Father's play, inspired by son's heroin overdose, opens on local stage this weekend
By Frances Weller| January 12, 2018 at 5:18 PM EST - Updated August 14 at 8:45 AM
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT)
Ken Vest has been intrigued by drama all of his life. He studied theater in college five decades ago. But never in his wildest dreams did he ever imagine he would write a play inspired by his son's drug overdose.
Vest's son, Jesse, died of a heroin overdose in 2012 in San Francisco. The sudden loss thrust Vest and his wife into the middle of the opioid crisis; a world filled with pain and grief.
Through the heartache, Vest was inspired to write a play.
"I wrote Inside Job after my son Jesse died of a heroin overdose. I wanted to raise awareness, warning people that it can happen to them -- to anyone, anytime, anywhere," says Vest.
Inside Job tells the story of Will and Abby Mason, a couple whose lives are shattered when their son, Wyatt, dies of a heroin overdose. Abby grieves and seeks comfort as Will secretly plots revenge against the dealer who sold his son the fatal drugs.
In real life, it didn't quite happen that way. Vest admits he did call a number he found in his son's phone after his death. He talked to a man he believes was one of his son's drug dealers, but he never sought revenge.
"While there are echoes of what my wife Sue and son Jeremy experienced, I held the characters and plot at arm’s length," Vest explains.
While the play is fictional, the storyline is real, affecting thousands of American families across the country.
Vest would like to see this play travel far beyond the Wilmington area. He believes it will help other families and communities dealing with drug addiction.
Inside Job will be offered to community theaters in cities and towns where the heroin crisis is most acute, Vest adds.
The play will be performed at Cape Fear Playhouse Jan. 11-14, and Jan. 18-21.
Tickets are available at Big Dawg Productions. For more information, click here.