Theater group seeks survivors’ stories for play on domestic violence

Theater group seeks survivors’ stories for play on domestic violence
Author and educator Anna Mayes and Playbuilders of Hawaii founder Terri Madden are working on a play about domestic violence called the "Bursting Bubbles Project." (Source: (Image: Hawaii News Now))

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Playbuilders of Hawaii Theater Company tells real stories in the plays it produces, like its productions on foster care and homelessness.

"The stars of our shows are community members themselves," founder Terri Madden said.

Playbuilders is now working on a play about a tough subject ― domestic violence. The play will be called the “Bursting Bubbles Project.”

"We call it the 'Bursting Bubbles Project' because it's about bursting our assumptions that we have regarding domestic violence," Madden said.

“Those of us who are privileged enough to have safe families and good lives, we also tend to live in a bubble unaware of the pain that other people might be suffering.”

Author and educator Anna Mayes is helping. She wrote a book about her experiences that involved domestic violence and child abuse.

“I think of it like an iceberg. It’s just the tip. At the root of it is the traumatic experience of child sexual abuse,” she said.

The experiences of survivors and how they handled their healing aren’t all the same.

Madden said it will take a year to complete the play. Right now, she’s collecting stories from domestic violence survivors and she needs more.

"The more stories we have the better the play will be," she said.

Madden said the “Bursting Bubbles Project” will focus on the warning signs of domestic violence, the struggles survivors experience, and the path to healing.

Mayes believes those who share their stories grow stronger.

"That's very important to healing is helping people to confront context first, where the trauma was experienced, and then be able to have the power to say, 'I can change that,'" she said.

Playbuilders is meeting once a week to work on the play and to help domestic violence survivors learn to tell their stories to an audience.

The theater company received training from the Domestic Violence Action Center.

If you’re interested in submitting your story contact Playbuilders at or email Madden at

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