“Hold, Please!” is a dramatic look at what happens when someone has to take a step back from life, even if it’s just for a moment, to get the help that they need. The staged reading play is about how someone had to deal with his depression and the fact that he took a pause from life to get the help he needed, which included a support system ranging from his family to his mentor.
This is Corey Lipkins Jr.’s story.
Lipkins is a fourth-year in theatre who created the play and will star in it as himself.
“Three semesters ago, I fell into a deep dark depression, and at the start of that semester, I had three roles in the school’s Shakespeare tour and a lead in a short film. I mean I had a lot going on that I was super proud of,” he said.
However, when his depression hit, Lipkins had to drop his schedule and everything that he was doing and seek treatment.
“The play takes a look at what nobody knew, they just saw me disappear after seeing a couple of bags under my eyes and maybe seeing me cry once or twice. So, this is my way of saying, ‘I know you want to know what happened, I know you want to know why a week before the show, I left town,’ and this is a creation of that,” Lipkins said.
The play will feature actors and fellow friends that Lipkins himself hand picked for each role, serving as a testament to his support system.
“It was either ‘I love you,’ ‘I trust you,’ or ‘I respect you,’ or a combination of the three. Each of the people in this, I have a level of respect, love or just like for. I chose them because I said, ‘I know you can play this best friend, I know you can be my sister.’ It’s a very, in my opinion, authentic piece,” he said.
One of the actors in the play is Akia Williams, a third-year in theatre. She plays Lipkins’ sister, Courtney.
“I completely didn’t know (what happened) until reading the play so it’s interesting as well to know that that was happening at that time. I’m honored to play someone that he can confide in,” Williams said.
Another cast member is Brandi Lyons, a second-year in theatre, playing the role of Lipkins’ best friend.
“I found the story different because I was one of the people who constantly contacted Corey while he was gone and I never got a response back. So not knowing exactly what he was going through during that time and seeing it on stage and playing the role comes easy and getting the connection wasn’t hard,” Lyons said.
Lipkins said he hopes the play is positive and that it properly thanks all who helped him.
“I think the most important thing to know is I’m okay now, and I’m telling this story for a reason and as tribute to my support system, to my family and loved ones and to God Almighty. It’s not about, ‘Oh, can I show you what I did?’ I want to show you who helped me get back to the Ohio State University, how I got here and what faith is all about,” Lipkins said.
“Hold, Please!” will have two performances in the New Works Lab, located at the Drake Performance and Event Center on Monday and Tuesday at 7 p.m.