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Briarcliff Playwright Premieres Play About Overmedicating Youth

"A Bitter Pill," by Gayle Damiano Waxenberg opens at the Hudson Guild Theatre on Tuesday, Jan. 5 in Briarcliff. It focuses on the over-medication of American children.
"A Bitter Pill," by Gayle Damiano Waxenberg opens at the Hudson Guild Theatre on Tuesday, Jan. 5 in Briarcliff. It focuses on the over-medication of American children. Photo Credit: Facebook

BRIARCLIFF, N.Y. -- A new play focusing on the over-medication of American children is set to open at the Hudson Guild Theatre on Tuesday, Jan. 5 in Briarcliff.

The play is part of the Venus/Adonis Theater Festival at The Hudson Guild Theatre featuring the "The Telling Company" (TTC). The company will present "A Bitter Pill," by Gayle Damiano Waxenberg.

The play examines the over-medication of American children via the compliance of the medical community to "Big Pharma," from off-label marketing to so-called "invented" diagnoses.

“Raising children in the 1990s and 2000s, I witnessed too many children being labeled like cans, and medicated for one frightening diagnosis after another. First it was ADD, then bipolar disorder and being on the spectrum, followed by personality disorders – all publicized like fashion trends. When it landed within my orbit of family and friends, I had to do something," Waxenberg said. "Even now, every day there are new headlines revealing Big Pharma's pipeline of fabricated disorders and the misguided dispensation of drugs, including exposes of facts hidden from the FDA.”

The seriousness of the impact on children has caused Jerry Lewis, as TTC’s honorary board member, to speak out and endorse, "A Bitter Bill."

"It has always been vitally important to me that children who need our attention can be given whatever support necessary. It is my hope that this wonderful play can help educate, so that one day all children have an equal chance for a healthy, happy life," Lewis said.

The cast includes Whitney Biancur, Steven Cambria, Marissa Crisafulli, Brandon Duncan, Leo Giannopoulos, Alesandra Nahodil, Alexander Nifong and Nicole O’Brien. Artistic Director Daniel Neiden will direct; Rachel Kaufman serves as musical director, and Rebecca Kane as stage manager.

Performances time and dates include Tuesday, Jan. 5 at 6:15 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 9 at 8:30 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 10 at 1 p.m.

All shows take place at the Hudson Guild Theater, 441 West 26th St. Tickets are on sale at TheTellingCompany.org .

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