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
Local

Monday is the deadline to register for Pennsylvania…

If residents want to vote in the May primary, which includes a vote for a new City Council member, today is the deadline to register.

National

Miss America thinks school should reconsider discipline of…

A Pa. student was suspended for asking Miss America to prom.

Local

Aria Health Torresdale workers caught selling prescription drugs

Two Aria Health at Torresdale employees were fired amid accusations they sold prescription drugs out of the Northeast Philadelphia campus.

National

Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter died Sunday from prostate cancer…

Former U.S. professional boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, who spent 19 years in prison for murder and then was released after it was determined he did not get a fair trial,…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

The Word

Miley Cyrus cancels more dates, tweeting from hospital

Miley Cyrus is reportedly so sick that she's had to postpone more tour dates. We know this because she has been sitting in a hospital…

Music

Loop are, er, um, back in the loop

Experimental noise rock band Loop's three mid-1980s to early-1990s albums, “Heavens End,” “Fade Out” and “A Gilded Eternity,” were mercifully reissued.

NHL

Ray Emery steps up in Flyers’ Game 2…

Sure, he allowed two goals in the Rangers’ first four shots Sunday afternoon, but it’s about how you start, not how you finish.

NHL

Flyers come from behind, even series with Rangers

The Flyers overcame a two-goal deficit to get a much-needed win at Madison Square Garden Sunday.

MLB

Phillies get set for four against the Dodgers

The Phillies will face tough starting pitching out west against the Dodgers this week.

MLB

Phillies notebook: Cole Hamels returns this week

The Phillies should receive a big boost when Cole Hamels returns during the Dodgers series.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.