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Sunday, October 1, 2023


Breast cancer story triumphs

When you are young and invulnerable, breast cancer is the furthest thing from your mind until you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a potentially life-threatening disease. Then what?

On Friday night, Stages Repertory Theatre in conjunction with the Pink Ribbon Project, responded with Unbeatable. Unbeatable explores one woman’s battle against breast cancer and its far-reaching effects on her friends and family.

Tracy Boyd (Kristy Cates) is an unsuspecting, middle-aged woman whose life revolves around a lukewarm cup of coffee, a cell phone and an efficient use of time. Tracy ignores a lump in her breast for an entire year because she doesn’t have enough time for herself, and she is forever changed by the mismanagement of her health.

This production probably sounds heavy and burdensome, and at times is, but it’s also funny, and that’s what makes it a must-see. Unbeatable addresses treatment options, chemotherapy and the ever-growing list of medication with songs that make light of otherwise dismal subject matter.

Some of the play’s more serious moments include musical numbers like "Follow the Light" and "Queen of the Trial." The songs, which come on the heel of bad news, reaffirm Tracy’s lowly.

Unbeatable moves beyond the obvious and comments on love and life. Healthy relationships become strained, a self-sufficient woman must learn to depend on others and Tracy begins to lose her sense of self as things run amuck. Tracy’s character epitomizes the every woman.

Actress Charity Dawson, who also plays a woman battling cancer, said, "For people who have cancer and have survived cancer, they say, ‘this is my story; they understand, (but) you can have anything going on in your life and the message still gets you."

Cancer does not discriminate and neither does Unbeatable. The production is aimed at people of any race, age and background. It tackles breast cancer in ways few others have, and continues to be sincere and informative without being preachy.

Dawson said, "I’m 24, and I feel changed as a result of this piece. It’s not just about cancer. It’s about life, taking advantage of every moment. No matter what time I have, I’m gonna make every moment count," Dawson said.

Laurie Frey, on whom Unbeatable is based, collaborated with Michael Barnard for production.

Unbeatable runs from Sept. 3-28. For more information visit

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