Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sunday Review: FALLING (a new Off Broadway Play at the Minetta Lane Theatre)

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FALLING boldly explores the dynamic and complicated reality of a family with an autistic young man. When a relative comes to visit, the entire family is thrown out of equilibrium, with everyone trying to balance what is best for the family and what is best for them. The play bravely speaks a truth about love and family and about hopes and dreams. It asks “How do you love someone who is difficult to love?” 

FALLING is a new play written by Deanna Jent and directed by Lori AdamsThe stellar cast features Daniel Everidge, Daniel Pearce, Celia Howard, Jacey Powers and Julia Murney.


The stage was immediately familiar to me. A wall calender covered with scribble and post its, toy trains scattered around the living room floor. Then 18 year old Josh (Daniel Everidge) walked on stage, his self stimulatory behaviors and speech reminded me so much of The Boy. Much of the dialogue between Josh's parents, Tami (Julia Murney) and Bill (Daniel Pearce) - a disconnected couple, struggling to work together as a team - was also painfully familiar. 

I felt like I was thrust into my future.

Twenty minutes into FALLING I was in tears. There were moments throughout FALLING that were so intimate, it felt almost intrusive. And there were parts of the play that made me feel less alone in my thoughts.

You don't need to be a parent or educator or have a connection to autism, FALLING is a must see for everyone. Beautifully written and brutally honest, for parents of children with autism Deanna Jent's new play epitomizes the meaning of unconditional love, acceptance and all the complex feelings of parenting a special needs child. And for everyone else, FALLING begs the question: how can we be taught to help.

The reality of FALLING will kick you in the gut and haunt your thoughts long after you've left the theatre. FALLING sparks a conversation that is long overdue.

After the play, the audience was invited to stay for a talkback with the playwright, director and actors. Deanna Jent shared that she drew from her own personal experience to write FALLING. I especially appreciated that she stated that her portrayal of autism in FALLING is not the reality for all parents and families.

When I asked if she felt compelled to write a happy ending, she admitted it was a struggle. Deanna wanted to write a play that was honest, she wanted to create characters that were real and that it was important for Tami to find peace. And I guess, peace is just as necessary as happiness. 

FALLING is about as real and raw as it gets.


FALLING is playing at the Minetta Lane Theatre 

To purchase tickets click HERE and use the code MARK for discount.

Show Dates:
Performances from 27 Sep 2012
Opening 15 Oct 2012
Closing Open-Ended

Performance Schedule:
Tuesday, 7PM
Wednesday & Saturday, 2PM & 8PM
Thursday - Friday, 8PM
Sunday, 3PM

800.982.2787 (mention code MARK for discount)
Pricing: $39.50 - $68.50

Show Run Time:
75 minutes, no intermission

Disclaimer: I was provided with 2 tickets for the play.  All opinions are my own.

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AutismWonderland - written by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez - is a personal blog chronicling a NYC family's journey with autism, while also sharing local resources for children/families with special needs.