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Bob Keyes

Bob Keyes has written about the arts in Maine since 2002. He’s never been much an artist himself, other than singing in junior high school chorus and acting in a few musicals. But he’s attended museums, theaters, clubs and concert halls all his life, and cites Bob Dylan as most influential artist of any kind since Picasso. He lives in Berwick.

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Posted: February 10, 2019

New play from 60 Grit takes on addiction and recovery in Portland

Written by: Bob Keyes

Mary Kate Ganza and Karen Ball rehearse a scene
Photo courtesy of 60 Grit Theatre Company

A new play about addiction, based on interviews with people in recovery locally, will open in Portland this week. Theater company 60 Grit presents “The Closed Door” through Feb. 24 at the Studio Theater at Portland Stage.

It gets a preview on Thursday night and opens on Friday for a two-week run.

“The Closed Door” includes original text from writer Michael Cheung with poetry, movement and interviews with people who are involved in longterm recovery. The company’s artistic director, Lindsey Higgins, said the piece will explore what addiction and recovery looks like in Portland.

“I want to tell a story of recovery and addiction that isn’t romanticized,” she said. “I want to tell the truth. It’s a difficult story to tell, but I want to tell stories that make a difference in the community.”

Higgins directs the play, which stars Karen Ball and Mary Kate Ganza. She described it as a work in progress that has come together quickly and is still evolving. The company conducted interviews late in the fall and began working with Cheung to build a script around those interviews and adding other elements, including poetry and movement. Higgins hopes the play makes the cut at PortFringe this spring, so 60 Grit can further refine it and present a more finished version in the summer.

Any profits that 60 Grit earns during the initial run will be donated to Milestone Recovery, Higgins said. The title represents the stigma and challenges that people fighting addiction face in their recovery. “It represents the discovery that comes with the journey of recovery,” Higgins said. “There are so many doors to open, so much to discover. When you enter recovery, it’s a closed door that you have to walk through.”

“The Closed Door” by 60 Grit Theatre Company

WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday (preview); 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday, Sunday; and Feb. 21-23; 3 p.m. Feb. 24
WHERE: Studio Theater at Portland Stage Company, 25A Forest Ave., Portland
HOW MUCH: $20, pay what you can Feb. 14 and Feb. 21
INFO: 60grit.org

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