Play reaches out to abuse victims
October 8, 2009
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - The woman she sees in her bleaker yesterdays is unrecognizable to her now, almost a stranger. For one, her fear is gone and there is strength in its place. She is outgoing again and pursuing dreams that for so long an abusive husband kept frozen in a life of total control and violence. What's more, she's doing her part to help people in the community suffering or recovering from domestic violence.
Carolyn Louise Herring Moore, a playwright, military spouse, and Colorado Springs, Colo., native, is bringing her play, "Women Shoptalk While Real Men Wait," to Fayetteville State University's Seabrook Auditorium, Oct. 31. She advertises strictly to domestic violence advocacy centers, military bases, and family support groups.
"Women Shoptalk While Real Men Wait" tells the story of Moore's 10-year-long relationship with a controlling and abusive man. It details not only how she was affected, but how her entire Family and community were impacted by the violence.
"The story is important because people need to understand all the situations and different people affected by abuse," said Staff Sgt. Marcus Moore, Carolyn's second husband and Baltimore, Md., native. "Women are abused, men are abused and children are especially impacted. They grow up carrying that weight and can develop guilt and other issues."
It wasn't until nearly ten years after escaping the relationship described in her play that she began writing it. Initially, she didn't have high expectations for the piece beyond a passing grade.
"I wrote it as a class project for an advanced film performance list," Moore said. "My professor handed me the play I'd given him and just said, 'here'. I didn't know what he meant because he hadn't done anything to it. I expected him to chop it up, but he said there was nothing he could do to it. He said it was time that I go out and help people with my story."
The play was first performed at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in 2007, where it received a standing ovation from a sold out audience. Moore attributes its success to its honesty. For some performances, Moore even had to play herself, reliving some of the worst events of her life in front of strangers.
"I couldn't do it the first several times the show went up. I just couldn't handle the domestic violence scene. I would fall apart every time in rehearsal," she said. "But whenever I couldn't find an actress I was stuck with it, but after that first standing ovation, I knew I was doing something important."
Moore admits that while having written the play and sometimes playing herself in the show has been a great therapy, the road to recovery is never easy for any victim of domestic violence.
"After all these years, I don't know that I'm there yet," she said.
"But people need to know that there is help out there and shelter and peace out there. Find help and shelter. Find and seek a purpose. Once you do, you'll find life after abuse."