BACKGROUND: In My Heart: The Adoption Story Project began in 2014 in collaboration with 200+ people in the adoption community sharing their true stories with Wonderlust Productions. In 2016, the play, written and directed by Alan Berks and Leah Cooper, was performed to enthusiastic, sold-out audiences at Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis, MN by a 34-member cast and live band, including professional actors and members of the adoption community.
The graphic novel, adapted from the play, reflects a full spectrum of community perspectives ranging from adoptees to social workers, adoptive parents to birth parents, foster families, and beyond. Contributors span the ages of 14 to 80 and include voices from the African American, Native American, and Korean American communities. This book explores adoption and its complexities--examining concepts of family and intersecting with issues in society related to law, class, and identity.
BOOK DESCRIPTION: Alice is getting married, and her sister Jen is returning from Korea to be with her. But when they meet Lewis’s parents at the engagement party, the realities of adoption send them down the rabbit hole— where the feelings they’ve tried to ignore come to life in fantastical forms. Based on and including the true stories of adoptees, adoptive parents, birth parents, social workers, and siblings, In My Heart captures the delight and darkness of an experience that touches one in three people. It will change forever how you think about family.
Wonderlust Productions is a multicultural, multidisciplinary ensemble of professional artists that collaborates directly with diverse local communities – those who are essential to society but whose stories are often ignored or misunderstood – to forge new ways of seeing our common experiences by creating new art that transforms the past into a better future.
Alan Berks is co-Artistic Director of Wonderlust Productions and a writer, director, and teacher. His many plays include Goats, Almost Exactly Like Us, #ringtone, 3 Parts Dead, Complicated Fun, and others which have been seen around the country. He is an affiliated writer at the Playwrights’ Center in Minnesota and co-created Thirst Theater, the Workhaus Collective, and MinnesotaPlaylist.com. More information at alanberks.com
Leah Cooper, an adoptee and co-Artistic Director of Wonderlust Productions, has been directing, producing, and managing in theater for over 30 years. She was the first Executive Director of the MN Theater Alliance, co-founding partner at MNPlaylist.com, and Executive Director at the MN Fringe Festival. Leah is also a freelance director, facilitator, and consultant in community engagement and organizational development, and a frequent director for the Breaking Ice (diversity and inclusion) program at Pillsbury House & Theatre.
Becca Hart is an illustrator and avid comic book fan in Minnesota. She is the illustrator of several children’s books and helps others bring their stories to life with her work at a publishing house, Beaver’s Pond Press. When she’s not drawing, Hart performs with professional theaters in the Twin Cities. She is honored to work with Alan, Leah, the cast of In My Heart, and Wonderlust Productions as they bring this story to print. She hopes that it spreads awareness of the adoption experience in America. For more on Hart’s adventures in illustration and theater, visit www.BeccaHart.org.