EAT (It's Not About Food) dramatizes the dangerous and baffling world of eating disorders in girls and boys. Candidly exploring causes and warning signs, the play takes a hard look at the influences of society and the media and tells individual stories of young people struggling with this epidemic and too often tragic problem. Beneath a neon sign reading "EAT" a young waitress enters and addresses the audience. She relates that, although 850-million people in the world are essentially starving, eating can be the most difficult thing in the world. The entire cast enters, each expressing with words or action his or her struggle with eating, then freezes, and the waitress, tasting a decadent dessert, announces, "EAT (It's Not About Food)," launching the play into the story of 14-year-old Amy, whose downward spiral, eventual hospitalization and struggle to recover from an eating disorder is interwoven with vignettes, ranging from realistic to satirical to humorous, that reveal other characters dealing with eating disorders and body image. Joey, battling bulimia, recalls being teased by classmates and describes a frantic nighttime binge. A young wrestler learns the tricks of "making weight" from a teammate. With only her face and arms visible through a cardboard cutout of a thin, glamorous female TV star, a generic television actress celebrates her perfection. Another character relates the myriad reasons for overeating while being dressed in a "fat suit." "Fairly well recovered" Calorie Woman shares her compulsive counting as she relates the calories in a Starbucks latte. These and many more characters provide actors with challenging dramatic and comedic roles and the opportunity to play multiple parts. Area staging. Approximate running time: 1 hour.
"A gutsy, arresting and daringly, darkly humorous world premiere … powerful … leaving open the possibility of changing and perhaps even saving lives of both young audience members and friends whom they now may recognize as needing help."
—The Dallas Morni