Sean Allen Jones (BFA, 1998; MA, 2022) is a well-loved personality in the Texas Tech University (TTU) School of Theatre & Dance alumni community and a founding member of THE EDGE: A COMPANY OF FINE ARTISTS, one of Lubbock's newest and most exciting non-profit theatres. Among the Lubbock addiction recovery community – which is much larger than you might expect – he has also developed a reputation as a generous and giving person who is incredibly open about his own journey.
While working on a Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at TTU, Jones is leading the Drama Class for Individuals in Recovery at THE EDGE. Employing skills developed during his undergraduate education and career as an actor with his ambition to help others who struggle with substance abuse disorders, Jones is breaking new ground by creating a safe space for healing and recovery by way artistic expression.
When I asked Jones to discuss this new program, he insisted that I join a class so I could see for myself the dynamic environment he has created. Before arriving, I imagined something like an alcoholics anonymous meeting combined with some fundamental acting exercises, but I was unsure how the two elements would inform one another.
At first, my preconception did not seem too far off. We sat in a circle as each participant introduced themselves, adding a brief mention about where they are at in their recovery process. I was completely unprepared for what followed. Jones asked his students to compose a series of personal monologues about their experiences with addiction and recovery. These they shared with the group one-by-one, each incredibly honest and revealing. The stories were sometimes disturbing and painful – tears were shed. I was so stuck by one of the monologues, I could not help but choke up myself.
What was most amazing (and surprising) about the class was the amount of laughter. As deeply as we felt the pain of these stories, we also shared moments of absurdity and joy that, at times, brought us all to the point of near hysteria. This is what healing and recovery looks like, and how incredible it is that performance can enable such an experience.
Drama Class for Individuals in Recovery, now in its third incarnation, was originally designed for people in recovery from substance use disorders. The current class includes people in recovery from eating disorders and trauma as well. The class meets every Sunday from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm at THE EDGE THEATRE at 4228 Boston Avenue in Lubbock. The class offers students the opportunity to create original monologues and scenes based on their personal journey in recovery. Drama techniques used in class are scene setting, monologuing, improvisation, movement, role playing, mirroring, and journaling. Students write and perform monologues about their worst day in addiction and their best day in recovery, and a monologue from their Higher Power to them.
Drama Class for Individuals in Recovery III, the current class, will create a play about recovery from substance use, eating disorders, and trauma. The "recovery" play will be approximately 30 minutes and will be written and performed by all students sharing their combined experiences, strengths, and hopes for invited guests.
Jones sees a bright future for the program. Once licensed as a professional counselor, he intends to offer the course from a drama therapy perspective. And eventually, he would like for THE EDGE to create an Expressive Arts Therapy Center complete with classes in drama therapy, music therapy, dance therapy, and art therapy for the Lubbock community and surrounding areas.
If you would like more information about the Drama Class for Individuals in Recovery, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about THE EDGE: A COMPANY OF FINE ARTISTS, visit www.edgetheatrelubbock.org.