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‘The Persistent Guest’ a Humorous and Telling Look at Fighting Breast Cancer
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Tuesday, May 23, 2023
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

 Jodeen Revere’s one-woman play on having breast cancer is humorous, raw and illuminating as she explores such things as “the severely psychedelic nature of doing cancer drugs.”

And, apparently, it is helping friends and family members understand what loved ones go through when they receive treatment for breast cancer.

“One man, who was moved to tears by the performance, turned to his wife after seeing the show and asked her, ‘Do you relate to that experience?’ When she replied, ‘100 percent,’ he said, ‘I had no idea that’s what you were going through,’ ” recounted Revere.

Revere will present her 80-minute play, “The Persistent Guest” at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, May 25-27 at The Spot, 220 Lewis St., in Ketchum. There also will be a 4 p.m. matinee on Sunday, May 28. Tickets are $30 for adults and $20 for those under 30, available at  https://ci.ovationtix.com/35975/production/1160383.

The show is a darkly funny journey through life, love and treatment, according to the Idaho Statesman. Revere delivers nearly equal parts humor and pathos throughout, said Jeanne Huff of Boise Weekly.

Revere, a 1980 graduate of Wood River High School, has been through three bouts of breast cancer in the last 11 years. She had a lumpectomy after her first diagnosis, only to have cancer return six months later in the same area.

The second time she underwent a mastectomy and chemotherapy. But doctors found a lump in her right armpit five years ago and she had to undergo 12 more rounds of chemo, along with 25 rounds of radiation.

She started writing a blog when she went through the first couple bouts, in part too keep friends and family informed so she didn’t have to repeat the details to those wondering how she was doing.

“I’m a wordsmithy person and I found writing very cathartic,” said Revere, an actor and Thai massage therapist. “People told me I should write a book. So, the third time I decided I should stich it all together and I started working with an editor.”

During that process Revere accepted an invitation to read from her writing at a monthly open mic session hosted by Boise’s Ming Studios

“You DO realize you’ve written a one-woman show!” the director of Boise Contemporary Theater told her afterwards.

Revere turned her writing into a play, choosing the title from a quote from the 13th century poet Rumi: “This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.”

The play was supposed to open in late March 2020 when theaters went dark because of the COVID pandemic. By January 2021 Revere decided to film the play using multiple camera angles.

“I knew eventually it was going to the stage. But I had had cancer three times and I decided, ‘If I die and it never gets staged, I’m going to be pissed,” said Revere, adding that post-production work should be done this summer.

Boise Contemporary Theater gave the play a three-week run in October 2020. Now, it’s been accepted into New York’s United Solo Fest, the largest festival of one-person shows in the world. The Ketchum show will be her test run of the show for that festival—without set, props and projections.

“My show is very funny—people will be surprised. It’s also very moving, super raw—a lot about what getting cancer treatment is like,” she said.

Revere found herself curious about her cancer treatment: “What is this experience? How can I throw myself off the cliff and know it will get me out?”

“I found myself being amazed at some things. I found my hair coming out in clumps fascinating. You have to let yourself have the experience, but you also have to honor what you’re feeling. Some days it’s going to be positive. Some days you’re going to feel like you’re underwater. These are massively toxic drugs that they’re putting in your body—you’re basically dying from the inside out--and you have to be okay with that. You have to say: ‘Come in and clean house.’ ”

Revere found movement and nature helpful. She also drew on the support of friends who created GoFundMe accounts, gifted her massages, brought her food and drove her to appointments.

“Mr. Rogers talked about the helpers. There are always opportunities to step up. And I hope this play will show people how they can support those who are going through something like this.”


~  Today's Topics ~


Morgan Ballis Wins Sheriff Nomination

Thelma Puts a Clever 93-Year-Old’s Spin on Mission Impossible

Blaine County Democrats Hold Presidential Caucus on Thursday
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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