Halftime With Don
This reading was performed on April 30 at the Buriel Clay Theater African American Art & Culture Complex in San Francisco. In Halftime with Don, retired NFL player Don Devers has had more surgeries than he can count, experiences violent outbursts, and relies on Post-It notes to offset his struggle with traumatic brain injury.
Halftime with Don was developed during a residency at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Playwrights Conference in 2015. Preston Whiteway, Executive Director; Wendy C. Goldberg, Artistic Director.
HALFTIME WITH DON was first produced as a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere by New Jersey Repertory Company (New Jersey), B Street Theatre (California) and the Phoenix Theatre (Indiana) as part of NNPN's Continued Life program.
Living an increasingly isolated existence in an easy-chair corner of his barely furnished home, Don is long past "halftime" and running out the clock while grappling, in varying degrees of lucidity, with the encroaching effects of repeated blows to the head, neck and spine.
Just when things seem their darkest, Ed Ryan, a struggling writer and a professed Dever fan who's been invited into his boyhood hero's household to watch the Super Bowl, arrives at his doorstep. With the help of Don's daughter Stephanie, and Ed's pregnant wife Sarah, the fan and his hero discover they may be able to help one another in a way that neither of them could possibly expect.
The play by Ken Weitzman is a pause for reflection designed to get you thinking about the humanity that's crammed inside the helmet.
A talk back with the director and cast followed the reading.