By Cindy Marie Jenkins

So I have this little play called VOICES FROM CHORNOBYL.  It’s a weird little topic on which I find myself obsessed.  It’s actually a truly large topic.

For five years, I’ve been inflicting this piece onto L.A.

Yes, la la land.  I would not say that people come in droves, but we’ve had a steady audience no matter how long or short the run.  It seems that if you are making the decision to see the show, you go to see the show.

People also come out in droves to support it, either financially or with in-kind donations.  Seriously, people seem to care about it.  We practically got an entire short demo film donated.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve almost given up on this show.  I came the closest when we did a show at the Empty Stage Theater.

Notice that I didn’t call it by its full name: The Empty Stage Comedy Theater.  Because after the 1st performance, I was ready to end it.  I was mad at myself for ever thinking that pairing VOICES FROM CHORNOBYL up with a one-woman show called GROWING UP….AND LIKING IT!  was a good idea.  I knew that it was only because I was taking every chance to work on it that I possibly could.  But I had to push this show further.  IF I wanted to continue inflicting this show on the good people of Los Angeles.

Drinking wine after this show was a necessity, so on this specific September night, I had already started on the wine backstage, kicking myself for ever thinking this whole project was a good idea.

Then the audience came out.  And people started talking.  And asking questions.  And right at the point where I almost started making it known that this would be the last incarnation of the piece, 2 Russian women in their 50′s realized I was the director, came up to me and said: “We had no idea.  We lived in The Soviet Union at the time and had no idea this was happening.”

People are always amazed that they didn’t know about it, or like one gentleman this night, they had forgotten all about it, because it was so long ago.  Most people know someone involved with the show, or like in 2008 at the Carrie Hamilton Theater, overheard someone talking about it on Hollywood Boulevard and found out how to get more information.

So whether it’s reaching 75 people in Indianapolis or 15 people in Los Angeles, it’s getting there.  It also played in East Hollywood and then North Hollywood (again) during April 2008.  We had our first real talkback back then and I realized in how many different directions people’s minds can go after seeing it.  I am pretty sure that’s the point.

All this to say, I still feel like I inflict this on people.  Yet it always turns out well somehow.