Suicide isn’t just a ‘white people thing.’ Suicide happens in both the Hispanic and African-American communities. But here suicides often go under reported because they are mis-classified.
A new play, “Listen to the Silence” attempts to address this matter. Written by playwright Calvin Ray , this play explores seven distinctive scenarios where individuals chose to end their lives, ultimately ending the noise of the voices in their heads.
As George Gonzalez, the one Hispanic voice in this play explains,
“The play starts with 7 people seated facing away from the the audience. The ROLE (we don’t have names) begins talking about the great epidemic of suicide and how it doesn’t matter where we did it or how we did it. The question is “Why?”
“One by one the ROLE approaches us and as she does we turn to the audience and tell our stories: romantic breakups, realization of homosexuality, failure to live up to expectations, former prisoner determined not to go back to prison, the bullied, the loss of faith.
After we tell our stories we remain seated facing the audience (the ROLE turns our seats around while we’re talking).
“There is very little dialogue except for a few lines with the ROLE. It is monologues, people delving deep into their souls explaining why we took our lives. Eventually we all are facing the audience and give, in one or two words the reason for suicides.
“The play ends with all of us saying, one by one, “Suicide is not OK”.
Since the least represented people during this epidemic (and this is fact) are Blacks and Hispanics the cast is Black, except for me.
“I am Hispanic and I give my monologue in both English and Spanish. I intertwine both languages so the audience always know what I’m saying. It’s been challenging to say the least but grateful to use my parents’ language to get the point across and grateful that Calvin trusted me to do so.
I am an Army retiree, 21 years on Active Duty, so suicide is something I’ve dealt with. I’ve seen too many brothers and sisters take their lives because of what they’ve seen or done. Calvin has mixed that into my character.
“The play is creative. It’s different but the message is clear. We are killing ourselves and it’s not OK.”
Premiering Saturday, December 15, 2018, this premiere is a Fundraising Benefit for the Destiny Power Center, Southfield.
Suicide is a taboo subject that we must begin to meet head on.
“Listen to the Silence” stars La Tia Davis, Jervis Canty, Heather Neeley, K. Marie, DanielEvans-Walker, Tamela Jones, Marion Hamm III, and George Gonzo Gonzalez
Our stage production will delve into suicide through monologues, music and fellowship.
A portion of your ticket purchase will support organizations such as; ‘Destiny Power Center’ that will provide support to individuals who are dealing with depression and thoughts of suicide.
Purchase your tickets today.