WellLife Network Benefit Performance of TRIAL Raises $100,000 to Help Children and Families


More than 250 supporters of WellLife Network turned out at the one-night only benefit reading of Trial, a new play by Ashley Griffin (Snow, Twilight the Unauthorized Musical Parody) and directed by Lori Petty(Orange is the New Black, A League of Their Own). The play was presented at the Tilles Center on Thursday, March 28, 2019. This performance recognizes Sexual Assault Awareness Month, held in April, to raise public awareness about sexual assault and educate families and communities on how to prevent this violence.


Trial tells the unique and provocative story of a young woman waiting for her own judgment in the bureaucratic system of the afterlife, where she finds herself in the role of judge and jury to determine the eternal fate of her father, the man responsible for her abuse and death. The play is inspired by a true story. Proceeds from the production will assist WellLife Network to improve and expand its services across Long Island. The contributions will provide urgently needed services that help Long Islanders to heal and recover.


Sexual Trauma Affects the Entire Family

“The issue of family violence affects the entire family,” said Rebecca Costa, Vice President, Long Island Operations. “Our person-centered treatment services serve not only the survivor of sexual trauma but the entire family on their path to recovery and wellness.” Suicide is an all too common result of sexual trauma. WellLife Network has developed workshops and training seminars on suicide prevention that address these issues which are designed for community stakeholders, clinical/non-clinical staff, educators, families and other concerned citizens.


Abusive Behavior Should Never Be Normalized or Supported

Deborah Boatright, a benefit co-chair and board member of WellLife Network, said, “We are thrilled and very honored to have a large portion of the original cast perform this benefit-staged reading for us.” Ashley Griffin’s uplifting play movingly explores the issue of justice vs. mercy and the question: ‘What would a victim decide if they could determine their abuser's eternal fate?’ This ensemble makes a strong statement – with a united voice and as a community.


Boatright reminded us of the shocking statistics - 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually traumatized by the time they are 18. She fervently admonished the audience, “We must be vigilant so that abusive behavior is NEVER normalized or supported. Your being here tonight, your willingness to listen and learn, to ponder and cry and confront the realities of children’s lives through the honesty and rawness that is Trial is a great step.”


Back Row (L-R) Deborah Boatright, Board Member, WellLife Network and Event Co-Chair; Jeffrey Finkle, Board Chairperson; Steve Hauck (Mr. Olin); Malcolm Stephenson (Richard) and Sherry Tucker, CEO, WellLife Network. Middle Row (L-R) Lori Petty, Director of Trial; Jennifer Regan (Lucy); Vinyetta James (Voice) and Jeté Laurence (Young Arcadia). Front Row (L-R) Ryan Clardy (Valentine); Ashley Griffin (Arcadia) author of Trial and Shereen Hickman (Woman/Margaret). Photo by Micah Joel Productions ©

Thank You to the Outstanding Cast Members

Sherry Tucker, CEO WellLife Network presented Ashley Griffin and Lori Petty with WellLife's Community Outreach and Partnership Award. It read: "Your profound play heightens awareness of childhood sexual trauma in the community, helps to restore lives and gives a voice to those who need to confront their 'doors locked from the inside'." Lori Petty's award read: "Under your genius direction, the play Trial, a profound and significant message regarding sexual trauma, has been given a voice to new audiences throughout our community."


We thank the cast members who generously gave of their time and talents. Cast members of Trial include: Ryan Clardy* (One Life to Live,) Ashley Griffin* (The Greatest Showman, "Hamlet" in Hamlet,) Steve Hauck* (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,) Shereen Hickman* (Woman/ Margaret,) Vinyetta James (Life Is Hard,) Jeté Laurence (Pet Sematary,)Jennifer Regan* (Born Yesterday,) and Malcolm Stephenson* (Time Stands Still). Madeline O’Hara (Blogologues) was the assistant director and Ashling Costello the stage manager. 
*Appear courtesy Actors Equity Association.


Thank You to Our Supporters Who Made It Possible

WellLife Network is grateful for the support from the following individuals, corporations and businesses whose contributions have helped this presentation of Trial be a success.


Ace Endico
ABT Appliance & Traders
Bartel Construction Corp.
Bay Carpet and Flooring
Alicia & Steve Bernstein
Lani & Tom Blumberg
Deborah Boatright
Con Rac Construction Group LLC
Nathene Riley Cruz
Crystal John
Genoa Healthcare
Imperial Dade
Irwin Contracting
Lamb Insurance Services
Levy, Stopol & Camelo LLP
Dr. Brian Regan
Marvin Sperling
Star2Star Communications
Stat Rx Pharmacy
TGI Office Automation
The Ray-Block Stationery Co., Inc.
Sherry & Dirk Tucker
Van Security Services
Vassalotti Associates Architects, LLP
W.B. Mason
Jean & Alan Weinstock
World’s Fair Pharmacy


WellLife also wants to recognize the generous contributions of these businesses who donated catering supplies, food, flowers and wine. 


Bar-Boy Products
Hither Brook Floral & Gift Boutique
Iavarone Bros Quality Foods
Micah Joel Productions - Photography
Martha Clara Vineyards


WellLife Network is one of the region’s largest and most diversified voluntary, not-for-profit health and human services organizations. Our extensive network of services in mental health, developmental disabilities, family and youth, addiction recovery and residential services assists more than 25,000 individuals and families each year. WellLife Network programs are licensed and approved for service by numerous governmental organizations and on Long Island work in partnership with the United Way.  


If you would like to make a donation to individuals and families affected by sexual trauma, please click here

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