Music by Morgan Hollingsworth
Book and Lyrics by Lori Ada Jaroslow
LENNA is a coming of age story about Lenna Harris, who finds herself at twenty-five years old, homeless, and grappling with heroin addiction. When she was six years old, her alcoholic father, Cameron, was forced to leave home, and her mother, Mae, prevented him from contacting Lenna. Lenna clutches to her resentments toward both of her parents who she feels wronged her in different ways. Lenna also felt replaced by her brother Alex, whom Mae adopted from foster care.
By the time Lenna was sixteen, her using was in full swing. One day, high as a kite, she killed the family pet bird, Chirpy, whom her mother revered. Devastated, she fled. After seven years of being on the street, she returns to her hometown and sets up camp in the town park. Lenna does not yet know that Mae is ravaged by the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Though friends and family try to help, Lenna is ultimately the only one who can decide to address her addiction.
Drug addiction affects all kinds of people, from Park Avenue to park bench. We hope that this piece demonstrates that addiction is not a crime but a disease, and while the road to recovery is difficult, there is a solution.
"Flashback #1" - Young Lenna, Mae, & Chirpy: As Lenna and Mae play with their beloved bird, Chirpy, Mae introduces the idea of the family adopting another child. Cameron, drunk and belligerent, returns home.
"Will I Know Her" - Cameron: Cameron learns that his daughter, Lenna, whom he hasn’t seen in years, is strung out and living in the town park. Terrified of what he will find, he goes to the park to looking for her.
"Bugs" - Lenna: Cameron arranges for Lenna to see a doctor. The doctor tries to get information from Lenna about her drug use so she can make a proper diagnosis. They learn that Lenna is pregnant.
"Without You" - Young Lenna, Young Jordan, & Chirpy: Chirpy eavesdrops, while Young Lenna and Young Jordan vacillate between doing algebra, drinking stolen blackberry brandy, and making out. Young Jordan brings pills that she took from her Dad, who is a surgeon. She and Lenna take an opiate together for the first time.
"Snow" - Mae: Mae is deep in the throes of Alzheimer’s disease. She finds herself wandering the snowy streets, barefoot and in a nightgown as she grapples with the loss of her family.