This play takes the audience into the world of Sandra, an artist, whose husband, Sam, has had a stroke. Sam feels so diminished that he imagines himself a king, accompanied by a jester, Manny. Manny is invisible to everyone on stage, except for Sam and his niece, Dana, after she smokes marijuana. Sam’s brother, Saul (Dana’s father), has been in competition with Sam his whole life and now has the opportunity to regain his inheritance and win Sandra over. Sam fights for his survival against these odds.
In this play Sam has a stroke, rather than dementia, because I believe the audience can better understand a character with a stroke. Sam is based on my late husband, Marty. While caring for him with his dementia, I imagined his soul externalized and speaking for him the way Manny does for Sam in my play. Sandra represents me and the rest of the material is fictionalized. I’ve been writing this play since 2009 when my husband started to degenerate from his Lewy Body dementia. The performances were dedicated to Marty.
It was part of a Stagecraft play festival at THE MANHATTAN REPERTORY THEATER at 303 W. 42nd St. near 8th Ave (6th floor).
IN THE KINGDOM OF SAM
Directed by Spider Duncan Christopher
Lisa Bruno as Dana
Andreas Damm as Manny the Jester
Charles Dinstuhl as Sam the King
Eileen Dougherty as Sandra
William McAndrews as Saul
Dina Paisner as Abigail