About the Play:
The Presentment is a six-character, family drama. The Rev. Samuel Jennings, a priest, attorney, and patriarch of the family, has been asked to serve as the prosecutor of a "presentment," in which a parish priest, David Thompson, is charged with heresy for performing same-sex marriages. In his passion to “save the Church,” Samuel overlooks the diverse and complex relationships within his own family. When he and his wife, Eleanor, leave their home in Indiana for New York City where the trial is being conducted, they visit their actor son, Michael, and daughter-in-law, Rebecca, who now share their apartment with a friend who has taken seriously ill. He is Jonathan Malone, Samuel’s former organist back in Indiana, and like an “adopted son” to the entire family. With the pending trial agitating old wounds, the family is forced to face the truth and tragedy of their past, and the repressed guilt and explosive acrimony of the present. With secrets now made transparent and the family on the verge of imploding, Samuel must make the difficult decision to proceed or to abandon his role as the prosecutor for The Presentment.
The History of the Play:
The Presentment was written in 1998 by D. Paul Thomas, and was based on an incident involving a close friend of his who was dying from AIDS. It is also loosely based upon an actual Presentment ("an indictment brought by church authorities regarding the conduct of one of its leaders”), which took place in 1996. The play had its official “World Premiere” at The Pasadena Playhouse, State Theatre of California, for a six-week run in 1999, and received some excellent reviews:
"A heart-wrenching drama." The Hollywood Reporter
"Surpassing theatricality." Orange County Register
The playwright is currently in the process of doing a substantial updating of the play in preparation for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe production at Augustine's "Studio Theatre," August 6 through August 29, 2011. Augustine's Studio Theatre is located in an old church, and is an established theatrical venue in the heart of Edinburgh on George the IV Bridge.
Why the Edinburgh Festival Fringe:
The Edinburgh International Festival is the most exciting, creative festival in the world, and The Festival Fringe is where most of the action is. There will be over 2,000 shows this year, utilizing nearly 300 venues throughout the city. Ticket sales will be nearly 2,000,000, and among the attendees will be producers and theatre devotees from over 60 nations. In addition, we are inviting church leaders from throughout the British Isles.
YOU can fly the cast of The Presentmentto the Fringe:
The Producers, Debby & D. Paul Thomas, along with Associate Producer Margaret H. Sedenquist, have secured the theatre venue and Fringe registration for the show. Arrangements for the publicist and accommodations are being finalized. Now, our wonderful actors (Mary Chalon, Gary Clemmer, Nicole Gabriella Scipione, D. Paul Thomas, Nathan Wetherington and Preston Vanderslice) are helping to raise the necessary funds to do the show "across the pond." OUR GOAL: $12,000 for seven, round-trip airfares and related transportation expenses by June 15, 2011. With you're help we're going to make it! So...
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*Remember, your donation will be tax-exempt. Please follow instructions for giving by clicking on the green "Back this Project" box at the top of this page.
*If we reach our goal before the deadline, all subsequent donations will go to the remaining production costs of the show, including the actors' salaries and per diems.
All of our friends and family donating at Kickstarter are our “company of angels,” and it is your participation that will take this production to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and beyond. Be assured that the creative and producing teams will be working very hard to create a play that is beautifully acted and well received, and one in which you can be very proud. Thanks for joining us on this exciting journey. Hope to see you along the way!
Our Thanks and Our Love!
Mary, Gary, Nicole, D. Paul, Nathan, Preston, Debby and Margaret
P.S. After a recent reading of the play, we received this note: "It takes an issue that evokes so much emotion, confusion and division, and provides a safe place in which to explore all facets. It would be hard to emerge from the play feeling sure about anything, except that in the final analysis we are all human beings with deep flaws and an even deeper need for acceptance." Kerry Morrison, Executive Director, Hollywood Property Owners Alliance
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