The month of January saw some incredible growth for ACT ONE’s Make Sure It’s Me/nh project, a community discussion about Traumatic Brain Injury in the military. First of all, sponsorships: We closed 2012 with a kickoff donation from the Netland Family Foundation, and this was quickly followed up by generous support from our ACT ONE Circle of Friends. Then, months of work resulted in a major donation through the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation! More funding partnerships are in the works to help us bring the best theatre artists on board and lift our production values for the June production at WEST.

Also in January, I began my work with composer Jason Crigler. Oh, this is so much fun! Twice I have met Jason in his home studio to listen and learn as he weaves a haunting soundscape for Make Sure It’s Me. Meshing the sounds of Humvees, explosions, hospital equipment, crunching footprints, and even the a bell-like tone from tapping a fence in Inman Square, Jason’s composition is already firing me up to get into rehearsal and bring the world of this play to life!

I have also continued my collaborative discussions of the Make Sure It’s MeĀ script with playwright and novelistĀ Kate Wenner, who is not only brainy, compassionate, and incredibly energetic–she’s also endlessly cool! My talks with Kate always illuminate her characters in new ways for me, remind me of important messages we want to highlight in our production, and revive my faith in people. Kate, my life is better with you in it!

Casting: I’m delighted to say that we have the show 9/10ths cast and we’re hot on the trail of our final cast member! Among this great crew are three veterans. I’ll look forward to introducing you to the cast in the coming months.

Library presentations: As you may recall, MSIM/nh will include five visits to New Hampshire libraries with a one-hour (free!) presentation of selected scenes from the play interspersed with information about recognizing and coping with TBI. I have assembled a great team to join me at the libraries, including Conan Marchi, SGT, US Army (RET) and Jenny Freeman of the Krempels Center. You can find the full schedule on the MSIM/nh page here.

As you can tell, my Executive Director Stephanie Nugent and I have been busy these past weeks–perhaps our greatest accomplishment is remembering to laugh at least once every day while we tackle all the work involved behind the scenes of this multi-faceted event series! But we continue to be inspired by all the great women and men we’re meeting who serve our community in so many ways. Yes, the road to recovery from Traumatic Brain Injury is hard. But there are so many people standing ready to help!

Stay tuned, and best wishes for your health and happiness as 2013 marches on . . .