Manayunk play tells story of abuse survival

Rarely do survivors of child abuse and molestation decide to share their stories with many others — let alone on a theater platform. But one local woman will soon take her harrowing survival story to the stage in order to raise awareness about the issue of abuse.

Stacy Minor, of Wynnewood, celebrated her 46th birthday this past weekend. She’s the inspiration for“OliviaLost & Turned Out”—a stage play that will debut Saturday at the Venice Island Theater in Manayunk.

“As a young girl, I grew up with physical and sexual abuse in my house — I was abused by a family member, moved to another family member’s house and was sexually abused,” she said during a recent interview.

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“Growing up, I let that kind of define me. I started doing drugs — cocaine, smoking weed. I did some prostitution down on 3rd Street, and it’s because I didn’t feel good about myself,” she said.

Written and directed by Charron Monaye, “Olivia,” the re-named character ofMinor, endures the same, real-life hardshipsMinorsaid she endured in her youth. The character was molested by a family member, takes beatings from her mother, and turns to drugs and prostitution to both cope and make ends meet.

The show came together through talks betweenMinorand executive producer Franchella Maria Simmons, a longtime friend and associate.

Simmons andMinormet up one night at a social event on the Main Line several years ago.

“Stacy came to me and said that my face and name just kept popping up in her head and that she needed me to help her get her story out,” said Simmons.

“She had asked me to help her write a book, but I’m a visual person, as so my first thought was, let’s do a movie.”

Economically, the play came first. Three years later, “Olivia,” was born. Simmons said she’s pitching it to Lifetime and other television networks to take it further.

“The main goal is to help someone else — someone that is going through some type of abuse — so they’ll find some healing,” said Simmons.

“So they’ll know there’s other people out there, that they’re not alone and they can get some help.”

Ontaria “Kim” Wilson, playsMinorin the play. She said she had to internalize a lot of difficult emotions.

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“You kind of have to allow yourself to wonder, ‘If that ever happened to me, how would I deal with it?’ Even down to the actual molestation and the sexual violation — mentally and physically — I even allowed myself to feel some of that,” she said.

“So, there are portions of it where I deal with post-traumatic stress disorder, in order to really embody that, I had to allow myself to travel there. So, it was very interesting.”

“I could not live my life the way it is today if I did not forgive them,”Minorsaid of the people she said hurt her.

“To this day, we have good relationships — it’s not perfect, but it’s good … Most victims tend to blame themselves and then what I did was, when I joined the church, I realized how much God loved me and how much I needed to love myself and turn my life around.”