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Stan’s Stuff

‘Getting Through’ with GRATITUDE

Some readers may not know that ‘Getting Through’ is the name of my play based on Viktor Frankl’s book, ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’. It was presented at the ‘Monkey House Theatre and Cabaret’ last Sunday and Monday – 21 and 22 April.
 |  Stan Stewart  | 

I started without a cast, without a venue nor production team. Bit by bit, in Whitianga style, all these components came together – out of the woodwork you could say. I don’t think that any of the persons who made up the eventual team knew what they were getting into.

Eventually a team put this production together. With gratitude I will mention just a few miracle-workers who made the play possible:- Peter Wood, Dave Fowell, two Michelles –

Michelle Rhodes and Michelle Farmer, the Monkey House marvels, Molly and Kaspur, Pauline and The Informer, Paper Plus and Mrs Tradie.  As well as Peter Wood, and Dave Fowell who played older Viktor Frankl as a lecturer/author,  and young Viktor Frankl in the prison camp, I owe a great deal to the other cast members. They are Kaspur Franke, Steffen Lindner, Bob Stevens, Jeremy Andrews, Sam Blake, Mark Alloway,  Beverley Sheppard, Dave Hunter, Noel Hewlett.

Viktor Frankl, one of the twentieth century’s most significant psychiatrists, wrote of his experiences in Auschwitz prison camp in a best-selling book, ‘Man’s search for Meaning’. My play is based on some of his experiences which he recorded in that book. His central thesis is that the search for meaning is one of the most important endeavours for every human life. A life without meaning will wither and decline. However, meaning can be found by those who search for it in every circumstance, even in the most challenging life situations.

What I am aware of is that even in the most beautiful situations, such as the Coromandel, scenery and relaxation are not enough. We must all search to find a particular, a significant meaning to which we can commit ourselves. I believe this and that is why I enjoyed presenting this play.

Three of the many commendations we have received.

“I thought it had a really great message for people to take away. We’re living in a time where so many are suffering from depression and mental health struggles. It’s so important to be able to openly talk about our feelings and be reminded that we are here for a reason and all have purpose. The readers did a great job and kaspur’s performance stood out!” Evangeline

“This play was set in a concentration camp in the most dreadful circumstances, but that was not what the play was about. It was about finding hope; about finding meaning even when life is falling apart. Thanks to all who participated for an arresting and inspirational play.” Liz and Mike

“The play was real. It may have been set in a prison camp but it was actually about everyday life. We all need a reason to get out of bed every day. The play challenged us to find our own, particular reason. Well done all the actors and the Monkey House. It was special.” Verna Carr

Viktor Emil Frankl (26 March 1905-2 September 1997) was an Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, who founded Logo therapy, a school of psychotherapy that describes a search for a life’s meaning as the central human motivational force.