For the past several years, my husband Paul and I have coordinated “Fresh Produce,” a development program for new plays at The Pear Theatre in Mountain View. The program features readings of scripts from members of the Pear Playwrights Guild. It was in this capacity that I first read Barry Slater’s Confession. I was immediately struck by the compelling story of the Sabatini brothers, unfolding in real time as they bare their souls. I was struck by the thought that, at its heart, this is a story of brotherly love. I was struck by their monstrous childhood, and by their parents, two characters we never meet, but whom we get to know all too well. I was struck by how isolating and scary it must’ve been for Vincent (and thousands of others) to have AIDS in 1982, before the disease even had a name. I was struck by Anthony’s repressed courage, meeting his estranged brother in a lonely, run down motel room on a rainy afternoon in Vegas. I was struck by the unusual way in which a victim’s story is given voice, a reminder that in the age of “Me, Too,” all victims deserve to have their story told. Ultimately, I was struck by what Vinnie and Anthony most have in common – an urgent need for redemption.
This version of the play was first presented as a developmental reading at The Pear in July 2018, with Paul and Kyle cast as Vincent and Anthony. The troubled Sabatini family has been with us, on and off, ever since.
This is where Dragon Productions enters the story. I felt that the intimate Dragon stage was perfect for telling this story. I am truly grateful that Max and Alika felt the same way and chose to include us in the creative ecosystem of Dragon’s Nest Producer Residency Program. Dragon’s 2020 season is “intensely human, with warts and all…looking at two sides of the coin of our nature.” Confession fits so very well in this context: it is a play of contrasts – the saint and sinner, light and dark, the sacred and the profane. Thank you for your support of local theatre; I hope you find Vincent & Anthony’s contrasts as compelling as I do.
Robyn Ginsburg Braverman