It’s one that involves everyone and she’s bringing the issue to light on the stage of the Marigold Cultural Centre this weekend.
“I have been on the board of Third Place Transition House for about four years and they are absolutely great at providing six weeks of safe housing for women who have been the victims of domestic abuse,” said Laking, an artist in Bass River who has written her first play – Invisible Prisons.
“But there are a lot of other issues that really aren’t addressed. A lot of times in an abusive relationship, the victim gets so brainwashed that they think they have to rely on the abuser. It’s almost like they’re living in an invisible prison.”
Laking interviewed about 35 men and women for the play, which features the stories of about 14. Some interviews came through the transition house, while others came from news stories. She also had others contact her because they had heard about what she was doing.
“In a lot of the cases I heard the same stories, so these are some of the best ones,” she said.
Presented by Lenore Zann and the Truro Theatre Society, Invisible Prisons premieres on International Women’s Day. Bryden MacDonald, a Cape Breton native, is directing the play.
Zann thought it was a no-brainer to open the show on International Women’s Day and feels it’s important, not just for the older crowd, but younger as well.
“The problem with abuse is that when it starts happening, people don’t necessarily realize it’s abuse,” said Zann. “But there are red flags and a lot of men and women don’t know that they’re red flags. A lot of abusive relationships start off with someone sweeping the other person off their feet. The relationship becomes about them and you fit into their idea. When there is so much attention, it’s oftentimes a sign of somebody that is the controlling type and when you start to not go along with their ideas, the signs start to show.”
Laking says a victim of abuse doesn’t realize the signs until they hear their story through someone else.
“If this play helps provide that key to get out of the invisible prison for anyone, it’s worth it,” Laking said.
Invisible Prisons runs March 8 and 9 at the Marigold on Prince Street. Showtimes are 8 p.m. both nights, as well as a matinee at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets for the evening shows are $15 and are available at the Marigold. The matinee is pay-what-you-can, and free for high school and post secondary students.
Call the Marigold Cultural Centre at 897-4004 for tickets or more information.
Invisible Prisons is also heading into the Nova Correctional Institution for a 7 p.m. performance on March 7.
IF YOU GO:
What: Invisible Prisons, a play written by Joy Laking, featuring 14 stories from men and women about domestic abuse.
When: March 8-9, 8 p.m. each evening, as well as 2 p.m. on March 9
Where: Marigold Cultural Centre on Prince Street, Truro
Tickets: $15 for evening shows, donation for the matinee (free for high school and post secondary students) – available at the Marigold Cultural Centre
Presented by: Lenore Zann and the Truro Theatre Society.