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Actress tackles childhood trauma in new play

Actress Mary Neiderkorn

Actress Mary Neiderkorn

Meet Actress Mary Neiderkorn, whose one-woman show on mental health called “Thank You for Trying to Make Me a Better Person,” makes its off-Broadway debut later this month.

The play sheds light on one woman’s pain and frustration in light of familial abuse, and the power of discovering that her destiny is in her hands alone.

Neiderkorn plays six characters in the play, one of whom is a social worker. “Simply put, I don’t think I would be alive without them,” she told Social Work Speaks. “I would never have had the courage to write the play, become a performer, or have any kind of life.  Because of their work, I have an amazing life: mother of two, wife of over 30 years … and living my dreams.”

The play, which she says has “strong auto-biographical component,” makes the point that “no one has perfect parents. The way out is to rise above the easier choice of being a victim. Nothing is more seductive than “it’s not my fault.” But that doesn’t work. The victim is suspended, waiting for someone else to change,” says  Niederkorn, who also portrayed an adoption social worker in the short film, “The Commitment.” That film earned a 2013 NASW Media Award.

“My play gives voice to one individual’s frustration and pain in the face of real abuse – not by monsters, but by loving parents. The main character finally gets desperate enough to ask for help and tell the truth. With her therapist’s help (an amalgam of several women who worked with me) she makes the decision to do more than just survive.”

Written by Mary Niederkorn, “Thank You for Trying to Make Me a Better Person,” is directed by Sarah Carlin, and produced by Cornbill Productions. It opens Oct. 30 (but has already sold out for that day), and a second performance is on Nov. 5.

The performance is part of United Solo, the world’s largest solo theatre festival located on Theatre Row at 410 West 42nd Street in New York City.

Tickets for the Nov. 5 performance can be purchased here.

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