The Black Box : Dancing on Injustice
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Multimedia Arts Organization Promoting Life and Healing After Abortion. Producers of the Live Production - The Life Ballet - and 
Arise Sweet Sarah Film and Soundtrack. 

The Black Box

by Sandy Arena on 09/20/15

It's been a little over a week since our long-awaited release of our film Arise Sweet Sarah. I want to share with you today a peak into a very special moment shared between my daughter Alexis Gaetano and I (director/writer Sandy Arena) pertaining to the black, ripped up box we use in the show (and now film) that signifies "the secret" of my abortions. For those who know the show and film, inside the box there are two small blankets - pink and blue - representing the two aborted children of our character "Sarah". Sarah is me. I am Sarah. Alexis, my oldest daughter, plays Sarah in the live show and now film and has the very difficult job portraying the deep emotions of a woman who suffers in guilt and shame after abortion. Alexis is accustomed to carrying this box around on stage and during filming as it is used during significant moments throughout the show to demonstrate her remorse, guilt, shame, anger, sadness - the basic tragic moments of a mother's heart broken after abortion. In the live production, she throws it in great anguish offstage while singing "What Kind of Mother Does That?" which basically is a scene of self hatred where Sarah is hiding in shame and disgust in the bathroom at church. The throwing off stage detail was partially to show her anger, and partially also as a way to get the box offstage to prepare for the next scene - a logistical moment if you will to help our show run smoothly. During live shows in fact, Alexis would throw the box so hard, that we always had a stage person in the wing to catch it (lest it knock an unsuspecting actor out in the wing). The box then was a mess, not surprising. It was ripped apart and torn and patched back together with black duck tape after years of traveling and use - kind of like my heart over the years as I traveled this journey of healing after the most hideous and horrendous experiences of my life - killing my children. (To know more about that, you have to see the film.) But back to the box, at the film release, my beautiful daughter Alexis had a gift for me. She was so excited for me to open it. It was a special surprise, which she is so good at executing and is known in our close family and friend circles to be a whiz at knocking your socks off with a surprise. So at the release, finally, after the film showing was over, and after we had made our way through hundreds of people who were in attendance, she made me stop for a moment to open my gift. And thankfully, our event photographer Jennifer Frey was there to capture it! What Alexis did was take the old, broken down, ugly box and decorate it to make it beautiful. She added flowers and fluff and pearls and felt and paint and ribbons. She adorned it with one of the most significant lines in the film which is "It's a miracle when we find the strength and courage to arise. I choose to arise." Inside she wrapped up the little blankets and added flowers to them and also added two baby tshirts - one pink and one blue to signify our lost children Seraphina and Simon - my babies, her siblings. So our ugly prop box is now a masterpiece of beauty to remind me of the love and redemption of my Lord and the blessings of my daughter, my children, my family, this film and this show. I share pictures here with you of these special moments including some scene photos of Alexis carrying her box during the film. I assure you when I opened this gift it was an "ugly cry" despite the fact I was at this big party event! You know the kind I'm talking about that makes your face scrunch up and sounds come forth that are not of this world. Thank you to my beautiful daughter. This is the most special gift of all and I will always cherish it. So when you see Arise Sweet Sarah, which I hope you will do, when you see the box in the film, know that now it sits in a special place in my house serving as a reminder of the two little ones who would now be grown who aren't with us, but who we can't wait to meet in heaven. God bless you all!

To order a copy of the DVD or to host a movie event, see our home page:

To see photos of this moment and the box, visit:

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