Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I'm directing a New Orleans production of the play Jerker, by San Francisco playwright Robert Chesley. Jerker is the third San Francisco work I've helped to premier in New Orleans. Set in the Castro in 1985, Jerker concerns 2 lonely men terrified by "the gay cancer" who develop a significant connection via phone sex. It's a naughty, nasty play with redeeming social value. Baptists will picket.

I saw a 20th anniversary production of Jerker on videotape when I lived in San Francisco. For me personally, the play helped to lift a dark cloud from my head, the same dark cloud that hovers over the heads of the 2 characters in Jerker. I also responded to the emotional charge of the play, ignited by the sexual language.

Casting is my challenge now. I had 2 remarkable, weighty actors in the hopper, but for various reasons, mostly scheduling, they are not available, although both love the script. Not only am I looking for certain types, both with acting chops, but also for chemistry between the pair. Fortunately, it's only 2 roles. Or maybe unfortunately. Ah well, it's my current challenge and my joy.

Found the right venue for this show and signed the contract this week. As soon as I secure the cast we start promoting. Got a couple months lead-up time until Opening Night, so we can build momentum. April 8-25.