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by Richard Nelson
July, 2022

This play, kind of like its protagonist, refuses to die. It was written just as I was coming off an appearance with Stray Dog in THE CRUCIBLE. One actress in the cast, who I’d one an intense scene with in the play, was Chrissie Watkins. I admired her work ethic, preparation and performance, and so as I was conceiving something for the 2019 theatre crawl, wrote something with her in mind. She accepted the role of Grace in the show, but soon backed off to do a production of FOR COLORED GIRLS… with some her buddy Britteny Henry. I rewrote a couple of bits in the show, and Colleen Backer (who I’d done Crawl with before) stepped in and did a great job.

TRUE Community Theatre was planning a shorts festival in 2020 (or 21?) and was going to include PATIENT #47 in it. That kind of dissolved, but they were back in ’22, wanted to include the show again, but this time expected me to produce.

In the meantime, we filmed the script. Mike Sneden, longtime commercial video collaborator, and occasional collaborator on creative projects, was in the mood to direct something, and this short, 2-person, 1 set script was just what he was looking for. And in the meantime, Chrissie had been part of the cast of Midnight’s IT IS MAGIC. So I had the opportunity to recruit her again, and this time it worked. In February, Mike directed Chrissie and I in a film shoot of the play. It went very well, and is now completed, but we’re still mulling plans for its release.

But then came the TRUE production. In a fitting tribute to the final Midnight show that would be seen at the tail end of our 25th year, David Wassilak was up to direct it; fitting, of course, in that Dave was one of Midnight’s founders. He brought in an actress from one of his COCA classes - Alia Arif - and so PATIENT #47 has its third different Grace. Alia performed splendidly.


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