A Great Staged Reading

Friday night, I performed in a staged reading of a new play, adapted from an original screenplay by Dr. Lee Markowitz, called A Family Matter.  I played the role of Jack who goes on a hunger strike in a desperate attempt, as he sees it, to save his daughter.  The script has enormous subtext, especially regarding Jack's troubled relationship with his wife.  It's a story that, on the surface, seems to have a simple anti-smoking message, but on a deeper level looks at the familial bonds that matter most in life.

Here's an official description of the play from one of the producers: "It is a story about a modern american family in danger of losing their way -- the pressures on teenagers from peers and media, a husband and wife dealing with the erosion of trust and affection through the routines of life. It is also a story about a father recognizing the life-threatening dangers of his daughter's smoking, and his willingness to risk his own life to prevent it. The piece asks us to examine not only the strength of our beliefs, but what our roles are in other people's lives. Set in 1999, it is even more relevant today, as it recognizes and salutes the power of family."

My fellow actors were superb, some of whom I've had the chance to work with before, and others with whom I was acting for the first time -- Jennifer E. Cohen, Alaina Lauren, Mariajesus Valdes, Keith Maxwell, David Ryan, Timothy Rodriguez, Danielle Nichole Tyler, Jen Yip, and Kevin Clancy. 

The production was directed by my good friend Thomas Patrick Clancy and the audience was extremely enthusuastic and supportive.  I've written about the positive role that staged readings play in the creative process, and this experience was a perfect example of that.