The Play

Filmed by Chad Johnstone & Dan Poh.

6 thoughts on “The Play

  1. There is no conflation whatsoever if I say I’ve enjoyed few shows as much as I enjoyed this work. With the Holy Spirit you are co-redeeming the difficult and failing trade of the theatre. Remember that Simon and Garfunkel song, “The Dangling Conversation” – “Yes we speak of things that matter / of words that must be said / can analysis be worthwhile / Is the theatre really dead?” Well, this has me thinking, It’s not dead. It’s not dead!

  2. Ben, I have watched 4 of the scenes so far and am loving it!!!! I will finish all of them soon. Very well done. Very impressive. I even took notes on some of your verbiage and ideas. The story line has me hooked already and will be fun to see how it ends. Thank you for sending these to me. Have a good day. It’s an honor to work alongside you in our little “neighborhood”.

  3. I think this was extremely well executed, particularly for a first play. Since we had so little time to talk to you afterwards (which we completely understand) all I was really able to say was some crack about liking the lead actress best and the script second, which may or may not be true. She was pretty phenomenal.

    My favorite part of this script is the incredible depth and complexity of the characters. The central characters are all so individual and three-dimensional and real. They are all likable and unlikable in different ways, a difficult feat in two hours. They also remain themselves through the entire work, not making unrealistic choices or uncharacteristic decisions later in the play to spice things up and bring things to a conclusion that doesn’t belong.

    My second favorite part is the dialogue. It’s snappy, enjoyable, realistic, and substantial. It’s easy to listen to and easy to enjoy. There’s enough of the ol’ Ben spirit in there to make it unique and BEN, but not so much that it feels forced or like self-parody. It helps that the main lady talks the most like you (what with all the moderately obscure pop culture references) while the rest are a little more toned down.

    As I’ve said, the acting was over all phenomenal. Main lady, drinking main guy, and case worker lady in particular were absolutely perfect. I don’t know where you found them, but you might want to lock them in your basement for later use.

    Thank you for writing this play and putting it together. It was an impressive, sophisticated, accomplished, beautiful debut and I’m so glad I went to see it. I look very much forward to viewing / reading / hearing / experiencing any other creative endeavors you care to reveal.

  4. So great to be able to view this play online! Ben, I loved that you were able to get so up-close and personal with the dialogue by setting the play in Milwaukee. Such a good idea! I also really liked that you kept this topic complex. Here is what I took from the work: The play gave me some meaty theological ideas to chew on (i.e., God as a jealous lover, all of us are addicts). It also seemed to stress that we, all people, are offenders, and that many of our prejudices against ex-felons are hypocritical. Also, it seemed to question if there was a place for a non-profit like Work in Progress in our current cities. I also thought you had good character development and some great dialogue. Given that, I would have liked to know Bobbie more. For a play that has ex-offenders as its subject matter, it seemed to be a lot more about the personal lives of its employees, than the people they serve. Looking forward to seeing what’s still in store for this work. Congratulations again!

  5. Hi Ben,
    You succeeded in producing a play that has a nice balance of delightful wit and substance, and the production was aided by the strength of the actors involved. Congratulations!

  6. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your play with those of us who were not able to see it. The website is beautiful and the incredible work you did with this show is absolutely inspiring. I am so proud to call you my friend.

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