by Laynie Calderwood, dramaturg
Disconnect is a play about grief and grief can be an interesting thing, when you really look at it. The characters in this play are really doing everything BUT properly dealing with their grief and yet, somehow, that is more relatable for us as an audience than if they WERE properly dealing with their grief. Playwright, Rob Ackerman, wrote, “While Patty and Steve clash and fail to communicate, they manage to tidy an unkempt room, set a lavish table, and perform a whole domestic ballet” (Author’s Note, Disconnect). That’s why this show is so engaging, because it’s relatable. Everyone can see themselves up on the stage (or on the screen, in this case), ignoring their own grief and just trying to soldier forward.
In an ongoing and improving dialogue on grief and mental health in general, we, the entire cast and crew of this performance of Disconnect, want to add our voice. Just as Steve starts to find comfort as he opens up to Frank, we affirm that there is power in connection and mutual vulnerability. While none of us claim a professional understanding of the process of dealing with grief, we suggest the following tools if you are struggling with loss of any kind:
- Start by opening up to at least one person – a family member, a trusted friend, or a church leader
- Utilize professional help (BYU CAPS, LDS Family Services, Intermountain Healthcare Bereavement Support Group)
- Take care of your body as grief can affect you physically – eat healthy, drink water, and try to get outside
- Keep in touch with people who support you
We hope that our production of Disconnect prompts anyone who is struggling with grief to overcome their own form of disconnect. We believe in the power of connection with others to start the healing process. Enjoy the show!