www.ptmcplaywriting.com - CUSTODY 12th NIGHTed Slippery LEARs VariedLives sExtOrtiOn etc.






























VSC, Johnson, Vermont Destined to Be 
March 2018 Home for ptmcplaywriting

Happily announcing, I and by extension ptmcplaywriting have been awarded a March 2018 four week Fellowship Residency at the Vermont Studio Center, the largest international artists' and writers' residency program in the United States.

From VSC:  "Thank you for your application & congratulations on your fellowship award. Your work was selected by our distinguished jurors from a highly competitive applicant pool, and we're thrilled to invite you to join us."


  • Our exciting new website
  • More about all the selections from the ptmcplaywriting menu
  • NPX New Play Exchange sites for the plays
  • Individual websites for all of the plays
  • Pinterest sites for all of the plays
  • Visit http://ptmcplaywriting.weebly.com soon



CUSTODY Reviews

http://www.theaterscene.net/plays/offbway-plays/custody/joel-benjamin/

CUSTODY review OuterStage by Rachel Rocano July 2017


CUSTODY review DramaQueensReviews by Turan Koyuncu July 2017







CUSTODY Arrangements Set

CUSTODY granted its hearing for July 2017
Arrangements set for ALL OUT ARTS Fresh Fruit Festival
Monday July 10 @ 8pm
Thursday July 13 @ 7pm
Sunday July 16, @ 4pm
The Wild Project 195 East 3rd St @ Ave B, NYC

CUSTODY awarded $1,000 DCLA/LMCC grant


CUSTODY 2017 Summer Festival Showcase 
Crowd source funding campaign completed on HATCHFUND  















CUSTODY 2017 cast & staff

*Anne Pasquale as Shannon
*Keith Herron as Peter
Sam Durant Hunter as Brendan
*Drew Bolander as Ted
Melly Lou by Chris Fields as Melly Lou
Patrick Aran as Director
Casey Ecker as Stage Manager
Nate Siregar as Props Manager
Susan Cook as Costume Coordinator/Designer

* Member AEA Actors Equity Association
CUSTODY is an AEA Festival Showcase


CUSTODY AWARDED CREATIVE ENGAGEMENT GRANT

The DCLA [Dept. of Cultural Affairs] & Lower Manhattan Cultural Council [LMCC] have awarded CUSTODY a Creative Engagement Grant for Summer 2017.  The $1,000 grant will double actor stipends from those previously offered by ptmcplaywriting.com for summer festival production. The other half of the stipend will still need to come from crowd sourcing.

CUSTODY is made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement / Creative Learning, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. LMCC.net


CUSTODY at the
ALL OUT ARTS
Fresh Fruit Festival
July 2017


CUSTODY Opening Night Photo Album





And Thank Yous All Around
Sunday March 5, 2017
@ TAI The Actors Institute NYC
Staged Reading with Audience Feedback
with
Anne Pasquale as Shannon
Keith Herron as Peter
Mick Bleyer as Brendan
Drew Bolander as Ted
&
Melly Lou by Chris Fields



Thanks for Being 
Part of the 1st  & 2nd 
CUSTODY hearings...







Sunday January 15, 2017 
@ TAI The Actors Institute
NYC

Sam Durant Hunter as Brendan
Anne Pasquale as Shannon
Gregory Pragel as Ted
Keith Herron as Peter
Liz McMonagle ... Stage Directions 
and
 Melly Lou by Chris Fields

Thanks for Putting us on your Docket....

 
Many thanks on Thanksgiving
to the Cast of the 1st In House
Reading of CUSTODY
Sunday Nov 20, 2016
with
Sam Durant Hunter as BRENDAN
Anne Pasquale as SHANNON
Keith Herron as PETER
Chris Fields as TED
and
Dianne Tack...Stage Directions


CUSTODY
3 men pursue 1 woman
for CUSTODY of their children, memories & photo albums
Chickens come home to roost &
America's only child with Dutch Elm Disease
plays a starring role in a sub-urban apartment with 3 exits & 1 closet
Who's coming out & who's going in?
Now, with a complete & timely overhaul, 
CUSTODY will open as many doors as it slams shut.



for more information ....
for sample pages go to....







































 





ALL OUT ARTS  Fresh Fruit Festival 


Monday July 11th 
Wed July 13th 
Sunday July 17th
2016
 
The Wild Project 
195 E. 3rd St @ Ave B, NYC



12th NIGHTed Cast 

Alyssa Abraham [Stella Adler Studio of Acting] MARIA D'ASSOLVERE
Jonathan Barker [Stella Adler Studio of Acting] VITO VITTORIO VITALE
Alexandra Bonesho* [Marquette University] CESARIO / VIOLA VITALE
David Palmer Brown* [12th NTD readings, Hudson Warehouse] TOBY RUTTATE
Keith Herron* [Boardwalk Empire, Mr. Robot, NY Fringe] 
ORSON/ANTONIO ARGENTO & MEL VOLIO
Lorenzo Lucchetti [Stella Adler Studio of Acting] FRANCESCO Frankie ASSISI
Anne Pasquale* [BOB, The ALTRUIST] OLIVIA RUTTATE EARNRIGHTO

*AEA Approved Showcase, AEA Member

http://playstosee.com/breaking-barriers-new-yorks-fresh-fruit-festival/

#‎12thNIGHTed gets major mention 
Austin Fimmano's playstosee.com review of ‪#‎FreshFruitFestival‬ 

http://playstosee.com/breaking-barriers-new-yorks-fresh-fruit-festival/

"Other shows are much lighter, such as 12th NIGHTed – the wild adaptation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night set in 1960s Little Italy. Sexualities run amuck, crossing paths and genders until wrapping up nicely with four neat couples and a Twelfth Day of Christmas bow on top. Intolerance in this play is represented only in the gentlest of jests: “We can’t get married for HOW many years?” a gay couple demands, when the bad news is broken to them by a deceased patriarch who apparently achieved omnipotence in the afterlife. Protagonist Viola, struggling to cling to her invented identity as Cesario, relies on homophobic culture to maintain a professional barrier between her business and her pleasure. Her problem is that there is an odd sexual tension growing between her and her boss, Orson, who has no idea she’s a woman. “Two MEN can’t do that,” the two business partners keep telling each other nervously as the heat between them rises. But by the end of the play, everyone has brushed off their prejudices without a care, and together they rejoice at the idea of all living happily under one roof. Love is love." 



http://www.theatrereviews.com/off-broadway-review-12th-nighted-and-fire-on-babyon-at-fresh-fruit-festival-2016-at-the-wild-project/

12th NIGHTed"Slam-Dunk" per TheatreReviews.com

Off-Broadway Review: “12th Nighted” and “Fire on Babylon” at 
Fresh Fruit Festival 2016 at the Wild Project 
(Through Sunday July 24, 2016)
Reviewed by David Roberts and Joseph Verlezza'
Theatre Reviews Limited

Hands down, Patrick Thomas McCarthy has written a slam-dunk retelling of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” aptly entitled “12th Nighted” which enjoyed its final performance at Fresh Fruit Festival 2016 on Sunday July 17, 2016 at the Wild Project. There are familiar characters: Cesario and Viola (Alexandra Bonesho); Olivia (Anne Pasquale); Maria (Alyssa Abraham); Mel Volio (Keith Herron); and Toby (David Palmer Brown). And there are reimagined and additional characters to the Shakespearean roster. Four couples – rather than two – find wedded bliss: one of the couples is Olivia’s adopted gay son Francesco D'Assisi (Lorenzo Lucchetti) and Antonio Argento (Keith Herron) creator of rather risqué Holy Pictures using Vito Vittorio Vitale (Jonathan E. Barker) – aka Viola’s twin orphaned brother Sebastian – as his near naked model.
Although the shenanigans are mostly reminiscent of Shakespeare’s 1600 celebration of the end of the long Christmas season, playwright McCarthy has supercharged the iconic “mature comedy” with a delightful LGBTQ flair set in “gay, swinging, 1960s Little Italy in New York City.” The members of the ensemble cast (which includes Blaine Mizer who stands in for Malvolio) uniformly deliver well-developed outrageous characters whose unique and believable conflicts drive “12th Nighted’s” madcap post-Shakespearean plot.
Director Patrick Aran keeps the antics moving along; however, there is room for a quicker pace at times to keep the farce from bogging down. And there are some scenes which could easily be cut by a few minutes each. This would tighten the play a bit and make it even more engaging and entertaining.
As it stands, Mr. McCarthy’s retelling is a splendid way to celebrate – as Maria states – the need for all of us to do what we need to do “to get along” – as you will as it were. There is a myriad of references to the canon of the American musical theatre, including nods at “Hello, Dolly” and “Carousel” and others even the characters find a bit shocking.

Production and sound design by Katherine Hammond. 
Lights, set, and props design by Patrick Aran. 
Costume coordination by Susan Cook. 
Stage management by Ioannis Bakageorgos.
____________________




12th NIGHTed  Show-Score Show Listing


12th NIGHTed

On the 12th night ... day of Christmas your true love brings to me, many kinds of pasta, one butler braying & one golden ring. Updated to gay, swinging,1960’s Little Italy, NYC, this 12th NIGHTed is shot out of a Shakespearean confetti cannon of sexual confusion, double sets of twins, & families trying to stick or get back together. Eight saucy characters blanket the pasta business with their own kind of business in an Italian "pair" tree. A farce of epic proportions mirroring the Bard's TWELFTH NIGHT.
"If pasta be the food of love, carb on"



























Click on the WEEBLY Link for More on 12th Nighted

Click on the PINTEREST site for more Photos on 12th NIGHTed

Sample Pages 12th NIGHTed at New Play Exchange



Below: The famiglia of the Palazzo Earnrighto. Little Italy,  USA, 1967 will make you an offer you can't refuse.











TEMPEST 
storms into ptmcplaywriting.com rep
               Post Apocalyptic Treatment To Focus on Family

The STORY: In a post-apocalyptic world where physical resources are scarce but imagination is abundant, enter the Pero family grouping of survivalist father and his three children and their need to expand their world by the addition of the other. Many others have come and gone but maybe the strangers now dropped into their midst will be the ones to stay.

TEMPEST  © 2015 by Patrick Thomas McCarthy pTmC

Characters    
4 men & 2 women

Perofather to three children, survivalist [50s]

Mirandadaughter to Pero [20s – 30s]

Cal – son to Pero [20s – 30s]

Ariel – disabled daughter to Pero [20s]

Nando – handsome stranger in a strange land [20s – 30s]

Stefano – sidekick [20s – 30s]











Varied Lives
"Modelled" after Shakespeare's 
Merry Wives of Windsor for Six Men
Set in 1930's American Heartland

Modell "Moddy" Tyrone Smith
Mr. Fenton Philip Ford
Mr. TeddyTurner the Butler
Satchel Jefferson
Mr. Princeton Percival Page
Mr. Donald John Falstaff


Music Stand Reading
Free Admission 
Sun. October 4, 2015 at 6:45pm at TAI
The Actors Institute 
150 W. 30th St
14th Floor
NYC



Come to Ford Farms for a not so quiet weekend in the country




 

https://newplayexchange.org/plays/48478/lears-fools-fortune

The LEARS: Fools of Fortune 2015
Award Winners ALL OUT ARTS Fresh Fruit Festival
David Palmer Brown - Outstanding Lead Performance
Katherine Hammond - Outstanding Production Design

Awards Ceremony- Sun May 22, 2016
Bowery Poets Club, The Bowery, NYC 

The Lears CAST
Drew Bolander as Ned "Edgar" Storr
Jean Brassard as Glen Storr Esq
Catherine Goodman as Reagan Lehman Lear
David Palmer Brown as Edgar Reginald Lehman Lear
Cynthia Granville as Anneril Lehman Lear
Cameron Moser as Cord Lehman Lear/Cordelia Learson
Tim Shelton as Monty "Edmond" Storr

The LEARS: Fools of Fortune (C) 2013 By Patrick Thomas McCarthy
New York, NY 10025   ptmcplaywriting.com

Characters
5 Men & 2 Women
:
Mr. Edgar Reginald Lehman Lear– patriarch, man of business
Ms. Annaril Lear – oldest daughter
Ms. Reagan Lear – the other daughter
Mr. Cord Lear/ Ms. Cordelia Learson – youngest child
Mr. Glen Storr – business partner, family lawyer
Mr. Edgar "Ned", Storr/ Ned o’ Bedlam – primary son
Mr. Edmond “Monty” Storr – bastard son, personal trainer, escort

 
ALL OUT ARTS Fresh Fruit Festival
The Wild Project 195 E. 3rd St at Ave B, NYC
The LEARS: Fools of Fortune
(C) 2013 by Patrick Thomas McCarthy ptmc

Monday July 13th, 7:30pm 2015
Tuesday July 14th, 9:00pm 2015
Wednesday July 15th, 9:00pm 2015
Sunday July 19th, 4:00pm 2015












SLIPPERY: 
A Wintry Tale
Spun from Shakespeare's
The WINTER's TALE

Sit Down Reading Sunday December 7, 2014 at 6:00pm
BGSQD Bookstore 208 w. 13th St in the LGBTQ Center

Monty's 16, & you're invited to his Birthday Barbecue...
Bring your appetite for down home family dysfunction...
And someone exits pursued by a bear....

3 Women:  Hermione/Mia, Paully, Perdy 
6 Men:  Leon, Beau, Cam,  Monty, Max/Monty, Austin /Strap

 




















NPX
New 
Play 
Exchange
Look for ptmc @






















12th NIGHTed 

On the 12th day/night of Christmas your true love brings to me, many kinds of pasta, a butler braying, and one golden ring. And they'll all come out of an Italian pear tree in the world of gay 1960's Little Italy with loons in the trees & fortunes to be made. A farce of epic proportions.  Shakespeare's TWELFTH NIGHT shot out of a confetti cannon..
 
"If pasta be the food of love, carb on"



Sunday September 7, 2014  at 7pm
BGSQD 83a Hester St at Allen St, NYC
12th NIGHTED - a sit down reading - with Roxann Kraemer, David Palmer Brown, Robert Meksin, Anna Cody, Kyle Minshew, Cheryl Royce, Bryce Henry and Patrick McCarthy







 
 
 
sExtOrtiOn
Mon 7.8.13 @ 7pm
Tues 7.9.13 @ 9pm
Sun 7.14.13 @ 2pm
ALL OUT ARTS
Fresh Fruit  International Festival at
The Wild Project
195 E. 3rd St @ Ave B, NYC
6 boys, 2 girls & 1 adult on a harrowing ride
Into the world of teen "sexting"

In  sExtOrtiOn, a lonely outcast hatches a scheme that draws his entire high school and its Middle American community into the harrowing world of teen sexting. Posing as a girl on a social media site, he entices his classmates to send him compromising photos and videos, then “sextorts” them into upping the ante of each physical encounter with the threat of exposure. Inspired by an actual teen “sexting” and extortion scandal, sExtOrtiOn digs beneath the superficial and sensationalistic treatments in national media accounts to explore the roots of adolescents’ fluid sexual identity, experimentation, & recklessness, & the consequences of bullying, pack behavior, & hidden violence. sExtOrtiOn takes place over a year when none of the “sextorted” boys reveals what is happening until the central character inexplicably turns himself in. Over the course of the play’s 90 minutes, the nine characters of sExtOrtiOn struggle to make sense of the story’s myriad unanswered questions & disguise what is actually happening. 










  

 to view
sExtOrtiOn Sexting Sequence 2





By Patrick Thomas McCarthy
Directed by Christopher Caines
Reviewed by David Roberts
Theatre Reviews Limited    July 9, 2013

The eleventh annual Fresh Fruit Festival launched its All Out Theatre offerings with Patrick Thomas McCarthy’s “sExtOrtiOn” a complex, multi-layered drama which tackles morally ambiguous themes with a stunning cast portraying equally morally ambiguous characters. In some ways this is an odd “place” for the Festival to begin: the gay characters in this interesting ninety-minute play are neither likable nor lovable (there is a difference). The only out boy at his high school, Quin Quimby (Joshua Warr) narrates the harrowing tale of sexting gone wrong –  terribly wrong. Were his narration merely about teen sexting and the concomitant extortion it often generates, there would be nothing new in Mr. McCarthy’s text and any attempt to stage that script would fall flat. Fortunately, “sExtOrtiOn”  is about more than its title suggests.

Eschewing comfortable simplicity for more challenging complexity,‘sExtOrtiOn” wrestles with the themes of bullying, pack behavior, sexual identity, and teen sexual experimentation. Its strength, however, is its willingness to tackle the weightier issues of motivation and the hidden violence extant on the underbelly of those themes.
 
The conflicts are equally complex: for example, the audience discovers– in a delicious twist – that bully Buck Cumming’s (yes, the character’s name really is Buck Cummings, played brilliantly by Seth Shirley) conflict with his bully buddy Ben Benjamin (played with equal brilliance by Andrew Gelles) is the central conflict which drives the plot seemingly dominated by outsider Donny Doirko’s (Spencer Scott) sextortion scheme and Bradley Michael White (Justin Garascia) and Brenda Fenton Flair’s (Julia Hochner) BFF-BMW dedicated relationship.

Under Christopher Caines’ careful direction the entire cast, rounded out by Joshua David Bishop (the desperately seeking someone Brent Dodge), Jeff Ronan (the somewhat creepy and culpable Mr. Zee), and Chantal Thomson (the Brittany Gray Valley Girl accomplice in all things friendship) brings Mr. McCarthy’s script to the stage with honest and gracious performances. Mr. McCarthy and Mr.Caines should indeed be pleased to have engaged this dedicated cast. Together, they share a story of how oppressive systems (schools, religious institutions, the military, and sometimes the family) can deprive the individual’s opportunities for self-discovery, self-expression, and self-acceptance. Without these and the non-judgmental and unconditional love that fosters them, all hell can - and often does - easily break loose.

It would be interesting to see this play without the gratuitous sexting scenes. This reviewer understands that witnessing these explicit and often exploitative scenes enables the audience to “see” themselves in each of the characters and in fact comprehend they are “part of them;” however, to witness the scene, then have the character unpack its significance, and then have a narrator rehearse the scene one final time is simply unnecessary. Already a winner, “seXtOrtiOn” trimmed to a lean and mean sixty or seventy minutes could be a b-boy slam dunk. 
 
“sExtOrtiOn”by Patrick Thomas McCarthy with direction by Christopher Caines; set, costume, and lighting design by Caines; fight direction by Galway McCullough; music by Ethan Gold; and projections design by Katherine Hammond.  Costume coordination by Susan Cook. Stage managed by Veronica Gheller. 
 
“sExtOrtiOn’s” cast includes: Joshua Warr as Quin Quimby, the only out gay kid at Middle Falls High School; Spencer Scott as Donny Doirko, a troubled loner; Seth Shirley  as Buck Cummings, a bullying jock with control issues; Justin Garascia as Bradley Michael White, the BMW, the golden boy athlete promised to Brenda; Joshua David Bishop as Brent Dodge, marching band geek; Andrew Gelles as Ben Benjamin, Buck’s lieutenant; Julia Hochner as Brenda Fenton Flair, the BFF, cheerleader, promised to Brad; Chantal Thomson as Britany Gray, cool girl, school monitor; and Jeff Ronan as Mr. Zee, school administrator.


















The LEARS
Fools of Fortune

By Patrick Thomas McCarthy
© 2013
New York, NY 10025
ptmcplaywriting.com

Characters
5 Men & 2 Women
:

Mr. Edgar Reginald Lehman Lear– patriarch, man of business
Ms. Annaril Lear – oldest daughter
Ms. Reagan Lear – the other daughter
Mr. Cord Lear/ Ms. Cordelia Learson – youngest child
Mr. Glen Storr – business partner, family lawyer
Mr. Edgar "Ned", “Eddie” Storr/ Ned o’ Bedlam – primary son
Mr. Edmond “Monty” Storr – bastard son, personal trainer, escort


Suggested by Shakespeare's KING LEAR, this contemporary American telling has an Alzheimers addled Captain of Industry, Edgar Reginald Lehman Lear, gathering those closest to him for an advance reading of his last will & testament at Thanksgiving dinner.   He has sold the family estate, and will go to live with those that love him best.  Will his daughters Anneril and Reagan retain the family wealth & to what lengths will they go to do so? Will disinherited gay son Cord, reappear as home health care nurse, Cordelia Learson? And will the Storr family, Glen Storr Esquire, Edmond "Monty" Storr, and Edgar "Ned" Storr find their way into the tangle?  Homicide, a blinding, betrayal, abuse, sibling rivalries, cross dressing, arm wrestling and even loyalty, redemption & love find their way into the turbulent mix.  
A tale of operatic family dysfunction.   
 
"You're cordially invited to Thanksgiving on the heath...
Bring your own cutlery"













PRIDE RIVER CROSSING
A Spoon River for a New Century
(C) 2011
by Patrick Thomas McCarthy ptmc
3 Men   3 Women
 July 17-24, 2012
ALL OUT ARTs'
Fresh Fruit Festival

The Wild Project 195 East Third St, NYC

AWARDS
Outstanding Distinction in Ensemble Acting
Outstanding Distinction in Playwriting
2012 Fresh Fruit Festival

Pride River Crossing
A Spoon River for a New Century

By Joel Benjamin: FireIslandSun.com

 
The Fresh Fruit International Festival of LGBT Arts and Culture celebrated its 10th Anniversary ambitiously presenting theatre works, comedy, readings, music, dance and film.
I caught Patrick Thomas McCarthy’s Pride River Crossing, subtitled “A Spoon River for a New Century.”  Six fine actors portrayed over forty characters.  Unlike Spoon River, only a few of these are deceased.  Instead, we get a tapestry of interwoven lives, written with an expert ear and an emotional acumen that few modern playwrights possess.  Over the course of an hour and a half, the fictional town of Pride River came alive through the words of its inhabitants, all in a minimal stage set with just chairs and appropriate, scene-setting projections and appropriate, character setting costumes.
 
The long list of Pride Riverites includes the very modern Kelly-Kennedy’s—two Dads, teenage brother and sister—are living evidence of Pride River’s LGBT.  The two Dads are ridiculously happy and clueless to the undercurrents of discontent of their children, one of whom is straight and the other hypersensitive to the petty squabbles and money problems. 
 
At the other end of the tolerance spectrum is Trevor whose Mom Rachel home schools him to keep him away from all “perversion.”  Mr. Drama, a schoolteacher worries about being the “spinster” and understands that touching of any kind can easily be misconstrued.  A young man mourns at the grave of his twin sister who died at birth.
 
Mitzi Reid, the ebullient real estate agent, loves having gays move into Pride River because it raises the value of properties.  A self-described tough guy wants to kill all the gays while Dolores and Angela are ardent pro-gay activists.  A PFLAG mom reveals that three of four kids are gay.
And so the rich panoply of life and love in Pride River is revealed, far too many to mention individually here, all wonderfully sculpted by Mr. McCarthy’s words, the vocal and physical  nuances of the sensitive cast  (Brian Linden, Denise DeMirjian, Miles Phillips, Laurie Strickland, Joshua Warr and Chantal Thomson) and the rhythm sensitive direction of Patrick Aran.
 
The only connecting device is a rally that all the characters are aiming to attend, to express whatever personal agenda they have.  Perhaps this is a weak organizing gimmick, but the writing is rich enough to sustain the disjointed nature of Pride River Crossing.
If this show is representative of the Fresh Fruit Festival’s standards this will be around for many more anniversaries.
Pride River Crossing © 2011 by Patrick Thomas McCarthy
Fresh Fruit International Festival
The Wild Project
195 East 3rd St. (bet. Aves. A & B)
More Information: 


The Dreamer Pride River Crossing 2012
 

CONFESSIONS 
With a primary read at ACT, San Francisco in the 1990's, CONFESSIONS is ready to join 12th NIGHTED in the new reading ranks after major revisions.
CONFESSIONS, a Gurneyesque foray into late 20th Century American Catholicism, takes 7 actors playing multiple characters thru an extended family's confessional. From birth to death with all the sacramental stops in between, everyone makes CONFESSIONSEven the statuary confesses its need to speak

Sunday February 23, 2014 6:30pm Staged Reading 
@ The Actor's Institute TAI 150 W. 30th St [14th Floor] near 7th Ave, NYC










































*************************************************
DON'T  WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE ME  

Publisher: Chicago Plays © 1991  
Musical: Book and Lyrics by Patrick McCarthy
Music & Lyrics by Eric Laine Barnes
Production: HealthWorks Theatre, Chicago, IL
Directed by Patrick Aran
Commissioned & Underwritten by 
The March of Dimes 
[2 Men, 2 Women] 
 
Don’t Wait Until You See Me
Takes Teens On Prenatal Trip

March 27, 1992
By Jean Latz Griffin 
Chicago Tribune

Sesame Street graduates, meet Baron.von Broccoli. Electric Company kids, get on down with Ita Banana.  Those of you who have made MTV what it is today, shudder at the evil of Cid the Cigarette, Al the Pal Alcohol, Mr.Caffeine and The Drug Man. And cheer for the cute little fertilized egg as she hopes her mother eats well and gives up cigarettes and alcohol so she can grow up to be a healthy baby. Coming soon to a high school near you is a bouncy, colorful and daring attempt to teach pregnant teenage girls how to be good to themselves and good to their babies. It`s not anything like your usual high school sex ed class. No films. No embarrassed lectures. No side-view diagrams of unrecognizable anatomy. The 45-minute musical play,`Don`t Wait Until You See Me,` takes place inside the uterus of a 14-year-old girl from conception until two months into the pregnancy.
Developed by HealthWorksTheatre, it was shown for the first time on Thursday to 800 nurses at the 17th annual March of Dimes Perinatal Nursing Conference at the Palmer House Hilton. Starting Tuesday, it will be presented at four West Side high schools in areas with high teenage pregnancy and infant mortality rates. After that, any high school can book a show.The third show developed by HealthWorks, a non-profit organization founded in 1988, `Don`t Wait` follows `The Wizard of AIDS` and `What`s So Big about AIDS,` which have been shown 300 times throughout the Chicago area. Barbara Michelin, chair of the national Perinatal Nursing Advisory Council, asked HealthWorks to develop a play for pregnant teenagers after seeing ``Wizard.' `Serious messages are best delivered with a certain amount of humor, especially to young people,`Michelin said. in `Don`t Wait,` the baby-to-be arrives after one of three caretakers in the uterus announces, ``We`ve got an incoming projectile at 10 o`clock.`` The chief caretaker radios the brain:``Central control, we just experienced severe turbulence. Can you tell us what happened?``The answer comes back that the turbulence was caused by sex, and conception has taken place. When another caretaker accidentally steps on the braided cord attached to the embryo, the chief caretaker scolds:``Don`t step on that. It`s her umbilical cord. We`re pregnant.````We`re pregnant?`` he asks incredulously. ``But that was our first time!``As baby-to-be wonders how her mother will know she is there, the cast launches into a description of the signs of early pregnancy. ``If your period stops . . . see your doctor because she`ll tell you everything you need to know,`` the troupe sings.The day the young mother finally goes to the doctor, she comes home so upset with the news that she`s pregnant that she smokes, drinks and considers taking cocaine. Baby-to-be is nearly asphyxiated by the cigarette smoke. And even though she refuses a proffered drink, she is told, ``You have no choice. If your mother drinks, you drink.``But the mother also does good things for her baby. After a meal and a vitamin pill, Vito the Vitamin and Baron von Broccoli join hands and sing, ``Together we will make a beautiful baby.`The play ends at the 61st day of.pregnancy, with the struggle continuing between good habits and bad ones. `Don`t wait until you see me to show me that you love me,`` baby-to-be sings to her mom.``Right now's the time I really need you to care.``Maybe life didn`t turn out the way you planned. But don`t wait until you see me to open up your heart. Mine is already beating there.'
 
DON’T WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE ME     
Publisher: Chicago Plays © 1991  
Musical: Book and Lyrics by Patrick McCarthy
Music and Lyrics: by Eric Laine Barnes
Production: HealthWorks Theatre, Chicago, IL
Directed by Patrick Aran
Commissioned & Underwritten by 
The March of Dimes 
[2M, 2W]  
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