March 1, 2012

Play ‘High’ explores addiction, human fallibility and redemption

Just before the turn of the new year, actress Kathleen Turner reprised her role in the play “High” as a tough and salty-tongued nun on a mission to help a 19-year-old struggling drug addict. Currently running in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Turner and the rest of the cast will also be in San Francisco March 21 to 25 for another round of performances.

The dramatic play kicked off in Boston in December after a previous run on Broadway in Spring 2011.    

Written by playwright Matthew Lombardo, “High” tells the story of addict Cody Randall. Sister Jamison Connelly, played by Turner, agrees to sponsor the 19-year-old drug user in an effort to help him combat his addictions. Sister Jamison Connelly is also a recovering alcoholic. In the process, her own faith is ultimately tested. Throughout the play, themes of forgiveness, truth, redemption and human fallibility and weaknesses are explored. Playbill says the production is peppered with “nudity, profanity and violence seen and unseen.”

Click here to watch a video clip about “High,” including Turner and Lombardo’s thoughts on the play’s themes. You can also hear Lombardo’s fears about writing the play because if it actually got produced, everyone would know his past.

Lombardo fed from his own life experiences when writing “High,” as he struggled with his own drug addictions and history in the Catholic faith.   

“They say playwrights should write what they know,’’ Lombardo told The Boston Globe writer Christopher Muther just before the play kicked off its traveling rebirth in December. “I grew up Catholic. I was an altar boy; I went to Catholic high school. I knew Catholicism. I also knew crystal meth addiction. I wanted to take these two experiences and put them together in a play.’’

“High” is directed by Rob Ruggiero.

To read the full article on Matthew Lombardo’s play “High” in The Boston Globe, click here.

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