Two years ago, Detroit resident RoseMarie Wilson got the idea to write a play about addiction. Though Wilson has been in the theater industry for a long time, she only became inspired to develop a story after watching an elderly couple in Europe, the Detroit Metro Times noted.
Discovering inspiration in an unexpected place
Wilson was touring with the Winderbaum theater in Europe and was given the assignment to observe people on a bus route. She found herself studying a couple, who were getting drunk with a bottle of alcohol and smoking cigarettes.
For the next two years, Wilson created a story that followed around 13 different characters who battled different types of addiction. Some battle drug and substance abuse, while others deal with an addiction to gambling. Each of the characters has triumphs and falls to show the rocky road that addiction can be. The play ends with the characters reunited 10 years later after working through their respective issues.
Making a relatable story
Wilson noted that she wanted to create a play that was relatable to the entire audience. She stated that everyone has some sort of vice. Personally, hers is an addiction to shoes.
Detroit certainly is not unfamiliar with addiction. The Michigan Department of Community Health reported that in 2012, 8,734 people were admitted to an addiction treatment center or program for substance abuse. Nearly 32 percent of those people were admitted for alcohol abuse. Yet the greatest admission rate was for heroin, coming in at approximately 36 percent.
Prior to the play, Wilson was known in small poetry circles and theater scenes. Her big debut was in 2011 for “Mahogany Dreams.” Success quickly followed. Wilson was in 12 stage plays, two films and has performed in various places throughout the world. Now, she has her very own self-written play.
In March 2014, Wilson did a sneak preview of “Addiction” during the intermission of “The Vagina Monologues.” The playwrights from that show were highly impressed by Wilson and the play’s storyline. They also lauded her for tackling the sometimes difficult concept of addiction.
Eyes on the future
Though the play has not debuted yet, Wilson is already looking forward. She is planning on writing a sequel for the play in a few short months. Since the play is only two hours long, Wilson noted that there is a lot of room to grow and other topics to explore. Once the sequel is complete, Wilson wants to show both plays together.
Wilson hopes that her play will inspire those in addiction treatment programs and centers. Whether it is a person dealing with substance abuse or a gambling addiction, she believes her storyline could relate.
“I have a few social workers who want to see the final project on video,” she says. “After that, maybe it can be placed at addiction treatment centers where it can be used during group therapy sessions,” Wilson said enthusiastically to the news publication. “The only true goal is to help people.”