It began slowly, a glimmer of an idea that my story of Life with Father was one that I
shared with people of all ages, men as well as women.
But it was
an invitation in 1991 from The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. to come and
give them an evening of readings from Shakespeare that gave me the impetus to see if I
could write a play.
I had four months and I was unemployed. I figured that if my play wasn't ready in time
I could always go and give them what they had asked for, a reading.
So I set to work on a one act play using Shakespeare's words to take the scenes from my
life to another plane. A play about my father and my search for him. A search I still
continued long after his death. After the performance at The Folger the comments were
encouraging. It seemed that people saw their own relationships with their fathers, living
or dead, reflected in my story.
So in March '92 I tried it again, still in one act form in a workshop at the Gallatinn
Division of New York University. Adding material here, subtracting there, improvising,
learning from my audience.
There were times in its development when it threatened to become a Nicholas Nickleby
day and night theatre event, but by February '93 the show was down to a manageable
two hours and we were ready to go on the road.
Thirty cities across the U.S. helped us further shape the play and the performance.
With little warning
and no advance sales we booked The Helen Hayes Theatre on Broadway in New York for 6 weeks.
And we ran, and we ran, and we kept expanding, and we thank the gods of the theatre and
our lucky stars! (And some lovely critics!)
After New York ended, the show went on. Other U.S. cities, Australia, London, South
America, Canada . . . the world.
Thank you Dad . . . Thank you Shakespeare.