March 2019

On The Exhale

By Martin Zimmerman

""The Wolves" is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc., New York City


We need to have a conversation about gun violence. It may be uncomfortable. It may be upsetting. It may make you cringe. But it's long past time. So let's talk. And then let's act.

Slipstream Theatre Initiative, now in its fifth season, has always been determined to pair its productions with socially relevant issues, and their third show of the season is no different. The company had planned to produce Martin Zimmerman's one woman show On the Exhale in its February slot of next season. As news continued to trickle in about new legislation allowing the parents of the Sandy Hook tragedy to sue the gun manufacturer, a shooting at a mosque in New Zealand, a proposition mandating gun ownership in Missouri, and more, the company decided that they couldn't wait until next season to get this conversation started. In a bold move, the company has decided to postpone their Golden Girls themed production of The Merry Wives of Windsor until July, and will be producing On the Exhale in its place. The show will run April 26th through May 19th of this year.

Set in a situation that could be a TED Talk or a college lecture, the play focuses on a woman whose second grade son was killed in a school shooting. Through a recounting of the event and her irrational reaction, the audience is forced to question what it takes to become a mass shooter. Instead of describing a monster than none of us could imagine being, she describes the obsession with control, power, and life that goes hand in hand with being a gun owner. She exposes the human instincts behind turning into a shooter. We soon realize that given the right set of circumstances, we are all subject to becoming the thing we most fear.

The production features Tiaja Sabrie as the grieving mother, and is directed by Slipstream Artistic Director Bailey Boudreau. Costumes are designed by Tiaja Sabrie. Set and lights are designed and executed by Slipstream Technical Director Jackson Abohasira, and the show is assistant directed by Alanna Elling. Tickets go on sale March 25th and seating is limited. This production is sponsored by Drama Kids of Oakland County.

We all know grief, in some form or another. We have all lost something dear to us. We can all relate to the pain and suffering of losing a part of ourselves, however big or small. We've all had a moment, a split-second thought about solving an issue with violence. There is no telling how someone will deal with grief, and to write any option off wholly can become part of the problem that allows these tragedies to continue to grow in number. It's time to talk about it, and it's time to act. Join Slipstream Theatre Initiative in the conversation. Portions of the proceeds of ticket sales for On the Exhale will go to the Detroit foundation Mothers of Murdered Children (MOMC), a 501c3 dedicated to providing support and other services to parents impacted by the loss of their children through violence. Slipstrema will also be taking donations at the door and online for MOMC.

What are you doing to help end this epidemic?

The production runs Friday, April 26th through Sunday, May 19th. Shows will run Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 7pm. Tickets are $12 and available via or by emailing Slipstream Theatre Initiative is located at 460 Hilton in Ferndale, MI.