Outside Edge Theatre Company is deeply saddened to hear of the death of Sonya Hale after a long battle with cancer. Sonya was our much-loved Associate Theatre Facilitator and Write Now facilitator.
Sonya first participated with Outside Edge ten years ago when we toured a production to a drug and alcohol treatment facility where she was a client. In the final moments of the play about a woman choosing recovery over addiction, she stood up and said, “That’s me! That’s my life!!”
Over the next decade, Sonya attended Outside Edge’s drama workshops for people in recovery, performed in our productions, started writing plays and became an acclaimed playwright with commissions from major theatre companies. Throughout, her compassion and care for those facing the challenges of addiction made her a champion and leader within the wider Recovery Community.
In 2016 Sonya designed and led Write Now, which is Outside Edge’s weekly script writing group for people in recovery. Over the last four and a half years she channelled her immense talent and infectious passion into this unique recovery maintenance activity that has provided a creative outlet and emotional support for hundreds of people.
Matt Steinberg, Artistic Director of Outside Edge Theatre Company writes:
“The immense loss of Sonya Hale is felt by everyone at Outside Edge. She embodied the positive change that is possible through recovery and the power creativity has to transform lives. She was an incredible inspiration to the service users whom she supported and a great friend to other members of staff.
When you walked into a Write Now session there was a palpable feeling of admiration directed towards Sonya. She believed that everyone had a story to tell and that every writer’s voice was unique. Her enthusiasm and optimism inspired people to put pen to paper and begin a journey to heal themselves with words.
Even as her health began to fail, Sonya’s commitment to supporting people’s recovery and her drive to create theatre did not waver. Her talent as a writer and determination to make work that would change the world were blazing forces to be reckoned with. She was the best kind of artist: someone whose convictions you both feared and cherished at the same time.
Although I am terribly sad to have lost such a great friend, creative collaborator and object of my own constant admiration, I am nonetheless privileged to have learned so much from Sonya and grateful to have had so many moments of joy with my cheeky and fiercely intelligent pal. I take comfort in the knowledge that Sonya’s beautiful words live on and the power of her recovery has passed into every person she supported.
Over the last ten years Outside Edge service users, staff and Trustees, and our loyal supporters and friends, have loved and celebrated Sonya’s awesome achievements. I speak for everyone at Outside Edge when I say that her lasting impact is immeasurable, but thanks to the resilience she helped foster in countless people, her legacy will continue to be felt for years to come.”
Everyone at Outside Edge Theatre Company sends their condolences and love to Sonya’s family and friends at this terribly sad time.
Outside Edge service users and staff affected by this news will be offered support over the coming weeks.
In the meantime, service users, staff and friends, are encouraged to send us your memories and condolence messages, which we will collate and send to Sonya’s family and friends. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your message.