In May, Essex Community Players (ECP) presents the northern Vermont premiere of Mitch Albom’s “Tuesdays with Morrie.” Sports journalist Mitch Albom reconnects with former professor Morris Schwartz, who is facing Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) with dignity and grace. Together they find balance in the pressures of modern life and challenges of living with disability and loss.
The book “Tuesdays with Morrie,” written by Albom to help the Schwartz family defray medical bills, became a national phenomenon, running four years on the New York Times bestseller list. ECP will donate a portion of show proceeds to the Vermont chapter of the ALS Association.
Roger Dodge, last seen as Otto Frank in “The Diary of Anne Frank,” will take on ballroom dance, the physical rigors of portraying someone with ALS and Morrie’s ebullient spirit to play the title role. David DiLego, a professionally-trained actor, best known locally for acting and directing in Shakespeare works, Commedia dell-arte and short films, will portray Mitch Albom. “I believe that everyone who comes to see this show will be able to relate to it on some level and be deeply moved by it,” he said.
Director Karin Hammer-Williamson is delighted with her cast. “This show requires actors of enormous talent. When Roger and David step on stage together, the energy in the room shimmers. The roles are challenging at every level. Their humor, creativity and skill make me look forward to each rehearsal — they constantly find new dimensions in the work. I can’t wait to see what happens when they have an audience — the audience is truly the third player in this work!”
Performances are at Memorial Hall in Essex Center Thursdays through Sundays, May 13-16 and 20-23. Tickets are $13 for adults; $11 for age 55 & over; $10 for Essex residents on Essex Day ONLY (Sunday, May 16 at 2p.m.)
For tickets, a reader’s guide, and more information, visit www.essexplayers.com or call 878-9109.