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Role Play: Production at Kavinoky Theatre is a Frank Look at Addiction and Recovery

 “Never in my life have my worlds collided so profoundly.” 

 That’s what Aleks Malejs says about her role in People, Places & Things by Duncan Macmillan, opening Thursday, May 5 at The D’Youville Kavinoky Theatre.

Aleks Malejs, CARC, CPRA, CASAC-T, is a Recovery Coach and Program Support for Save the Michaels of the World.  Aleks chose to dedicate herself to the helping professions after navigating her own unhealthy relationship with substances and her journey into recovery.  In May of 2022, Aleks celebrates 10 years of continuous sobriety after nearly 15 years of battling her own addiction to drugs and alcohol.   She is passionate about holding the light for others as they find their way.

Aleks is also a professional actor.  She has both a Master’s and a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts.  Aleks spent a decade in NYC pursuing her craft and landed in back in Buffalo in 2013.  Aleks has had a tremendous acting career in Buffalo since her arrival.  She has been a featured actor on The D’Youville Kavinoky Stage, at Irish Classical Theatre Company, and has a standing relationship with West Herr Automotive Group as a spokesperson.

Along with her Recovery Coach and Program Support duties at Save the Michaels of the World, Aleks is currently being featured in People, Places & Things, a play ABOUT addiction and recovery.  Aleks walks us through the journey of a woman struggling with substances who finds her way into treatment.  “The play and my life, have so many similarities,” Aleks said. “It is an honor to portray someone who is suffering with addiction after her own struggles with substances.  I understand her.  Because I am her.”

This is truly a special production.  “I want to stand tall as a person in recovery.  Not only in the show but in real life.  To start having the challenging conversations around what this disease is and who it affects.  It’s not just THOSE PEOPLE.  Addiction does not discriminate.  It’s teachers, judges, doctors, politicians.  It can happen to anyone.  I also want to stand as a beacon of hope.  That recovery IS possible,” said Aleks.

Aleks feels so blessed to have been called to service at Save the Michaels and to have the opportunity to be a part of this production.  She said, “This play really does an impeccable job depicting the mess and chaos of substance use disorder while at the same time embracing hope and change.”

People, Places and Things runs from May 5 to May 22 in Buffalo. For information and tickets visit  Spectrum Health is proud to participate with Horizon Health Services by providing community resources before the Thursday evening performances.

Trigger Warning

This play depicts active use of multiple substances on stage and speaks of death and suicide.


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