Southern Railroad Theatre Company With Entropy Productions & 3Girls Theatre Company Present
TAKEN, a play about addiction, eviction but mostly love.
Written By Susan Jackson, Directed By Wesley Cayabyab
In TAKEN, Corrie travels to San Francisco to see if she can identify the body of a young man evicted from his home. Is it her brother? Or just a stranger? Who is responsible for this life that was taken?
THE PLAYWRIGHT’S INSPIRATION From Susan Jackson
I suspect that most plays are written because the playwright feels passionately about something or someone; there’s usually something very personal in the writing. Suffice it to say the “inciting event” that prompted this play was indeed personal and traumatic. But, much to my joy, the play changed from being a vent for my frustration to becoming the play about something other than that experience. It turned into a story about a woman’s search for what was lost; and how love and responsibility are irrevocably tied to that loss.
DIRECTOR'S NOTES from Wesley Cayabyab:
"The road to hell is paved with good intentions." I love this maxim and from time to time I need to remind myself of it when: giving advise to a medical student, counseling a nursing student, responding to a rescue call. I caution myself to be mindful of the consequences of my words, my intent, and above all: my actions. I sometimes find myself backed into a corner, verbally and sometimes physically grappling, or even making use of the nearest egress. But where do you go when everywhere else is taken? What do you say when the only thing left causes pain? What do you do when the only recourse causes damage? Where do you go when the last door opens onto a chasm?
Some of the darkest chapters in my life have started at those very moments: where I've done everything that I believed to be right and just - only to find that the path leads to ruin. It's rare to be presented with a play where you can identify with every single character: understand their intentions; sympathize with their reasoning; empathize in their grief, anger, and despair. Ultimately we are responsible for our own actions and we justify them with our best intentions: trying to do what's best, doing the responsible thing, doing what we think is right. We hunt for the black or grasp for the white - but that's not where we exist. We live firmly planted in the grey: where everyone is culpable and everyone is responsible for the outcome.
Every now and then there comes a day where there are absolute answers, but in my experience those days are accompanied by sirens, hurried footfalls, and the drawing of a sheet over the deceased. Our lives are led somewhere between the black and white in a familiar, yet at times unsettling, shade of gray. We make decisions from where ever we stand on that gradient: broken and blind, gleeful and light, apathetic and maudlin, the list goes on.
I hope this play does for you what it has for me. I hope this play turns your attention to the reasons you make your decisions. Are they based on fear? Are they based on love? And how far are you willing to go?