Monday, April 19, 2010

Eat It's Not About Food

Must see production for teens, their parents and teachers at FPAC

Teens, their parents and teachers should go to Fairmount Performing Arts Conservatory to understand the potentially horrendous effects of Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating. ‘EAT IT’S NOT ABOUT FOOD’ is a production that should tour the junior and senior high circuit and be force-fed to audiences, both males and females. I say this as a crisis and school counselor who has dealt with those who are the victims of these eating disorders.

‘EAT’ was written by Linda Daugherty, playwright in residence at Dallas Children's Theatre.

As the author states, “‘EAT IT’S NOT ABOUT FOOD’ examines the dangerous and baffling world of eating disorders in girls and boys. Using interwoven vignettes, ranging from realistic to satirical to humorous, EAT candidly explores causes and warning signs, takes a hard look at the influences of society and the media, and tells individual stories of young people struggling with this epidemic and too often tragic problem.”

Published comments about the script state, “EAT inspires as much laughter as it does tears. ... The emotional impact is raw and unapologetic ... awe-inspiring ... It is a difficult hour to spend in the theater. But it is also one of the most revelatory plays I’ve seen. It makes the inevitable pain one will feel well worth it, especially if it means a deeper understanding.”

In an attempt to alert the general public to the problems of eating disorders, the Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders (CCED) is the lead sponsor of the theatrical production. Dr. Mark Warren, CCED’s co-founder and medical director states, "We value the opportunity to support this influential performance that addresses the issues surrounding eating disorders We aim to create an open dialogue and help give a voice to those suffering in silence."

CCED, in conjunction with University Hospitals' (UH) Geauga Medical Center and local physicians, will lead 30-minute open discussions immediately following each performance to interact with the audience on the topics presented.

Director Fred Sternfeld and his large cast of adults and teens do a very credible job of developing the play’s ideas. The staging is creative and meaningful. Especially strong performances are given by Amy Pawlukiewicz, Dylan White, Meghan Grover and Alexis Floyd.

CAPSULE JUDGMENT: If you are a teenager, the parent of a teenager, or an educator of teens, ‘EAT IT’S NOT ABUT FOOD’ is required viewing. Shut off the tv, stop the texting, and go---if you are teen, it could save your life or, if you are a parent, it could save the life of your child.