Ramona Lisa Alexander

Untriggering life and the memories of trauma

Actor Keith Mascoll digs into the issue of childhood sexual abuse in his solo show "Triggered Life," streaming live from Portland Playhouse

“WE’RE OPENING UP A CONVERSATION FOR EVERYBODY TO HAVE. We need to keep our girls safe. We need to keep our boys safe.”

It was mid-afternoon on Wednesday, and the actor Keith Mascoll was on the phone, fresh from a run-through of his show Triggered Life: A Requiem of Healing, which has preview performances Thursday and Friday evenings at Portland Playhouse and on Saturday opens a twelve-show run, through April 4. The performances are being taped in real time, and can be watched on video.

Keith Mascoll in “Triggered Life: A Requiem of Healing.” Photo: Crosby Tatum

Triggered Life is a one-actor, two character play that goes to places theater rarely goes – into the world of sexual abuse of children, and the struggles to overcome its emotional cost. It’s based partly on Mascoll’s own experiences, and partly on his conversations with other people who’ve been abused. And as we’ve passed the one-year mark in social isolation, during which incidences of domestic abuse have spiked, it seems a show that’s more than met its time. Mascoll’s director and longtime working partner, John Oluwole ADEkoje, wrote the script, collaborating with Mascoll on the scenes that include Mascoll’s own experiences. Though it’s rooted in actual memories and events, Mascoll says, it’s true theater, with a human story to tell: “Definitely storytelling.”

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