(This appears as the Artistic Director’s notes for The White Chip – which starts performances January 6 at MRT)
I’ll be honest.
I’m terrified for you to watch this show.
But, I’m working to not let shame dictate any of the choices I make. To not let it keep us silent. To work to let laughter be the thing that brings us together.
To have no more silent deaths.
When I was trying to get sober, I looked for something current, something with a sense of humor, something about the now. But I couldn’t find anything.
After I got sober, a thousand people came forward and said “oh that’s great news, I’ve been sober for twenty years,” and while I was happy for them (and me), all I could think of was “where were you when I needed to know I wasn’t alone?”
So, now that I’m on the other side, I feel the need to write the thing I couldn’t find, and be the person I wish I had found.
Which is really inspiring to say, but tough to do. Because of our old friend: shame.
I was nervous about the show going up at MRT, and I got this sweet message from our Producer Tom Kirdahy: “I remember when no one talked about marriage equality. NO ONE. And then a few brave passionate voices came forward. The world is changed for the better. I believe we can do the same here in our own way.”
Every politician will tell you that overdoses are an epidemic – that the rate of people dying of overdoses is increasing exponentially – between 2012 and 2014 in Massachusetts it increased 88%.
In Lowell there are on averages 2 overdoses a day. Just last week we had 9 in 48 hours.
And yet, we don’t talk about it, we don’t say too much. Because of our old friend: shame.
So, this is it. My play. My story. My hope that through the alchemy of telling the truth, great things can come from awful things.
I do hope you enjoy it. I do hope you find it funny.
And I do hope that no one produces it in 10 years because it feels incredibly outdated – because we have no more silent deaths.
-Sean Daniels, MRT Artistic Director
To learn more about the production, go to: