At the end of every day, many of us go home, have dinner, and then turn on the television leaving it on for the rest of the night. Flipping channels becomes an art as we look for a show to relate to or laugh along with. It’s interesting to me that one of television’s most prolific comedy writers, Trish Vrandenburg (Designing Women, Kate & Allie, Family Ties), turned to writing a play to tell of her most deeply personal experiences in being a caregiver to her mother, who battled Alzheimer’s disease.

Maybe it’s a good thing that a comedy writer decided to put her pen to work to help others better understand the ups and downs of caring for someone you love who has Alzheimer’s. There are certainly many in this country facing the challenge of dealing with a loved one suffering from dementia. According to the latest figures from the Alzheimer’s Association, some 15.5 million Americans care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease.

Vradenburg’s original stage play, Surviving Grace, is coming to Clowes Memorial Hall at Butler University on Friday, November 14 at 7:30 pm. A star-studded cast will be reading Act One of the play. Many of the cast members will be familiar faces, not surprisingly from television and radio, including Marilu Henner (Taxi), NPR’s Diane Rehm, Loni Anderson (WKRP in Cincinnati), Robert Foxworth (Falcon Crest), Indianapolis businesswoman, Alpha Blackburn, and Indianapolis television news veterans Ray Cortopassi and Anne Ryder.

November 14th might be one Friday night that you change what you watch and head to Clowes Hall to watch a live reading of Surviving Grace instead of a pre-recorded television program.