(Mineral Point, WI) On Fri., May 2 at 7:30 pm, on Shake Rag Alley’s outdoor Alley Stage (18 Shake Rag Street, 53565), area performers will combat rape and despair through poetry, theater, and song, raising funds and awareness for the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). Teen Slam 2014 WI State Champ Zoë Koenig will join award-winning author/performer Paul McComas (a WI native and two-time recipient of the Chicago Reader’s Critic’s Choice in Theater/Performance) and Chicago singer-songwriter Maya Kuper. Koenig will perform her State Slam–winning anti-rape poem to introduce Unplugged, McComas & Kuper’s hour-long program adapted from McComas’ critically acclaimed novel (2002, John Daniel & Co.). Throughout, the duo—who are presenting this show of 12 scenes and songs 12 times nationwide during the book’s 12th-anniversary year—will be joined by Mike Holden on guitar and Madisonian Kim Hah on hand drums and backup vocals.
Like the novel, the show’s six scenes and six original songs tell the story of troubled young alt-rocker and rape survivor Dayna Clay, including her solitary journey into the wilderness of the South Dakota Badlands and her struggle to recover from depression, come to terms with her traumatic childhood, secure a hard-won inner peace, and help other survivors to do likewise.
Says Kelly Anderson, director of the Dane County Rape Crisis Center (RCC)—which is partnering with Unplugged, Koenig, and Alley Stage for the event—“This powerful performance dramatizes the dreadful impact of sexual violence, the potential for lasting harm, and the amazing resilience and strength survivors demonstrate in their healing journey. Sharing these messages through drama and song touches the audience, creating new understanding and hope.”
For his part, McComas calls Koenig’s performance-poem “Devastating, and literally perfect: it was the only piece that we five [WI Teen Slam 2014] judges gave a 10-10-10-10-10.”
After a post-show Q&A featuring the performers and an RCC counselor, McComas & Kuper will sign copies of the novel and its soundtrack CD; proceeds, like the $20 admission, benefit RAINN, on whose National Leadership Council and Speakers Bureau McComas serves.
McComas, who lives in Evanston, IL, is the author of five acclaimed books: two novels, two story collections (one a Silver Prize–winner at 2012’s Midwest Book Awards), and a novella. Since 1998, he has taught writing, literature, and film, winning awards from National-Louis and Northwestern universities. He received the Mental Health Association’s Distinguished Service Award for his anti-teen-suicide program Rock Against Depression (1995–99). Kuper, who has sung and played keyboard in several Chicago-based bands, is working on her first solo album. Koenig, a senior at Madison East H.S., will lead Team Wisconsin to the Teen Poetry Slam Nationals in Philadelphia this July.
Tickets: Shake Rag Alley (608-987-3292) or http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/571867
Media coverage: http://paulmccomas.com/news/ Alley Stage: www.AlleyStage.com
Info http://daynaclay.bandcamp.com & http://paulmccomas.com/authored/unplugged/unplugged-reviews/