From the beginning of time man has always expressed himself through art forms and left those messages here for us to learn of their being here. Numerous studies have demonstrated a correlation between drama involvement and academic achievement. Research also confirms that involvement in the arts increases student engagement, can play a significant role in the continual development of students’ reading comprehension skills, and has been shown to improve students’ self-esteem as well as their confidence In addition to building social and communication skills overall.

In addition, art is a form of life, the self is an art form, and without the arts we have no culture. We view our role as facilitators, as way-showers, and we jumped at the opportunity to treat our BOSS peer leaders to the Los Angeles premiere of Neal Bell’s darkly comic drama, Cold Sweat. Directed by Andrew Wood, Cold Sweat deals with topics that will are astoundingly familiar to inner city youngsters: hardship. In the play we meet Alice Franklin, a combat surgeon, who faces death and dying every day as a stream of broken soldiers are brought to her operating room. one character struggles with wartime trauma and suffers from PTSD.  Another character plots to avoid the pointless suffering from her terminal illness.

Inspired in part by the life of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, Bell’s remarkable play finds humor in the unlikeliest places even as it pitches our modern scientific skepticism against its eternal nemesis — faith. Beneath the wisecracks and the gallows humor, though, a powerful undertow of grief lends gravity to the otherwise comic proceedings.

Neal Bell’s plays, including Spatter Pattern (Edgar Award), Monster, Two Small Bodies, Raw Youth, Cold Sweat, Ready For The River, Sleeping Dogs, Ragged Dick, On The Bum, and Somewhere In The Pacific, have appeared at Playwrights Horizons and Classic Stage Company in New York, and at regional theaters including Berkeley Repertory, Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, and Actors Theater of Louisville, where his ten-minute play Out the Window was a co-winner of the 1990 Heideman Award. Mr. Bell has been a playwright-in-residence at the Yale School of Drama, and has taught playwriting at New York University, Playwrights Horizons Theater School, and the 42nd Street Collective. He is currently a member of the Theater Department faculty at Duke University. A recipient of fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment and the Guggenheim Foundation, Mr. Bell was awarded an Obie Award in 1992 for sustained achievement in playwriting. His adaptation of Emile Zola’s Therese Raquin was recently made into the major feature film In Secret, starring Jessica Lange and Oscar Isaac.