Friday, September 27, 2019, 7:00pm
Reynolds Hall, 49 Concord St., Peterborough, NH
Staged Reading of Letters and Remembrances Tells the Life Stories of the Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon Family Groups
“Today was a hard one. The pressure was great. Thank heaven you will never know what real alcoholism is like.” So wrote a despairing 34-year-old Bill Wilson to his devoted wife, Lois as they battled Bill’s debilitating addiction to alcohol— just one of hundreds of personal letters Bill and Lois wrote to each other in a 60-year love story that helped give birth to the modern recovery movement.
Bill & Lois Wilson: In Their Own Words tells the story of the respective co-founders of AA and Al-Anon and their deep and abiding love for each other. Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church New Hampshire, in cooperation with Stepping Stones Foundation, will present this unique stage presentation Friday, September 27th at 7:00 pm in Reynolds Hall, 52 Concord St., Peterborough, NH.
Using only words written or recorded by Bill and Lois, four actors lead the audience through the couple’s young love, hopeful early life together, descent into addiction and, ultimately, redemption and triumph as Bill connected with others to create the Twelve Steps that have shaped addiction treatments for the past 80 years. Lois, as co-founder of Al-Anon Family Groups, helped countless loved ones of alcoholics. Historic visual images and music, including a recording of Bill W. playing the violin, will be an integral part of the stage presentation.
Stepping Stones, in Bedford Hills, NY, is the home Bill and Lois occupied from 1941 to the end of their lives. The Stepping Stones Foundation maintains the home, its contents and archive, and offers guided tours and educational programming.
“The Stepping Stones archives include a trove of letters and writings by Bill and Lois that have not been easily accessed by the public,” said Sally Corbett, executive director of Stepping Stones Foundation. “This play presents the powerful and moving thoughts, ideas and struggles Bill and Lois shared. It’s a truly great love story— a love story that includes events and interactions that resulted in the creation of AA and Al-Anon, two movements that have impacted and continue to impact millions of lives around the world,” she added.
Bill & Lois Wilson: In Their Own Words was conceived by Annah Perch, former executive director of Stepping Stones, and compiled, edited and staged by Laurie Heffner Lewis. The Peterborough performances will feature Meg Rogers as Young Lois, Jake H. Lewis as Young Bill, Christine Howe as Older Lois, and Lauron Lewis as Older Bill.
“We’re excited to be presenting this work for a New Hampshire audience,” said Rev. Sandi Albom of Episcopal Recovery Ministries of NH. “The story of Bill and Lois’ struggles and ultimate triumph creates a powerful witness— both for people in the recovery movement, and also for people who may have limited knowledge about what AA and Al-Anon are all about. Hearing the insights and revelations of both Bill & Lois in their own words creates a moving portrait of what is at the core of the recovery movement,” she said.
The September 27th performance is presented with permission from Stepping Stones Foundation. A free will offering will be taken to benefit Recovery Ministries and Stepping Stones, the historic home of Bill & Lois Wilson.
Contact: Rev. Sandi Albom, 603.303.2435 or email@example.com