Addiction is a diverse and complex condition that affects one in three people. It has often been addressed on stage and screen in a respectful and considered manner, but Kenne James Guillory’s new play Addiction: The Untold Story is a deeply questionable affair.
Apparently based on a true story, young upcoming director Keri Kane suffers from sex addiction while her fiancee Lorena is a drug addict. Facing disapproval from her family and the industry, Kane responds to the haters who don’t understand her.
This play shocks not because of its subject matter but for its sheer literary and artistic incompetence. The fractured narrative is poorly constructed and the dialogue is both trite and inarticulate. The performances vary in style and conviction and there’s a moment of audience-suggested improv that’s so badly pitched it’s excruciating to watch.
The use of nudity is both gratuitous and unsettling, in a way that makes you feel more sorry for the actors than any of the characters. This play suggests that we feel empathy for the aggressor, not the victim and one can only hope that the person on whom it is based is already seeking treatment or is at least on a watch list.