Members of the Essential Theatre came together Saturday evening to use their talents to spread a message of triumph during a performance of Live Out Loud: An Abused Woman’s Journey to Freedom. Though the last performance of the show’s three day run, the roaring applause crowd in Ronald O. Davis Acting Studio in Tucker Hill, matched the energy of the cast.
The play conceived by Kimberly K. Harding and directed by Monica Woods, used spoken word, song and dance to discuss how domestic violence affects the victims and the people they love. Aware of the guilt and pain that comes with addressing this topic in the community, Woods made sure that everyone involved in the show knew the impact of their performance.
“Sometimes as a performer, or when you're on a staff of a show, you get caught up in thinking, ‘Did I do this right?…Did I get this right?’” Woods said. “You are merely a vessel for something greater.”
Isis Shaw took the director’s word to heart and used her skills as a dancer to make a statement. The second year theatre student learned not only about herself, but about others around her in preparation for the show.
“It’s bigger than me and my talents, so I had to use what God gave me to show that you never know what other people are going through, you really have to put yourself in their shoes,” Shaw said. “But you have to understand that everybody walking around with smiles on their faces, they can be going through so much at home.”
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime. Statistics like these motivate The Refuge House to provide shelter, services and support to those affected across counties in the Big Bend areas. Those who attended the event were asked to donate non-perishable food items, clothing and toiletries to help the Refuge House.
One detail that was stressed throughout the performance was the importance of support. Support is one of the main factors that domestic violence victims need in order to heal. Student dancer, Miecha Hawkins, hoped that her performance inspired others to be a shoulder to lean on.
“The message that I really wanted the audience to receive today, was even though you may be dealing in a rough patch at a horrible, stressful time in your life you can find strength only in God,” Hawkins said.
For more information on how you can you can help end Domestic Violence in the community,
Please visit the Refuge House website at http://refugehouse.com.