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    for posts tagged ‘Audio Theatre’
    Audio Theatre - Tuesday, August 10th - 6 to 8 pm - Live Performance of “The Learning Man” Starring Alan Wilbar
    August 3rd, 2010


    Alan Wilbar (above)  will perform live on Audio Theatre beginning about 6:15 pm.  He will be doing an Audio Theatre adaptation of his stage play “The Learning Man.”   There will be a live stage performance of “The Learning Man”  at the Krempels Center  (  at the Community Campus  in Portsmouth on August 18th at 1 pm

    The Learning Man - Review 

    David Cote, PhD, reviews Alan Wilbar’s script

     It may be said that each soul has it’s own narrative, that most tales remain unuttered as time unfolds. It is probably also true that most often humanity lives and dies unwept, unhonoured and unsung. And yet there are those among us who are driven, compelled to disclose their traumas and terrors, adventures and experiences, elations and depressions, struggles and victories, losses and tribulations. This is certainly the situation with the bio-history elegantly recorded in poetry, song and narrative frankness in the dramatic presentation of Alan Wilbar’s The Learning Man.

    Alan has the lyric gift, the acumen and honesty to reveal without self-pity or deprecation, the extraordinary journey he has traveled for the past twenty years or so. What he has experienced certainly has been bizarre; yet he sings his years with the patience and grace of the troubadour within his soul.

    Thus, the story begins: On an early autumn night while down-rigging an enormous circus tent(after a sold out performance by Kenny Rogers), Alan fell 47feet, crashing through a metal grid, head and body eventually slamming onto a wooden ramp that luckily had not been removed. Otherwise he would have hit the concrete walkway underneath. But it is not the accident which should be of concern; rather it’s aftermath and Alan’s subsequent stages of recovery and his coping with them during his journey back to living. The immediate results were devastating, daunting, almost beyond belief. The long-term experiences surely more so! Instantly, as he recalls, “Among other injuries I experienced massive parietal frontal lobe damage” Only later was he to face the concomitant life-long damage of,” hypoglycemia, chronic pain, enhanced bi-polar disorder, and PTSD”

    His reaction, in his own words, to these conditions,” I can take my pick as to why I feel shitty today”

    But, above all, The Learning Man’s focus must be recognized as narrative and recovery from severe/traumatic brain injury which entails a starting over, a re-discovery of self, a psychic rebirth, if you will, for as Alan states, “To truly have your life, you must die first. It is the only way.” Indeed, it seems to be literally true that mind and body in recovery from brain damage must learn, relearn, recognize and deal with both it’s losses and rediscoveries. The process is arduous, slow, decades long:

    “You were getting your master’s degree
    I was remastering the spoon”

    “I can now grasp about a week at a time,
    twenty years after my fall”
    “As my brain recovers bits of former thought,
    feeling and judgment come creeping in”
    “Continually found myself at a million different
    stages of emotional growth all at once”
    ” My chronological growth had been compacted%u2026

    At 24,comma, on 25 Sep88, comma, I fell 47′ and landed on
    my head, period. At 24, on Sept 26, I was age zero, coma.”

    Alan’s recovery seems to be encapsulated in his hope that when doctors “began to put my head and body back together [they would be able to do so] on the same page, or at least in the same volume.” Ultimately, in recovery, his spirit triumphs over the long years of gradual yet persistent rehabilitation. He remarks:

    “I’m finally able to give up the war as a disorder
    and now just try to keep it a distraction”

    At last he is able to come to terms with the fact that he is, “a brain injured and broken human” who constantly what he identifies as his “present traumatic stress disorder.” The effects are massive and permanent:

    ” PTSD infects your complete being, how you look at
    the world, how you rate people and situations, and kind of
    takes the taste out of food sometimes”

    But when all is said and done squibs of wisdom force us to concur:
    “Should be reason to conjugate be. There can be dancing,
    should be laughter, all it takes is the eyes to see, ’cause it’s
    a self-service life and you may sit where you would like”

    What he is saying is that choice always is individual, personal. And we are all learning man; the learning, moreover, always is now . Or, as Alan puts it, “Wisdom tells to live in the noun and not the verb.” That is, to be - “I, you, he, she, us ” - living, being in the present, not existing in an activity, And so, wisely he enunciates:

    ” Once you stop letting your disability command and control
    you, you get more choices than you ever thought possible”

    And again:”This I finally know: It’s about the ocean of together, not
    the mountain of alone”

    For indeed, we are all in this together, and improvement, adaption, change and the courage to grow clearly are what life is all about.

    Lastly, The Learning Man, like all good theatre, is meant to be seen and heard, experienced, not talked about; the play really is the thing! Thus, I would suggest that The Learning Man, in performance and presentation, will prove an illumination, possibly even an epiphany.

    David “Doc” Cote


     Don’t miss this very special live production and interview with
    Alan Wilbar, a man whose story, courage, and life will inspire and
    lift your spirit.

    More Info About Alan Wilbar and his work can be found at



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