The Journey

The Incubator Project

This journey started in 2016 in Columbia, SC when Dewey Scott-Wiley saw Terrance Henderson’s Incubator performance of RUINS at Harbison Theatre. The piece was so raw and moving, it propelled the ideas that were sitting on a shelf to fly into action. Former Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College Executive Director, Katie Fox, and Scott-Wiley spent about nine months crafting ideas, timelines, and venues until Misery is Optional snapped into focus. Originally, Scott-Wiley was planning to talk to people in recovery from alcohol only, but given the current state of addiction in this country, that shifted. At the same time that artistic shift was happening, she realized that she needed a co-collaborator, and asked friend and fellow Trustus company member, Christine Hellman, to be an equal partner on this journey.

The team interviewed more than 40 people in active recovery from drugs and alcohol, and asked the same 10 questions. A wide range of people were interviewed, from all across the country and with varying lengths of time in recovery. In addition, five people who work in the recovery field were interviewed in order to provide context. The entire play was built from sound files, and the actors were selected based on the needs of the piece. This has been a true collaboration in every phase of development.