Poet, Playwright, Workshop Facilitator
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Our Voices Blog

Sometimes a Breakup Isn’t a Loss, But a Lesson: Our Voices XII Guest Blog, by Fabiola R. Decius

On September 30, 2018, I participated as one of the selected playwrights in the 12th Annual Our Voices Festival for the fourth year in a row. This annual event is one of my favorite theater highlights each year, and I love being in the room with other female playwrights and actors. Together, we’re able to foster community, support each other, all while promoting the arts! 

Jamaal Eversley (L) & Rachel Nagin (R), play the roles of Emmanuel and Rachelle in Caution, by Fabiola Decius, Our Voices XII.  Photo Credit: Kelly DuMar

Jamaal Eversley (L) & Rachel Nagin (R), play the roles of Emmanuel and Rachelle in Caution, by Fabiola Decius, Our Voices XII.

Photo Credit: Kelly DuMar

During this year’s event, I presented a ten-minute play, Caution, which takes place in a park on a warm summer day. Caution tells the story of two friends turned ex-lovers, Emmanuel and Rachelle, trying to reacquaint themselves with one another after their breakup and time apart.

This play was written a few years ago while I was in graduate school at Lesley University and was inspired by a friend’s breakup. I revised this script multiple times, with at least six to seven revisions. When the idea was first conceived, I thought it would be easy to write, when in fact it has been one of the most challenging ten-minute plays I have written thus far.

This play is built upon my strong belief that when someone shows you who they are the first time, you should believe them. A lot of times when couples break up, there are often promises to change and then they eventually get back together. Things may seem picture perfect again, even if temporarily, but ultimately the old habits return, and then the couple realizes why they broke up in the first place.

For example, take these few lines of dialogue from Caution, in which Rachelle has an “Aha” epiphany moment and realizes why she and Emmanuel initially broke up.

RACHELLE

Thank you, Emmanuel. Although this meeting wasn’t what I expected, it was very enlightening. 

EMMANUEL

Enlightening in what way?

RACHELLE

For months now, I kept trying to figure out what made me want to break up with you, and I couldn’t for the life of me remember. All I remembered were the good times, but now it’s all coming back to me.

EMMANUEL

What is?  

RACHELLE

The caution signs. They were everywhere.

(Pause)

You’re not ready for a relationship, Emmanuel. You play the blame game, and all you can see are my faults, but it takes two to make a relationship work, just like it takes two to ruin one. I accept my part in our breakup, but you have to admit that it wasn’t all me. You’re to blame as well.

EMMANUEL

I can’t believe you still think that when you were the one who wanted more. If it weren’t-

RACHELLE

You’re right about that. I did want more, but not anymore. It’s just not worth it. You’re not worth it.

Jamaal Eversley (L) & Rachel Nagin (R), play the roles of Emmanuel and Rachelle in Caution, by Fabiola Decius, Our Voices XII.  Photo Credit: Kelly DuMar

Jamaal Eversley (L) & Rachel Nagin (R), play the roles of Emmanuel and Rachelle in Caution, by Fabiola Decius, Our Voices XII.

Photo Credit: Kelly DuMar

I had two amazing actors, Jamaal Eversley and Rachel Nagin, play the roles of Emmanuel and Rachelle, respectively. While they both enjoyed the experience of participating in Our Voices XII, Jamaal shared his thoughts with me:

As an actor, I was grateful to be part of Our Voices. The collaborative nature of the festival shows how support can strengthen an individual’s voice when they are at their most vulnerable. I also enjoyed the Black Box Theatre we performed in at Wellesley College because it set an intimate feeling for the play. It allowed the audience to feel as if they were there with the characters as well.

If reading or seeing my ten-minute play, Caution, can change anything, it would be the notion that it’s easy to break up and then make up. Because sometimes, in reality, when a relationship is over, it’s actually over and there’s no coming back together. I’d also like for people to reconsider that sometimes a breakup isn’t a loss, but a lesson.

Fabiola Decius  Photo Credit: Jeffrey Filiault

Fabiola Decius

Photo Credit: Jeffrey Filiault

About Fabiola Decius

Fabiola R. Decius’ plays include “Haiti Chérie”, “Final Verdict”, “In Sync”, “Ice Cream Bucket List”, “Date Night Surprise”, “Chicksmas”, “Draped in History”, “Free Before Eleven”, “Consent”, “Bus Stop”, MAN OF THE HOUSE, and FIGHTING FORGIVENESS, which have been produced and/or developed at Bryn Mawr College, Lesley University, the Boston Public Library, Our Voices Festival, Fade to Black Festival, the Roxbury Repertory Theater, Controlled Kaos Productions, the Office of War Information (Bureau of Theater), the Boston Center for the Arts Plaza Theatres, and the Boston Neighborhood Network channel.

In addition to writing for the stage, Fabiola has also had her share of acting accolades in WAITING ROOM and “Goddamn Bell!: A Journey Through Time at Bryn Mawr”. She was a cohort member in the 2016-2017 Company One Theatre PlayLab Unit. She is also the founder of Teens WRITE (Writing, Reading, and Investigating Theater Everywhere), which is a program for teenagers to write, revise, cast, direct, and produce original plays culminating in a Ten-Minute Play Festival. Fabiola graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a Bachelor of Arts, and received a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Lesley University in Stage and Screen Writing. You can reach her at teenswrite18@gmail.com and

https://newplayexchange.org/users/6305/fabiola-r-decius 

Kelly DuMarComment