individual healing."
"With this national tragedy, I can't help but think back to March of 1998, when at 12 years old my best friend Paige and four others were shot and killed on our school playground just feet in front of me. The shooting at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Arkansas, occurred just 13 months before the even deadlier incident at Columbine High School," comments Mary Hollis Inboden. "Talking about my own experience as a survivor in the immediate aftermath of this fresh incident feels inappropriate. Our focus should be completely on the children and families of Newtown. And yet, like all of us, I want to be able to contribute something to the healing process. In thinking about The Warriors again, I think I've found a small way I can contribute - by presenting a staged reading of The Warriors as a benefit for the people of Newtown, Connecticut. I know from experience one of the most critical matters will be the continued support of the mental well-being of those affected by the tragedy. We intend for this benefit to support those efforts."
The Warriors for Newtown will feature original creators, Mary Hollis Inboden and Evan Linder, as well as local artists Liz Sharpe, Courtney Oliver, and Colin Morgan. Admission is a suggested donation of $10 with half the proceeds going to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund. The other half of the proceeds will benefit the Memphis Gun Down Program, a local non-violence program created by Mayor A.C. Wharton. Tickets are only available at the door the evening of the performance. The Circuit Playhouse is located at 51 S. Cooper Street in Memphis.
For those unable to attend, donations can be made directly to the Sandy Hook Elementary School Victims Relief Fund by visiting https://newtown.uwwesternct.org/
The Warriors was originally produced by The New Colony March 17, 2011 - April 17, 2011 at The Second Stage under the direction of Benno Nelson.