TOUCH written by award-winning playwright Toni Press-Coffman and presented by The Montgomery Playhouse at the Arts Barn in Gaithersburg, MD is about discovery, connections, and the healing power of touch in many forms.
Kyle falls in love with the flamboyant Zoe. After her violent death, Kyle barricades himself in work and loveless relationships. His oldest friend, sister-in-law, and a prostitute get involved with Kyle to bring him and themselves to an emotional new beginning.
Recently, the cast and director of TOUCH talked about their experiences in exploring this complex and riveting play.
Dan Guy (Kyle) didn’t know the play before auditioning, but found it full of “beautiful writing” and unexpected “humor.” He is intrigued by the idea that every person has an impact in their world. We all “touch lives, become friends.” When we separate and disconnect it’s the physical touch that can bring us back to each other. This need to reconnect and rediscover the people around us is vital. The loss of a loved one can be devastating, and while the play shows how life is fleeting, “every moment reinforces that we are not alone.” He looks forward to sharing this journey through the run of TOUCH.
Kryss Lacovaro (Kathleen) found it curious that her character’s name is listed in the script, but never said onstage. Kryss finds that intriguing as an actor. It is a “special” indication of her wish for a different relationship, not just “sex and attitude.” Kryss finds the physical stance of the character important, but when “physical attitude goes away that’s when her guard goes down.” She discovers feelings that are “disconcerting and fearful..Kyle and Kathleen journey to an emotional relationship as well. What starts out as a strictly physical touch evolves into an “intimate and touching role, full of energy, and layers of caring.”
Tyler Everett Adams (Bennie) approached the script with wonder, “because I didn’t have any pre-conceived notions” about the story of the play. He finds the theme of how we share grief fascinating. Tyler describes how to him the “ceremony of death becomes sterile” when people feel dictated to behave in a composed, unemotional way. “How do you handle grief?” Bennie is a childhood friend of Kyle and is torn and conflicted in trying to help his friend deal with his loss. Tyler finds this the great challenge in this role.
Diana Hutter (Serena) discovered parallels in her work as a teacher and the character of Serena, also a teacher. The expressions of power and control needed as a teacher are impotent when confronted with “random acts which cause grief and loss.” Diana found that some early improvisation work with other cast members helped establish their relations quickly. They explored the many definitions and uses of touch and what physical contact represents respect, love, comradeship, annoyance, and many others. It is the randomness of acts of love, violence, or kindness that teach us to “accept and move on.”
Director Bruce Hirsch found the appreciation of life in Toni Press-Coffman’s play the biggest draw in directing the play. Kyle touches Kathleen and Bennie and Serena find each other. The play tells us, “that it’s ok to feel something, and that emotions are good.” In this well-written play, “being moved is a gratifying theater experience.” Bruce invites everyone to share the experience. “Come, be moved, leave with hope, know that life always has more for us.”
TOUCH plays from November 7-23, 2014 at The Montgomery Playhouse performing at the Gaithersburg Arts Barn – 311 Kent Square Road, in Gaithersburg, MD. For tickets. call (301) 258-6394, or purchase them online.
TOUCH contains adult language with adult themes and is intended for mature audiences.