The Damage Is Done, A Play On Trauma Starring Gabor Maté, MD
The Damage is Done Trailer from Ken Cameron on Vimeo.
About The Play (Kickstarter site)
The Damage is Done: A True Story combines theatre, dialogue, essay, video, music and dance into a multi-layered event. Featuring Dr. Gabor Maté onstage with Rita Bozi, the show weaves together the story of three different Gabors, all of whom emigrated from Hungary to Canada and shaped Bozi’s life. The audience is taken on a journey from the invasion of the Nazis to a failed Revolution, from The National Ballet School to Canadian punk rocker BB Gabor, exploring the impact of historical trauma on its performers and on the characters they play. Gabor playing himself, and Bozi playing a multitude of characters, explore the cultural history and family dynamics that resulted in their experiences of depression, addiction and thoughts of suicide.
The performance reveals how the impact continues to haunt them today. Healing, they find, comes from the ability to look at traumatic events from infancy and early childhood with humour and compassion, and to defuse the emotional charge that first arose in response to those events. Infused throughout the performance are Gabor’s challenging insights as evident in his writing and workshops.”Understanding that even though the damage is done, we can defuse its impact, is crucial to healing,” Maté says in the final moments of the play.
This is a 90 minute no intermission performance, followed by an audience-participation discussion.
The Damage is Done is more a TedTalk than a play … but more a play than a TedTalk. It mixes YouTube videos with an essay, then adds a dash of dance, a pinch of confession and a slice of neuroscience all in the service of providing entertainment and enlightenment. We’re going to combine three stories:
- The personal struggle of Dr. Gabor Maté who was an infant when the Nazis invaded Hungary;
- The fractured relationship between Rita, her family and her brother who was 6 months old when the 1956 Hungarian Revolution broke out;
- The plight of B.B. Gabor, a Canadian punk rocker and one-hit wonder, who fled Hungary at age 8 in advance of the Russian tanks and later committed suicide.
Gabor is the TedTalk. He travels the world speaking about addiction and trauma and how our childhood affects the rest of lives. Rita is the story and the dance. She won an creative non-fiction prize for delving into how her Hungarian ancestry has affected her in present time. We’ll put these two onstage, let them tell their stories in a dramatic and theatrical way and invite them to share some YouTube videos that illustrate their points.
Why YouTube? Because we recognize that today’s audience spends more of their lives in front of a screen than in front of a stage. We’re going to make the kind of performance that, if you could, you’d post on Facebook and share on your blog.
The play is intense and will bring up in the audience the presence of their own pain. The play offers a viable solution to that pain it is simple and yet at the same time extremely difficult because of our need to justify and judge our behaviour as acceptable given how we believe we have been treated. The solution is simple it is to feel the pain. Experience it. Know that the pain will not, cannot, kill us. Once we free of our need to judge, compassion has space in us and we can experience the pain and let it go.