BACKGROUND ON BOOK:
In My Heart: The Adoption Story Project began in 2014 in collaboration with more than 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 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.
“Inspiring, emotional, and magical!”
“It helped me look at my experience of adoption in a whole new way.“
“Renders the subtle nuances of the search for identity, the need to be loved, and the longing to be grounded and connected to something we can each call our own.”
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.
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.
Leah Cooper is co-Artistic Director of Wonderlust Productions and 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 the illustrator of several children’s books and loves to create original pieces, portraits, and gifts for various clientele. She keeps to the world of books throughout her day, helping others bring their stories to life with her work at an independent publishing house, Beaver’s Pond Press. A graduate of St. Olaf College, Hart holds a double major in English and Visual Art. When she’s not drawing or assisting authors, Hart performs with the multitude of professional theaters in Saint Paul and Minneapolis, which brought her into connection with Wonderlust Productions. www.BeccaHart.org.
ABOUT WONDERLUST PRODUCTIONS:
Founded in 2014, Wonderlust Productions brings together members of communities whose stories are often ignored or misunderstood and collaborates with them from the beginning of the idea until the final performance, to create a truly inclusive interaction that privileges both authenticity and artistry and instigates education, entertainment, conversation, and transformation.