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Rum and Vodka boosts awareness

By Lance Cpl. Sarah Wolff-Daiz | | February 21, 2013


A former Marine sat alone, illuminated by the stage lights as he performed an excerpt from the monologue “Rum and Vodka,” for Marines and sailors during an alcohol and substance abuse awareness and prevention training here Feb. 15.

Outside the Wire produced the one-man show and is a social impact production company that uses theater and a variety of media sources to create awareness of social health issues.

Actor Adam Driver read an excerpt from the one-man play written by Irish playwright Conor McPherson, which depicts the fictional confession of a 24-year-old, Irish man living in Dublin.

It was written during a period in McPherson’s life when he frequently drank alcohol to excess, which eventually led to his organs failing at the age of 35, said Bryan Doerries, the artistic director and co-founder of Outside the Wire.

Doerries was inspired to use the play “Rum and Vodka,” while sitting at an Irish pub when touring at the United States Naval Base Guantanamo Bay.

“All of our projects start with the question ‘Who’s the audience?’ said Doerries. “It occurred to us that every military installation we went to had an Irish pub.”

Doerries said the play is relatable because Americans relate their drinking culture to that of the Irish drinking culture.

“We’re not saying to the audience, ‘This is you.’ We’re asking, ‘What do you see of yourself in this?’” Doerries explained.

After the 23-minute production, the stage was occupied by a panel of three Marines and a woman from the substance abuse center here. The panel began an open discussion by sharing personal accounts that helped the audience identify with the character.

“The key take away from this play is to remember that when you’re drinking, you might not care what happens to you, but it’s never just you. Your actions have consequences for other people,” Lance Cpl. Andrew Lukosevic, an intelligence specialist with 1st Intelligence Battalion here.

After the panel, several audience members shared their opinions and personal experiences with alcohol related incidents.

Doerries said they developed the program to present issues the military community could sit and talk about in an engaging way.

This play was the first of 20 performances scheduled for the Marines Corps, Doerries said. For the next few months Outside the Wire will be visiting bases in Miramar, Twentynine Palms, Hawaii, Japan and North Carolina.

For more information on “Rum and Vodka,” or Outside the Wire’s other programs, visit their website.

Contact Lance Cpl. Sarah Wolff-Diaz at sarah.wolff@usmc.mil