Confession Playwright Note

Confession has always been a mystery to me. To use another religious word, Confession has been a Revelation. It started about five years ago as a short play about revenge and evolved into a full length one about redemption. I thought I was writing about villainy and discovered the victim in the villain. I imagined I was writing about two brothers on stage, Vinnie and Anthony, not understanding the power of the two lurking offstage, Papa and Mama.  Papa, I discovered early in the play. He was easy to write about as all crazy characters are easy. Mama was the surprise. I believed the play was finally done. I had sent it out and yet I had a nagging sense it was unfinished. It was not until I examined this witness to the crime, that Confession became complete.

Like many plays, Confession, could have ended up in a pile of manuscripts that never get produced. Those of us who risk our talents, esteem and plain hard labor in the arts get used to rejection. We all need luck, we need people to see our work and more importantly we need advocates to whom the work speaks. I call them angels. In this case the angels have names: Paul Braverman and Robyn Ginsburg Braverman. They took parental loving ownership of Confession from the beginning and they had the experience, the knowledge, the connections, and the savvy to take this play to the next level.

The Dragon Theater was the next level. Community Theater is in a precarious state these days. To put on productions is expensive, risky and involves a leap of faith. The most successful plays turn out to be by authors named Shakespeare and have well known actors. We had none of these assets and yet the artistic directors, Max Koknar and Alika U. Spencer-Koknar took a leap of faith based on something they saw in this play and their trust of Paul and Robyn. They did what all good artists do, they took the risk. For that I will be forever grateful.

Finally, Confession would never have happened without my life partner, Alrie Middlebrook. Everyone thanks their spouse, of course, but this is different as Alrie is different. She introduced me to the hero’s quest. It involves three things: an impossible vision, an undeterred effort, and an ability to sustain major blows without giving up. Her vision is to save the natural world and thereby save all of us. Living with someone like that, some of the hero can’t help but rub off. 


–Barry Slater, playwright