LEE COUNTY, Fla.- A play begins Wednesday night in Lee County, about the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. "Pass it on: An evening with Bill W. and Dr. Bob" begins a five-day run at the Lee Alliance for the Arts.
"This is really the driving force in my life, to spread the message of recovery," said the play's author, Gary Kimble.
On stage, Kimble plays Bill W., the man who carried the message to Dr. Bob, in the 1930's in Akron, Ohio. Together, these two self-proclaimed 'helpless drunks' formulated the 12-step program that remains the foundation of many recovery programs today.
"Bill W. was a bona-fide genius. He was driven by his alcoholic personality, and based on that, and on things that happened in his younger life. He always had to be the number one man in everything he did," said Kimble. "He really was the perfect person to found Alcoholics Anonymous, because he saw how things fit together and he was determined to make things work."
Will Stutts plays Dr. Bob.
"This is a play that can really change peoples' lives. Not many plays can do that," he told WINK News. "I am not an alcoholic myself, but like most people, I have been touched by relatives who are, or were, addicted. It affects just about everyone in this country in one way or another."
Kimble is a recovering alcoholic. He is proud to open a tour of the play in Fort Myers, in September, which is national recovery month.
"Addiction to drugs and alcohol have reached pandemic proportions globally. Here in the U.S., it is our number one public health issue. It's the number one killer of Americans. AA offers hope, and a real path to getting sober and staying that way," says Kimble.
The play runs through Sunday at the Alliance for the Arts, near Colonial and McGregor.