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BROKEN

A witty, Two-Act dramatic play about mental illness in an African American family revolving around a woman suffering compulsive guilt, drug addiction, alcohol abuse and multifaceted visual and auditory hallucinations regarding the accidental death of her 17-year-old son.

The play opens with Cynthia speaking with her 17-year-old son, Brandon, in his purple room adorned with track and field paraphernalia and sports figures. It’s their birthday and while the mood is solemn, Cynthia tries very hard to be upbeat.

Downstairs her extended family gathers for a lively day of celebration, stories, and games. They are unaware of Cynthia’s secret conversation with her son upstairs.

Throughout the FIRST ACT, Cynthia, suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), shamelessly torments herself and her family in an effort to rectify her deeply embedded physical and emotional mourning.  

While the audience becomes deeply immersed in the proceeding scenes revolving the relationship between Cynthia and Brandon throughout the play, it is discovered at the end of ACT ONE, that Brandon is actually deceased. He is a manifestation of Cynthia’s psychosis, pathological imagination, denial, regret and guilt. She has accidentally kilt her son and his untimely death is tormenting her.

Misunderstanding of the severity of PTSD leads Cynthia to rationalize her need for help as a weakness and character flaw. She believes her turmoil at the accidental death of Brandon, by her own hands, is a punishment from God. This mania and grief allows Cynthia to conjure Brandon in such a way that protects her heart and sanity, but slowly unravels her relationships and health.

In the African American community; family and spiritual beliefs tend to be great sources of strength and support. Cynthia’s family is no exception. They constantly hold vigil over her in a concentrated effort to help keep her sane and from ultimately harming herself.

As ACT TWO convenes Cynthia realizes that relying on family and faith for emotional support, (rather than therapy), should not be her only option. That a healthy state of mind is imperative. Therefore, in an effort to salvage her sanity and what’s left of her physical health, she decides to first; painfully let Brandon go.

Ultimately what Cynthia comes to accept is that the misinterpretation of reality has a definitive effect on her ability to live in the present. That unconditionally accepting her current situation as part of life’s painful circumstances, is the true path to regaining some semblance of happiness and resiliency.

Script Excerpt
Written by:
Format:
Stageplay
Budget:
Micro
Starring Roles For:
Condola Rashad
Taye Diggs
Juanita Jennings
Posted:
07/21/2021
Updated:
09/02/2021
Author Bio:
Aaron Braxton’s career spans film, television, literature and theatre. His critically acclaimed solo play, Did You Do Your Homework? garnered a NAACP Image Award and an International Gala Star from Bacau, Romania. His play, BROKEN won the Max K. Lerner Fellowship and was a Dreamcatcher and New Works Festival and Garry Marshall Theatre Festival Semi-Finalist. His screenplays have also won numerous awards nationally and internationally.

Also, a talented author and actor, he wrote the 2019 Emma Children’s Book Award nominated, Jesse and the Caterpillar Who Got Its Wings and the 2020 Max Lerner Award winning play, BROKEN.

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