Karmanos funded the play with
grants from the Blue Cross Blue
Shield of Michigan Foundation; the
Michigan Council for Arts and
Cultural Affairs-Oakland County
Office of Arts, Culture and Film;
and the Living Free Foundation,
founded by Lesli Cohen of
Directing the opening rehearsal
was Michael Robins, the play's co-
author and one of the founders of
Illusion Theater. The impetus for
the show, which had its first per-
formances in Minneapolis in 1992,
was the illness of one of Robins'
Joan grew up in a family where
many members had had breast can-
cer," he explains. "When she was
diagnosed, her best friend, Gail, told
her, 'I'm going to be here and walk
you through it.'
"In developing the play, we inter-
viewed 11 survivors and the people
Michael Robins calls the shots at the Jan.
who. gave them support — Joan and 12 sing-through rehearsal of "For Our
Gail, a husband and wife, a lesbian
couple, a mother and son — and
put them on film. We created a
vast increase in cancer screenings,
video documentary that weaves
together these stories."
As cast members step forward to
Parts of the video are shown at each
sing, "For our daughters, for our
performance, after which Karmanos
mothers," lines from the title song,
staff will be available to answer ques-
Sachs says, the issues that come up in
tions and provide information on area
the play are very relevant to anyone
who is a survivor — or anyone trying
In addition to Walters, several other
to beat the disease.
cast members are cancer survivors;
"I know I never volunteered to have
actor Steve Sell of West Bloomfield is
cancer," she says.
one of relatively few men with breast
"But we've all come out of it being
able to do things both for ourselves
Other Detroit-area cast members
and others we never would have been
include Michael Phillips of Ferndale,
able to do."
a teacher, actor and artist whose
mother lived for 22 years with cancer,
breast cancer survivor Linda
For Our Daughters will be pre-
Barsamian of Novi, who is active in
sented at Northwest Activities
the Players Guild of Dearborn; and
Center in Detroit 7:30 p.m.
Gwendolyn Traylor of Detroit, of the
Tuesday, April 29, and 2 p.m.
Sisters Network, a breast cancer advo-
Wednesday, April 30; at Pontiac
cacy group for African-American
Northern High School 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 8; at Temple
"We needed another medium to get
Israel 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May
the information out about breast can-
13; at Waterford Christian
cer, especially to those who are med-
Association 6:30 p.m. Friday,
ically underserved," says Pat Sachs,
May 16, with sign-language
Karmanos' Oakland Region director
interpretation; and at Detroit's
and a melanoma survivor. "The the-
Second City Theatre 1 p.m.
ater experience is engaging and
Saturday, June 21, after the Race
involves active participation.
for the Cure. There is no charge
"So many people get their primary
for any performance, but advance
information on cancer from TV
registration is required. For
shows like ER. They don't show any-
Temple Israel performance, call
body walking around, living and
(248) 661-5700; for other per-
functioning with cancer."
formances, call (800) KAR-
After For Our Daughters was per-
MANOS or (800) 527-6266.
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