5 Reasons to See SAFETY NET by Daryl Lisa Fazio
Safety Net by Daryl Lisa Fazio was a 2018 Alliance Theatre Reiser Atlanta Artists Lab Winner, and completed its 18-month developmental residency earlier this August with a workshop performance in the Selig Family Black Box Theatre. It was a finalist for the Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference, and has fully staged productions coming up at Theatrical Outfit this month, and at Penobscott Theatre Company in Bangor, Maine in early Spring of 2020.
Long story short, Safety Net is a profoundly effective piece of theatre for many reasons you can read about below, and we are proud to share it in our own back yard at Theatrical Outfit, October 16 - November 10.
Here are 5 Reasons you must see SAFETY NET by Daryl Lisa Fazio at Theatrical Outfit:
1. It's a big deal.
You ever hear of a little thing called the opioid crisis in our country? I don't want to scare you away, as this story is not only about that, so we will come back to it.
Let's focus on its life cycle first. Safety Net was chosen over 60 local pieces to be developed with us at at the Alliance as part of the Reiser Atlanta Artists Lab. And on a larger scale, it was a small handful of the Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference finalists chosen out of 1,416 applicants nationally. Not to mention the two aforementioned productions coming up this season. The vetting has already been done for you! It has the stamp of approval from fancy theatre people with fancy theatre titles, from an occasional theatre-goer and supporter, and has transformed a few of my non-theatre-goer friends into lovers of this craft. How cool is that?! Plus, Daryl Lisa Fazio has proven herself a trusted playwright with past local productions you may already recognize: Split in Three at Aurora Theatre, Freed Spirits at Horizon Theatre, and The Flower Room at Actor's Express just to name a few. Okay, so the work of deciding has already been done for you. And there's no telling where else this world premiere will go on to be produced, so it's best to catch it now.
2. It offers us an up-close and personal perspective on addiction, and how that can take many forms.
Back to the opioid crisis. A pretty unavoidable topic this day in age, especially if you turn on the news or have access to the internet. It is a heavy topic that affects us all, and every day more than 130 people die in the U.S. due to an overdose. In this play we meet a recovering addict, someone fighting the crisis head-on and heart-out, a family who has lost a loved one due to addiction, and how deeply we are all connected.
What I find interesting is that it speaks to anyone struggling with an addiction of any sort- alcoholism, workoholism, social media scrolling, Uber Eats... perhaps ones we don't even realize we have- needing approval from others, negative self-talk, and that list goes on. The three women in this play are so brilliantly written that you can see yourself in all of them. Sometimes life scares us, sometimes we spiral into negativity, sometimes we feel compelled to help everybody, and sometimes it can all make you feel numb. We are all human, and this allows us to really see that. A true feat of empathy.
3. It's a story of healing.
In Safety Net, these people are thrust upon a journey of healing through various circumstances, and are forced to grapple with the demons in their heads, as well as external ones. We see how different, and yet how similar we handle pain as humans, and where it might come from. Some of us freeze with fear, some of us turn to substances, some of us beat ourselves up, and some of us want to save everyone else from carrying the burden. And sometimes we take turns playing each of these roles. We see what healing looks like through multiple lenses. We see that we could all use some healing. (Theatre is a great tool for this! See Safety Net!)
4. It's a lesson in unconditional love.
A mother and her daughter. A woman and her friend. A stranger and another stranger. A person and their community. The power of forgiveness. Finding it within yourself and for yourself. Finding it within yourself and for everyone else. Not to mention the strength it takes to go there. These women are strong yet vulnerable, in pain and still finding humor; compassionate yet honest. It's people caring for people. Nothing better than that.
5. It's mission-driven work at its finest.
The Alliance's mission is to expand hearts and minds, onstage and off. This play does just that, as it not only speaks to you during the experience, but sticks with you thereafter. It's a play whose themes curiously continue to come up months after seeing it. AND IT'S FUNNY. Which makes it easy for us as the audience to open our hearts and minds to what is really being said. It is a work of art that leaves you changed. That's our mission at the Alliance. It's the mission of theatre if you're lucky. And a gift for us as humans to be able to witness. If you've been touched by addiction of any kind in your life, this is for you. And if you haven't been, this play will help you understand, and maybe even find compassion for those fighting.
SAFETY NET is a world premiere production by Atlanta playwright Daryl Lisa Fazio ("Split in Three"), directed by Atlanta director Karen Robinson, and featuring powerhouse actresses Carolyn Cook, Daryl Lisa Fazio, and Rhyn Saver.The play tells the story of Chris Dove, the first-ever female fire captain in an Alabama town at war with opioids, and she's facing it head-on, heart-out, and under scrutiny. Meanwhile, her spitfire-of-a-mother, Xenia tries to conjure stability with a bundt cake and a bible verse. When Chris's mysterious childhood friend, Val, crashes into their lives, daughter and mother find themselves at a tipping point between what's safe and what saves. For tickets, visit Theatrical Outfit's website here.
In addition, if you are a supporter of the arts, of women in theatre, of good storytelling, and of empathy in general, consider making a donation to their Power2Give Campaign to help promote the success of this production. And enjoy the show!