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Martin Sheen to address addiction in one-night play reading at Geffen Playhouse

May 18, 2011 | 11:46 am

Sheen Addiction is something the Sheen family has had to grapple with this year in the full glare of tabloid lights. Charlie Sheen's public meltdown has been blamed on drink, drugs and other forms of wild excess. His prolonged battle has prompted his father, Martin Sheen, to comment that "this disease of addiction is a form of cancer." The elder Sheen is himself no stranger to the illness, having spoken in the past about being a member of Alcoholics Anonymous.

In June, Martin Sheen will star in a one-night reading of the play "Bill W. and Dr. Bob" -- a drama about the founding of AA -- at the Geffen Playhouse. The reading is scheduled to take place June 27 and will be a joint fundraiser for the Geffen and Hazelden, a nonprofit addiction treatment center. Tickets to the reading range from $75 to $250 and include a post-show Q&A and more.

The play, written by Samuel Shem and Janet Surry, will be directed by Jenny Sullivan. The drama has been produced at regional theaters around the country, including an L.A. staging in 2003 at Theatre 68. The play ran off-Broadway in 2007 at the New World Stages.

Organizers said that the Geffen reading will be the kickoff of a new effort to support a national touring company of the play, which would travel to college campuses "to fight the epidemic of binge drinking and provide scholarships to youth for treatment at Hazelden."

The play is also expected to return to New York in 2012.

Martin Sheen's previous L.A. stage appearance was in last year's revival of "The Subject Was Roses" at the Mark Taper Forum.

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-- David Ng

Photos, from top: Martin Sheen (credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times); the Geffen Playhouse (credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

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