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Stage Production as the Voice for Untold Stories

So what inspired Maddie Corman to create the theater production Accidentally Brave? Was it for service? Was it for therapeutic purposes? Well according to Ms. Corman, it certainly was not for therapeutic purposes. However, she jokes that she might have done it to avoid having lunch with many people. Although it may sound corny, Ms. Corman created the theater production out of service. She wanted to be a voice for the individuals and families that were not able to tell their stories or thought nobody else was going through what they were, or for the spouses of addicts who do not receive a lot of understanding and attention.

When Maddie Corman was going through the ordeal someone reached out to her and saved her life. It is no exaggeration to say that this particular individual who was willing to share her most painful, darkest, experiences with Ms. Corman privately was instrumental in helping her get through the devastating circumstance. Although this individual was not a friend of Ms. Corman, and only came to learn about her after reading Mr. Alexander’s story, which was also Ms. Corman’s story in the newspapers.

When he asked her what she could ever do to repay the stranger, her simple request was that Ms. Corman do the same thing for someone else. Perhaps the stranger did not have a theater production in mind when she made this request, but this was Ms. Corman’s way of doing the same thing for someone else. This is what she believed she could do to share her story in a manner that could be helpful to many people.

When creating the theatre production, Maddie Corman did not get as frightened as she probably should have been because there was no time and the whole “thing” took place rather quickly. Before the production started, Maddie Corman only read the script 4 times. She did a reading in October and in less than twelve hours Daryl Roth told her that she was ready if she was. This gave Ms. Corman courage since someone with incredible integrity and taste, and one of the originals was ready to say “Let’s go.” Ms. Corman felt very protected by her director Kristin Hanggi, even in the most scary moments. During the first night of the theater production, Maddie Corman was not certain whether to continue with the production. It was not stage fright, it was the realization that she was about to tell her story to the world. It was at this time that Kristin Hanggi reminded Ms. Corman that somebody out there needed to hear her story and this gave her the strength to get on stage. If you never got to hear Ms. Corman’s side of the story, Accidentally Brave will be very helpful. It is also ideal for you if you are going through a challenging time with your spouse or family and are wondering how you can get through your situation.…

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Who is Maddie Corman for Accidentally Brave?

Given Ms. Corman’s ability to invest palpable humanity in stage characters–her daughter’s scream is both heartbreaking and bloodcurdling–this denial seems like a particularly strong expression of anger. However, the story’s real twist is that Mr. Alexander and Ms. Corman stay together despite the disaster that rocked their lives and their relationship improves in some aspects after they are forced to start afresh.

Perhaps this development could have been a little easier to grasp if it was dramatized, in scenes that did not quarantine the story’s essential parts and that gravitated towards real-time resolution. As an audience, you would rather see, than hear just as an anecdote, how Maddie Corman came to comprehend her marriage partner as an individual who is unwell but not evil, poisoned by pornography. And how Ms. Corman came to be by Mr. Alexander’s side not just in health, but in sickness as well, just as she promised in her wedding vows.

Maddie Corman, who became a professional actor during her teenage years, and experienced sexual harassment when she was young, gives a world-class performance in the script. Her nanosecond timing has enabled her to nail tricky ensembles in The Babylon Line as an artless matron, and in Net Fall as a sophisticated sidekick, among other roles.

In Accidentally Brave, however, Ms. Corman is forced to develop a dramatic illusion through a sort of solo montage. She is seen in many customized bravura series toggling with daredevil facility among different moods and characters. Ms. Corman navigates various moods from false calm to devastation to the furor, as if she is road testing to determine which one is most effective.

Though it’s hard not to respond to the intensity of the theatre production, the confessional monologue genre of Accidentally Brave makes it a bit slick. And though Maddie Corman does not like the word “journey” her script contains self-help jargon. Ms. Corman provides that de rigueur excuse more than once in narrating her tale that she wishes to be of service.

Directed by Kristin Hanggi, Accidentally Brave appears to draw its cue from the same concept, couching distress in a subtle atmosphere of hope. The original music by Claire Wellin and projections by Elaine J. McCarthy suggests a unique episode of Oprah. Interestingly, there is an Oprah-like character–a very famous, very amazing person referred to as Angel– who bursts into the scene from time to time to provide advice and support.

It’s hard to tell the number of people connected to angels. Equally hard to tell is the number of individuals that could afford the deluxe Arizona rehabilitation that assisted Jace Alexander. Nevertheless, at every turn Accidentally Brave contends that families can get through psychological turmoil and restructure themselves on a more somber and solid basis (yes, even after an MRS BPO letter). This kind of encouragement is very helpful, especially to individuals and families experiencing similar trauma. Maddie Corman’s performance is less convincing with the positives than with the negatives. Could that be because even without disaster life is too? This is a question that Accidentally Brave will certainly not help you with.…

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Inside the Theater Production of Accidentally Brave

Some plays are stones and some are seeds. Stones are the plays that remain where they are and can still knock you out even if they do not expand. Seeds are the plays that change and grow throughout their stage time, and perhaps in the minds of audiences forever. In this way, the theatre production Accidentally Brave is a stone. Not just for the audience, but the author, Maddie Corman as well. In the play, Maddie Corman gives a very riveting performance of the situations she has gone through and still hangs in her heart, and perhaps may always. Or as Maddie Corman humorously puts it, “As we begin this journey–oh my God, I hate the term journey–okay before we begin this thing, you should know that I’m not okay”

As far as Ms. Corman can recall, this “thing” started during the summer of 2015. As Ms. Corman was driving at 5 am to a TV soundstage, to record one episode of a semi-terrible television show she got a call from her home based in Dobbs Ferry, New York. Her sixteen-year-old daughter screams in terror while her eleven-year-old boys are crying in the background. Police are on the premises and are taking their father’s computer.

Their father, Jace Alexander, is a film director famous for his work on Law and Order. According to various reports, when investigators entered the premises they recovered files from Alexander’s computer that portrayed minors engaging in sexual activities.

What would you do when you realize that your marriage partner of seventeen years, children’s father, true love, confidant, favorite persons, who listens to NPR and sings songs at the piano, is a person who compulsively watches child pornography?

Accidentally Brave recounts the confusion and shame Ms. Corman experienced as each prop beneath her stable, warm, suburban lifestyle gets knocked right out. The emotional turmoil does not end even after her husband finishes a forty-five-day rehabilitation for sex addiction, and is sentenced to a 10 year probation period in 2016. Consequently, Mr. Alexander must register himself as a sex offender, despite the fact that there have never been any accusations or claims of him touching a child.

As the family moves to a new residence, and transfer their twins to a new school, and are forced to forgo normal conveniences such as inviting kids to their house to trick-or-treat and coaching youth soccer, Ms. Corman tries to come to terms with their new life and tries to explore how it all happened, and what she can do to get through it. In the one-woman show, Maddie Corman plays many characters including friends and family members.

Accidentally Brave is not entirely about providing answers. Instead, Maddie Corman offers a couple of details about Jace Alexander. Maddie Corman believes that what happened to Mr. Alexander is not her story to tell. Although Maddie Corman breaks this rule a few times by suggesting the existence of some explanatory events that occurred during Mr. Alexander’s teenage years, Ms. Corman to no extent inhibits Mr. Alexander as she inhibits herself, her friends, and children, both fair-weather and stalwart. Ms. Corman does not even mention Mr. Alexander’s name.…

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