Some plays are seeds and some are stones.
Seeds are the ones that grow and change over the course of their stage time — and maybe, in the minds of those who see them, forever.
Stones are the ones that always remain exactly what they are. They never expand but can still knock you out.
“Accidentally Brave,” which opened on Monday, is a stone. Not just for us but also for its author, Maddie Corman, giving a riveting performance, mostly as herself. The real-life situation she has endured over the past four years, and replays eight times a week at the DR2 Theater, still hangs on her heart. It may always.
Or as she puts it with ingratiating humor: “Just before we start this journey — oh my God, I hate the word ‘journey’ — O.K., before we start this ‘thing,’ I should let you know I am not O.K.”
The “thing” began, as far as Ms. Corman knew, in the summer of 2015. Driving to a television soundstage in Brooklyn at 5 a.m. to tape an episode of “a semi-terrible TV show,” she received a frantic call from her home in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. While in the background her 11-year-old twin boys cry, her 16-year-old daughter shrieks in terror. Police are there and are “taking Dad’s computer.”
Dad was, and is, Jace Alexander, a director known for his work on “Law & Order.” As BuzzFeed reported, investigators who entered the couple’s house that day recovered files from Mr. Alexander’s devices “that showed minors engaged in sexual acts.”
What happens when your husband of 17 years, your “best person,” your “friend and confidant and true-blue love” — not to mention your children’s father, who sings songs at the piano and listens to NPR — turns out to be a compulsive consumer of child pornography?
“Accidentally Brave” recounts Ms. Corman’s shame and confusion as every prop beneath her warm, stable, suburban life gets knocked out. Nor does the emotional chaos end after Mr. Alexander completes a 45-day rehab for sex addiction and is sentenced, in 2016, to 10 years’ probation. Though he was never accused of touching any child inappropriately, he must also register as a sex offender.