DRAMA AND THEATER : INNERCITIES : DRUG ALCOHOL AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE OPOID CRISIS : UNITED STATES: CITIES: PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA: A Play Won't Save Kensington, But This One Has the Ideas That Might | Mike Newall

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DRAMA AND THEATER : INNERCITIES : DRUG ALCOHOL AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE OPOID CRISIS : UNITED STATES: CITIES: PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA: A Play Won't Save Kensington, But This One Has the Ideas That Might | Mike Newall

David P. Dillard
Administrator




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DRAMA AND THEATER :

INNERCITIES :

DRUG ALCOHOL AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE OPOID CRISIS :

UNITED STATES: CITIES: PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA:

A Play Won't Save Kensington, But This One Has the Ideas That Might

Mike Newall

Updated: November 3, 2017  4:09 PM EDT

http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/mike_newall/
opioid-crisis-play-durkin-renegade-company-theater-
20171103.html?mc_cid=f94f0d8a46&mc_eid=20b37afcd1

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/ychuojq7

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Mike Durkin stands on Kensington Avenue, handing out fliers for a play he
wants the neighborhood to help him write.

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Its called The Old Man and the Delaware River, an adaptation of the
celebrated Ernest Hemingway short novel, The Old Man and the Sea.

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Hemingway wrote about an old fisherman who spends most of the book in
rough waters, on a skiff trying to land his big catch. Persevering.

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In Durkins version, the old man is the people of Kensington and the
struggle is the opioid crisis.

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Durkin is artistic director for the Renegade Company, a community theater
troupe. He is 32 and soft-spoken with a thick red beard. For him, the
story is personal. His father, Michael Sr., a Brooklyn construction
worker, died in 2004 from complications of alcoholism and pancreatic
cancer. For a while, Durkin had imagined the blue-collar saloons of the
River Wards  the ones like his pop drank in back home  as a setting to
explore addiction and the stigma that worsens it.

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But by last year, the opioid catastrophe had drawn him to the epicenter of
those issues: Kensington.

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He brought his idea to ZoVan Orsdol, a community development associate at
Impact Services, a Kensington revitalization organization. Durkin, who
landed in Philly after studying theater at West Chester University,
assured her he wasnt interested in doing a drive-by. Rather, the Pennsport
resident wanted to stage the play in Kensington   at the El stops, on the
street corners. A theatrical walking tour of the neighborhood with
Kensingtonians and their stories weaved throughout.

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So, they can rewrite their own narrative, he said.

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To ensure that was the case, Durkin postponed opening for a year and began
showing up in the neighborhood. He hit community meetings. Block parties.
That little space on The Avenue  the Kensington Storefront, its called, an
arts and health services hub opened this year by the city and Mural Arts.

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Hes done a really good job of listening to what people have to say  in all
their complexity, Van Orsdol said.

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He hopes to cast the play by January. Five professionals, eight residents.
Hell be holding neighborhood workshops to finalize the script through
summer, with the curtains set to rise for September.


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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Related News Report

DRUG ALCOHOL AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE: ADDICTION :

LIBRARY: LIBRARIANS :

UNITED STATES: CITIES: PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA:

For These Philly Librarians,
Drug Tourists and Overdose Drills are Part of the Job

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For These Philly Librarians,
Drug Tourists and Overdose Drills are Part of the Job

Mike Newall

Updated: MAY 24, 2017  3:01 AM EDT

Philly.com

http://tinyurl.com/y8yangsh


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