Boys in the Basement — how it began

Boys in the Basement is a very personal story for me, as have been all my plays. I went through a divorce in the 1990s after 16 years of marriage. The divorce process took 18 months, from the spring of 1993 and ending in December 1994 with a divorce settlement.

It then continued as I went through the Catholic annulment process as well, another very long process that at last gave me a chance to reflect on what had happened and to begin moving on to my new life.

I discovered that divorced men in the suburbs, which are built around family and family activities, quickly can become non-persons. Children’s school activities, in those days at least, were primarily run by mothers. Showing up at a PTA meeting elicited stares and whispering about why there was a dad there, at least for me.

Boys in the Basement opens Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m., with a special ticket price for those who have suffered through a divorce.
Boys in the Basement opens Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m., with a special ticket price for those who have suffered through a divorce.

So while mothers, who in most cases retain custodial rights to the children of divorce, still have their social circle of friends and school activities, the feeling of isolation for divorced men can be overwhelming. Many simply move away rather than face the pain. They rarely talk about this, especially in the stoic Midwest.

I wanted the world to know, and I wanted to reach out to divorced men so they know they are not alone, and so they know that here is life beyond the initial shock and pain.

I’ll be blogging this coming week about divorce and the toil it takes. If you;ve been through it you know, come see our play and let’s talk. We’re offering special rates for divorcees to our Friday night shows and hoping to have talk-backs with the audiences afterward to discuss divorce.

Boys in the Basement is a sometimes funny, sometimes poignant and sometimes shocking look at how quickly love can turn to hate in a divorce and at how men cope with the traumatic losses brought on by divorce.

Performances will take place at the Noyes Cultural Arts Building (adjacent to the Noyes purple Line stop in Evanston) Friday and Saturday, Nov. 6,7, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 8, at 3 p.m. Performances also will take place the same times the following weekend, Nov. 13-15. For ticket information, go to Brown Paper Tickets.

Special ticket prices are available for Friday evening shows for those who have been through or are going through the pain of divorce a well as for adult children of divorced parents. Click here for details.


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