CHAMELEON – A Story of Abuse, Addiction, Incarceration and Triumph

CAA_Chameleon promoCINCINNATI – Things can happen in childhood that set us on a collision course with life.

Lucretia Bowman has collided hard with life. She was placed in foster care at birth, abused as a child, and placed in a mental hospital. She became a runaway, and turned to a life of drugs and crime, spending 17 years in prison. Despite all that – perhaps because of all that – she has become an inspirational leader, helping women and men overcome life-controlling behaviors through the long-term residential recovery program at City Gospel Mission as VP of Recovery.

Now, her story of triumph is being told through a one-woman play – CHAMELEON – performed by L. Rene Christian of NuLyphe Performing Arts. It will run at the Aronoff Center Fifth Third Bank Theater August 9-11.

The play is based off Bowman’s book “Breaking the Cycle of Self-Abuse,” and chronicles Bowman’s childhood to the climactic moment where she makes a challenging decision to be free from it all.

Says Christian, who works for Cincinnati Public Schools where she teaches theatre and dance: “Reading Lucretia’s book led to me creating an interpretive dance which I performed for 10 years. That blossomed into the idea for a play. I wanted to show the change that happens as someone adapts to each environment – just like a chameleon does. I’m honored to tell the story of her amazing journey.”

In 1992, Bowman started a ministry for women that has since helped hundreds overcome prison, addiction, prostitution and domestic violence. She joined City Gospel Mission in 1997 and has since expanded the program to include men.

Says Bowman: “I tell those in recovery at City Gospel Mission, ‘The two most important days in your lives are the day you were born and the day you realize the reason why they were born.’ In 1997, I realized one day I was born for this. And that all of my broken parts were going to be put back together to help others.”

Media members are invited to the dress rehearsal, Wednesday, Aug. 7 at 6 p.m. Christian, Bowman, and men and women in addiction recovery at City Gospel Mission are available for interviews after the performance.

An expert panel will hold a Q&A about the play’s themes following each performance.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at A portion of the proceeds benefit the men and women in addiction recovery at City Gospel Mission.

The play is made possible by the Cincinnati Arts Association Education & Community Engagement Department and the Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

WHAT: Chameleon

WHEN: Aug. 9, 7 p.m.; Aug. 10, 3 p.m.; Aug. 11, 3 p.m.

WHERE: Aronoff Center Fifth Third Bank Theater (650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202)

An excerpt from the book, photos, and video for broll can be downloaded at:

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