There is an event in your life that changes everything. It leaves its’ remains. Leftovers.
A young girl, Patricia, wakes up in a surgical ICU and to find her world forever changed. A blood clot has caused her stomach to literally explode, and now, she is unable to eat or drink until doctors can create a makeshift digestive system for her. But even this new reality has not erased a secret that only her mother knows – Patricia was sexually abused by her voice teacher for the months preceding her coma.
In the meantime, the family struggles with the idea of losing Patricia. Patty’s family nervously waits by her bedside, day to day life in the ICU goes on, and the quirky family dynamics grow tense when the chief surgeon starts to look for a prognosis. As the family starts to argue about what could have precipitated such a disastrous event, Susan is eventually pushed to divulge Patricia’ truth, after being haunted by a flashback of her daughter finally revealing the abuse, just several days before her coma. Blaine, thought to be a trusted friend of the family and esteemed mentor, is revealed to be the possible cause of a stress ulcer that contributed to Patty’s coma. The secret, once brought to light, threatens to tear the family apart.
Once Patty comes to, the real work begins. Forced to come to terms with a dark past she’s kept hidden from even herself, Patricia struggles with her emotional repairs as doctors work to save her life, questioning whether to “buy into life” after so many years cut off from the world she once felt part of. Shamed by her family for her emotional “relapse,” Patricia navigates her way through recovery by ultimately facing her past through food, music, and the trust to finally come out of her room and face the world again. The play follows her physical and emotional recovery through six years unable to eat or drink and 27 surgeries, the battle to reclaim her voice from the teacher who seized it years before, and the breaking apart and coming together of a family. Leftovers can release us or forever hold us back, if we don’t work to pick up the pieces.
Format: The play goes in and out of time, exploring Patricia’s memories starting as a teenager in 2005, who narrates her entire story from the present. The script includes original music, which Patty sings as reflections, as her family members weave in and out of her narrative.
The Inspiration: At 17, I was sexually abused by a voice coach who had become a mentor, a friend, my family. At 18, years old, a blood clot caused my body to go into septic shock. I was in a coma for six months, and after a total gastrectomy, I was unable to eat or drink a drop of water for six of the past ten years. After 27 surgeries, I was miraculously reconnected with the intestines I had left. To persevere through those tumultuous years took great inner and outer strength – strength I didn’t know I was capable of until I was tested.
I learned that the human spirit feeds off of hope, and hope is fuel we can cultivate ourselves. Ultimately, I learned that with resourcefulness, creativity, and unwavering curiosity, we can transform any adversity into personal growth and a resilience that is uniquely ours.
I was not able to fully appreciate the beauty of my detours until I was able to share them. As a performer, all I’ve wanted to do was give back to the world. But now I have an even greater gift to give: a story to tell.
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