Performances begin October 4 at the Sheen Center for the world premiere of When It Happens to You, a theatrical memoir by best-selling author Tawni O'Dell (Back Roads, Angels Burning). Based on her personal experience and starring O'Dell, the play follows a mother's struggle to help restore her family after her daughter is the victim of a brutal attack.
Directed and co-conceived by two-time Tony nominee Lynne Taylor-Corbett, When It Happens to You plays a limited run through November 10. O'Dell is joined onstage by a cast made up of E. Clayton Cornelious, Connor Lawrence, and Kelly Swint.
“The first time I held my daughter after she was born I made a silent promise to her I would always protect her,” says O'Dell. “Then came a night in our future when that promise was shattered. I couldn't protect her from the man who stalked her through the streets of her beloved New York City, broke into her home, and assaulted her.”
During the next few years, her life fell apart and so did my own as I tried to help her deal with the fallout from this awful crime,” continues the writer. “As a way to help make sense of what we were going through, I did what writers do: I wrote about it. I didn't know if I would ever share our story with the world, but I'm proud to say my daughter has decided that we should in the hopes that we might be able to help other victims and their families. Rape touches just about every one of us. More women are sexually assaulted in this country than are affected by heart disease and breast cancer combined. To say it is an epidemic, is not hyperbole.“
When It Happens to You features a scenic design by Rob Bissinger and Anita LaScala, costume design by David C. Woolard, lighting design by Daisy Long, and sound design by Caroline Eng. When It Happens to You is presented by Warren and Jale Trepp, The Story Plant and EclayRossie Productions. Associate producers are Joseph Parone, Sandra Maxwell Brooks/Kimberly JaJuan, and Marcia Roberts.