"Least Resistance," a play about opioid addiction drawn from the stories of Jamestown residents, has its final two performances May 5 and 6 in the Willow Bay Theatre.
The show, created by mental health expert Steven Cobb and Jamestown playwright Richard Olson-Walter, emerged from Cobb's own recovery experience and eventually grew to include stories from other members of Jamestown's community. It is being produced and performed by Jamestown's Winged Ox Players, under the auspices of St. Luke Episcopal Church.
"One of the chief problems about addiction is a lack of understanding of its root causes and the subsequent stigmatization of those who suffer for this disease," said the Rev. Luke Fodor, the church's rector. "Little time is spent understanding the pain, the trauma and mental health issues substrate to the addiction to foreign substances."
Fodor said that the play is a creative response to an epidemic that has defied attempts to keep it in check with normal measures like drug abuse treatment and prevention.
"Like many small cities (especially in struggling rust-belt areas), Jamestown is enmeshed in the opioid epidemic," Fodor said. "We have drug prevention, drug treatment and peer support agencies doing substantial work. While they making an incredible impact, we felt since this is a community problem it requires a community-wide response. All sectors of the community have to pitch in to begin to solve this Gordian knot of pain and abuse."
The play runs at 7:30 p.m. May 5 and 6 in the Willow Bay Theatre (21 E. 3rd St., Jamestown). Tickets are free, but must be booked online. Visit leastresistance.org for more information.