Award-winning playwright raises awareness with new production
Award-winning playwright Garrett Davis, CEO and founder of Gdavis Productions and Films, is known for his heartfelt stage plays that raise awareness of health issues disproportionately affecting Black Americans — including Alzheimer's disease.
Black Americans are about two times as likely as White Americans to have Alzheimer's and other dementias, and Hispanic Americans are about one and a half times as likely. For Davis, Alzheimer's disease is personal. His grandmother, Goodness Davis, died of the disease and his mother, Geraldine Davis-Brown, is currently living with Alzheimer's.
Davis' newest play, "Unforgettable" — featuring gospel musician LeJuene Thompson and American Idol finalist Scott Savol — shares the story of Mama D and her family as they navigate Alzheimer's disease and caregiving. Presented in partnership with the Alzheimer's Association, the play aims to move and entertain audiences while highlighting Alzheimer's resources and education.
Why did you write 'Unforgettable'?
"Unforgettable" is touring cities nationwide. Visit the play's website to learn more and register for free tickets.
I wrote 'Unforgettable' to focus on the family members who are caring for a person living with Alzheimer's disease. I wanted to clearly discuss and inspire those who are caregivers by showing a piece on stage that dealt with how Alzheimer's affects the family.
What message do you want the audience to take home?
We want African Americans to get involved in clinical trials. We want them to get involved in support groups. But from their standpoint, they don't have trust [due to historical inequities]. So in this creative way, we let them see what a family is going through and inspire them to take action. I would hate for a cure for Alzheimer's to become available and it doesn't work for us [African Americans] because we didn't participate in studies.
Learn More: Clinical Trials
Tell us about the 'Unforgettable' cast.
I put a multicultural cast together that I think is going to do spectacular things. Several of the players on stage and behind the scenes are impacted by Alzheimer's, and that's making this a totally different experience. The chemistry among them, it's as if they've been doing this play together their whole lives.
What will attendees experience at the production?
Alzheimer's can push you into seclusion, but I wanted to focus on creating unforgettable moments with your loved ones. When you walk into the lobby, it's a festive atmosphere with music and 360-degree photo booths where you can take pictures with your family. I want us to be happy and create those unforgettable moments while we still can.
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