Project Dawn

Project Dawn
Horizon Theatre
through October 29, 2017

Bottom Line . . . this is a solid 11 on the proverbial scale. It’s not for the kids nor for Ms. Prim, but it is a gripping tale presented by a cast of 7 women who appear on stage in 14 roles. Karen Hartman crafted this play based on a true situation where Project Dawn came to life in Philadelphia, as a way to help free and reform women in the sex trade.

There’s little use to sending a hooker to the slammer, it’s the same as busting a street maryjane peddler. They’ll do their time, get out, and go back to business as usual. The sex trade is a multi million dollar industry, even in our home town; and some of the women are being forced into the trade and kept as chattel.  You may not think this could be in our area, but know that it does exist. And I recall when I lived in another state that ever time the local police had too many unsolved murders, they would go out and bust the hookers. That got them so good press. But, . . . they never busted the Johns because they could be lawyers, judges or politicians.

Prostitution has been around forever. I can imagine that a cavewoman might provide sex to a caveman for some food or water. Old habit never die. There are places like Nevada and the Netherlands where the industry is somewhat under control for the safety of all. But, so many of these women are never going to work through the traumatic stress of their lives that there’s no way out. They need our help.

The story is told in 2 acts in a courtroom where these women have to show up quite often and the judge gets into their activities, including psychological help, finding jobs and housing, and staying clean. It’s a three step program. First the defendant must plead nolo contendre, then go into the rehab program and report properly. Screw up and go to the jail. Ace the program and your record gets expunged and you have another chance to build a life.

Lisa Adler directed this work on a masterful set by the sisters Curley-Clay. Lane Carlock, Christy Clark, Carolyn Cook, Marianne Fraulo, Brooke Owens, Maria Rodriguez-Sager and Bobbi Lynne Scott are each just great in both of their roles.

This play is one that any and every religious institution should encourage their members to see. It is a true story in many aspects, and if we believe in humanity then we need to treat humans better.

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