To forgive and go on with life or not to forgive and not heal?
These are the questions Brenda Adelman poses in her one-woman show, "My Brooklyn Hamlet."
On Thursday, Oct. 11, Adelman will perform an abbreviated version of her play at the annual candlelight walk/vigil sponsored by Time Out.
She based her play on her own life, as an exercise in acting school.
"It evolved, as I needed to understand the event as more than just artistic expression," she said.
Adelman grew up in Brooklyn with her "Jewish-wanna-be-Italian father" and her "eclectic, bohemian artist mother who took me all over the world" and who introduced her to the plays of Shakespeare.
Then tragedy ended an eccentric childhood.
"Twelve years ago, my father shot and killed my mother, then married my mother's sister within a month," she said.
Betrayal, loss and rage were just a few of the emotions she had to deal with.
Adelman's brother immediately wanted to sue for wrongful death, but she could not face losing both parents in the same night.
It would be seven years before the two reconciled.
"I play 10 characters in Hamlet and I learn more about my parents with each performance," Adelman said.
After each performance, she holds a question-and-answer session.
"Hearing that my story has begun the healing process in the lives of others keeps me going," she said.
"Ultimately the play is about the continuing process of forgiveness and how I became stronger as I moved through the shame to empowerment," she said.
"Forgiveness is absolutely not about condoning the actions. It is releasing the resentment holding you to the circumstance," Adelman said.
Gerry Bailey, Time Out's executive director saw "My Brooklyn Hamlet" at the Domestic Violence Coalition in the Valley and was determined to bring the show to Payson.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
People who wish to walk in the Candlelight Vigil need to meet in the parking lot at Town hall at 5:45 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 11.
At 6 p.m. they will walk to the fellowship hall at First Southern Baptist Church for refreshments, "My Brooklyn Hamlet" and a question and answer session.
For more information on the walk, call Time Out at 472-8007.
Adelman's Website is: www.brendaadelman.com.