Transitions: Spotlight to shine on stories of Cambridge homeless men

Dancers James Butler, Kaylee Millis, top left, and Katie Lohman dance and Jonathan Smalls, right, recites poetry in the show Transitions, which plays Friday and Saturday PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO
Dancers James Butler, Kaylee Millis, top left, and Katie Lohman dance and Jonathan Smalls, right, recites poetry in the show Transitions, which runs Friday and Saturday PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO

A group of Cambridge men are sharing their stories of love, loss, addiction, and recovery this weekend in a theater production that aims to open the community’s eyes to plight of the homeless community.

“Transitions,” a show consisting of essays, poetry, rap, songs and dance, is based on the writings of five men in a residential sobriety treatment program at the Salvation Army.

“People assume when they hear the word ‘homeless’ that addiction is part of it,” said Misch Whitaker, the show’s creator/director.

The writings were compiled from a year’s worth of writing workshops that aimed at providing a voice for the men, as well as an outlet for healing. Whitaker said her decision to put on the stage production was inspired by her years working as a nurse for Boston Healthcare for the Homeless.

“They have survived things that would kill anyone else. I feel these stories need to be shared,” she said.

Actor Jon Smalls plays the part of Anthony, a recovering heroin addict.

“This is a first for me, to explore this kind of subject matter,” he said.

Though some are stories of struggle, the show’s music director, Marissa Wahkuna Campbell, said there are many positive messages.

“No matter how deep you are in your own hole, there is always help available… It is inspirational. There are raw parts, but there are also funny moments, and stories of love.”

Actor Dana Jay Bein, for instance, plays the part of “Happy Man,” which is based on an author’s love of his wife, and coffee.

“This has been a joy to be a part of,” said Bein. “I think (the performance) can connect a lot of different people.”

Whitaker said she hopes the production helps the authors have a better understanding of where they came from, so they have a better grasp of where they’re going next.

She also hopes to make the community think twice about the people they pass on the street. “I hope they don’t walk by these (homeless) strangers and make up a story about them in their head. Every story is surprisingly familiar. I hope everyone who comes in contact with this project is inspired into a dialogue about what makes a community,” Whitaker said.

“Transitions” will run Friday and Saturday at Green Street Studios in Central Square. Tickets and details are available at www.storieswithoutroofs.org.

Each performance will feature a talk-back with the authors.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.