Arts & Culture » Stage

'Addiction' is a combination of entertainment and intervention



RoseMarie Wilson is walking through the New Center Building, balancing bags of theater tickets, flyers, rehearsal schedules, and a long phone call. She's happy, stressed, focused, concerned, and ready. The countdown has begun to the opening of her first self-written and produced play, Addiction.

The comedy tackles the harsh realities of addiction to alcohol, cigarettes, gambling, and love.

The story starts when the 13 cast members are first made aware of their various forms of addictions. There's a love addict who ignores her children, a sugar abuser, a gambler who can't walk away from a sure thing, a social media junkie, and a few drug abusers. The characters each employ humor, grief, and reflection to work through their issues, and Addiction finishes 10 years later when they're all reunited.

There's also a big surprise at the end.

Wilson, cautious not to give away too much of the storyline, says there's something in her play that everyone can relate to. "We all have vices," she says. "I'm addicted to shoes."

Wilson (who goes by One Single Rose on stage) has been a staple on the local poetry and stage scene since her debut in 2011's Mahogany Dreams. Since then she's been featured in 12 local stage plays, two films, and has performed around the world. Addiction is the product of one of her tours.

While touring with the Wunderbaum theater collective in Europe, Wilson was assigned to write a 10-minute piece from her observations on a local bus route. "There was this hilarious elderly couple that was high off alcohol and cigarettes," she says. "They were my inspiration."

Over the next two years, the 10-minute piece developed into a two-hour stage play. Wilson reached out to director Octavia Lesley to direct the play and personally hand-picked the entire cast: Matthew Sawyer, Chiquita Dunham-Parker, Stephone Terrell, Rodney D. Story, Shalida Minter, Salena Kountz, Eli El Shabazz, Chiquita Bunts, Verlycia Douglas, Nakia McCarty, and Rejoyce Douglasz.

Wilson talks about the successful sneak preview in March that was shown at the intermission of The Vagina Monologues and the fellow playwrights who've praised her for tackling the topic of addiction.

Her aura is pleasant — more coworker than diva — and the kind of person who surprises you when you find out she's capable of going into poetic verse or a boisterous ballad instantly. Even on the brink of her opening day, she's already laid the groundwork for a sequel.

"There are so many more directions that I could not explore because I didn't want to make this a four-hour play," she says. The next time around, Wilson plans on showing Addiction and its sequel all in the same weekend.

More importantly, Wilson feels that Addiction will find its true voice being a rehabilitation resource to substance abusers, gambling addicts, and all others who suffer from addictions.

"I have a few social workers who want to see the final project on video," she says. "After that, maybe it can be placed at treatment centers where it can be used during group therapy sessions," Wilson says enthusiastically. "The only true goal is to help people." — mt

Addiction will be showing at 4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 19, at the Boll Family YMCA, 1401 Broadway, Detroit. Tickets available at

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