Add Verb Productions was founded in 1999, and incorporated as a non-profit in 2003 with the mission of health and wellness education through provocative theatre performances. In 2011 Add Verb moved to the University of New England’s Westbrook College of Health Professions and was able to elevate the programming to international attention. As of May 31, 2014, Add Verb’s programs are available through third parties who have licensed for production rights, through published materials, or through open-source channels.
Our focus is on providing health and wellness education to middle schools, high schools, colleges, and communities. Our programs are also used at professional conferences and as continuing education for the medical community.
Add Verb Productions was founded by a US-based (Maine) teacher, playwright, and social activist Cathy Plourde. Her early work as an independent artist facilitating theatre workshops and writing commissioned plays for regional girls’ conferences prompted her to write The Thin Line, a play about understanding eating disorders, in 2000. Having toured nationally to rave reviews, its success inspired a subsequent play about dating violence prevention, You the Man which has been culturally adapted for use in Australia. Several commissioned works were created over the years, notably the Maine Women’s Fund’s Money Talks, a play about women, girls and money which is available in two versions (45 minutes, 10 actors, 5 puppets; 20 minutes, 2 actor minimum, 4 puppets) and When Turtles Make Love (Planned Parenthood of Northern New England), a comedic look at how parents educate their children about sex and sexuality. Another project addressing domestic violence, which was funded by The Bingham Program began as a stage play called Major Medical Breakthrough: the healthcare sector and domestic violence and has been converted to a series of video segments suitable for training medical professions about their role in detecting and addressing violence in the lives of their patients.
The Out & Allied Project, which received funding from a range of sources including the National Recreation Foundation, the Maine Community Foundation’s Equity Fund, and chiefly the Mukti Fund, represents Add Verb’s commitment to not only providing quality performance material but to serving to strengthen communities. Primarily youth driven, Plourde has presented workshops and trainings around the US on script development for cultivating allies for LGBTQ youth. The book trailer highlights performance that was featured on MTV (2008, YOUTHINK documentaries, Jamie McLeod). Volume 1 (2011) was selected by the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance (2012) for Best Anthology, and was noted by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance Magazine. Out & Allied Volume 2 (2014) has been heavily distributed through out Maine as well as within the Pride Youth Theatre Alliance, whose membership is heavily represented in the volumes.
While in residence at the University of New England, Plourde made many contributions to the university’s Center for Excellence in Interprofessional Education in using arts in core competencies training of health professionals.
To date, Add Verb’s programs have reached more than 200,000 people in 35 states and internationally.