Damages Escalating From Childhood

"Frank Conway" and his wife


Art can bring out reality in many different ways.  For instance, theatre is a very simple and true form of expressing emotions from any given situation.  R.S. Calls' play "Damages" does just that as he opens the audience to the world of a man who as a child was sexually abused by a priest.  Showing at Hudson Mainstage Theatre in Hollywood, "Damages" is a play that will give more insight into all the abuse incidences that are now surfacing.





"Father Al Dugan"


"Frank Conway", played by Jay Pickett as an adult and Yoann Cifuentes as a child, is one of three altar boys who is seduced by "Father Al Dugan", played by Anthony Newfield.  Flipping back and forth between the years ranging from 1977 to the present, showing scenes of "Frank" as an adult and child really helps the audience get involved in the character and identify with him.  Through spirituality "Father Al Dugan" tries to entice the three altar boys, only to later instill anguish on them.  Years later, one of the boys commits suicide, while another is heavily medicated, and "Frank's" forgotten troubles arise amidst his disintegrating marriage.  He focuses in on his memory of the abuse and isn't able to rid himself of the horrifying things.   He wants to take the opportunity to start an investigation on "Father Dugan's" misdeeds through the District Attorney's office and make him pay for what he has done, but also make sure that he will not be able to ruin the lives of other boys in the future.  "Frank" stalls because of his own guilt, but also because the church officials seem to be in deep denial or just deterring from the truth of "Father Dugan's" crime by protecting him from discovery of this now open secret.



Though the play is a bit slow at times, the actors portray the story in a very emotional and true way of how a person feels after undergoing a difficult issue.  The production of "Damages" is an ensemble of honesty and sincerity, with a story that relives the past as a man searches to overcome the tribulations instilled in him so long ago.  R.S. Call and the director, Richard Scanlon, take their bow at the end of the opening show, standing up for their intriguing story, giving light on a problematic and emotional subject matter. 



"Damages" is a play that is sincere to the struggles that seep out from child abuse instances among priests and children.  It brings awareness to the audience, showing the horrendousness that can ensue from such abuse, and how the harm surmounts into adulthood.  So go see if "Frank Conway" will be able to surpass the suffering put upon him or if it is far too much to handle.




"Frank's" pain becomes apparent as an adult.










Hudson Mainstage Theatre
6539 Santa Monica Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90038

September 30 - November 7, 2004
Wed.-Sat. 8pm, Sat./Sun. matinee 3pm
Tickets are $30
For Tickets or information call (323) 960-7740
Online Tickets at www.plays411.com/damages


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