Former Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Brings One-Man Show to Plays & Players Theatre, Now thru 2/2

Former Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Brings One-Man Show to Plays & Players Theatre, Now thru 2/2

Plays & Players Theatre will present the world-premiere production of a new play from an old friend of Philadelphia. The Disappearing Quarterback begins performances tonight, January 16, 2014 (opening/press night January 18th) and closes on Sunday, February 2.

Mike Boryla was the starting quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles from 1974-1976. He had everything he wanted, but he didn't want what he had. Two years later, he quit professional football and... disappeared! In a world premiere one-man show, he returns to Philadelphia for the first time in over 35 years to tell the story of walking away from the sport and the teammates he loved. With the average lifespan of a professional football player being 55 (Time Magazine, 2010), the effects of concussions are becoming ever more clear, and even our president has spoken out against its future. Should "America's Game"... disappear? A play for football fanatics and novices alike, set in the intimate Skinner Studio, The Disappearing Quarterback puts you inside the helmet of a unique athlete, a self-described "long-haired hippie," with a passionate purpose and a story to share as he returns to the city that brought him fame.

The Disappearing Quarterback features anecdotes of notable figures recognizable to any Philadelphia sports fan. They include four-time All-Pro Eagles "Roll of Honor" member, leader of the "Gang Green" defense, and pre- and post-game analyst on football Sundays, Bill Bergey; three-time Pro-Bowler, 1973 Rookie of the Year and thirteen-year veteran Charle Young; and Eagles' infamous owner (1969-1985), eccentric millionaire Leonard Tose. Other former Eagles players, coaches, and media will be in attendance on select dates.

Philadelphia has also been the center of the national firestorm surrounding concussions in professional football, serving as the location of a lawsuit of 4,500 former players that was resolved in August 2013 in a $765 million settlement. It included an agreement from the NFL to continue studying long-term effects of on-field injuries. Shortly thereafter, the in-depth documentary "League of Denial" by Frontline began making waves, claiming that NFL officials knew about the neurological dangers and did nothing to prevent them. Now, former players from Brett Favre to Ronnie Lott are are finally speaking out.

In conjunction with The Disappearing Quarterback,, Plays & Players will host a series of community talkbacks after select performances. These will include conversations with an array of guest experts in football, medicine, and sociology. They include Pro Football Hall of Fame member and Philadelphia Eagles' sportscaster, Ray Didinger, Mike Benedetto of the New York State Legislature (who has sponsored a bill to ban youth football), three time Pro-Bowler Charle Young, Pro-Bowl linebacker Frank LeMaster, hometown hero Kevin Reilly, Eagles Hall of Fame Director of Ticket Services Leo Carlin, and a number of Philadelphia professors in relating fields. Visit www.playsandplayers.org for specific details.

All performances are at Plays & Players, at 1714 Delancey Place, in the third floor Skinner Studio. Please note: the historic theatre is not ADA accessible. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door for general admission. Discounted group rates of $15 for groups of 10 or more and student rates of $20 are also available. Tickets may be purchased online at www.playsandplayers.org or by phone at 866-811-4111.

The Disappearing Quarterback begins performances on Thursday, January 16, 2014 (opening/press night January 18th) and closes on Sunday, February 2. Performances are: Wednesday and Thursdays at 7pm; Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm; Saturdays at 2pm; and Sundays at 3pm.

Creative team:

Mike Boryla was a quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles during the 1974-76 seasons and for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1977 to 1978. He was an All-American at Stanford University. In the 1976 Pro Bowl he threw two touchdown passes in the final minutes of the game to lead the National Football Conference team to a 23-20 win. He has recently morphed into a writer. In the last few years he has written seven plays: Long Ago And Far Away, Shannon's Hope, Ministers Of Satan, The Clone, Overtime, Black Oak and The Disappearing Quarterback. Long Ago And Far Away will be staged by Inspire Creative at the PACE Theatre in Parker, Colorado. He is happily married to Ann with four sons (Daniel, Tim, Pete and Ryan) and living small in Colorado. For the last 26 years he has been a director of Shannon's Hope, a Christian home for unwed mothers in Arvada, Colorado.

Daniel Student (Director) serves as Producing Artistic Director at Plays & Players, for whom he has directed Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, A New Brain, Take Me Out, Early in the Mourning, and Oleanna, and starred as Shakespeare in William Shakespeare's Land of the Dead. Other programs he has created at Plays & Players include the Philly Fringe Preview Series, the Philly Bake-Off and PIFA New Play Festival, and the Emerging Artists in Residence (EAR) program. His show he co-created and co-performed with Jennifer MacMillan and R. Eric Thomas, Overexposed: A Slightly Awkward Peep Show enjoyed five sold out performances with Quince Productions before going to the 2012 Edinburgh Festival Fringe (also starring Jamison Foreman.) He re-mounted Overexposed in 2013, as well as performing a new show with Ms. MacMillan and Mr. Thomas, (in)voluntary commitment. "Superheroes Who Are Super!," a classic comic book staged reading series which he created, produced, and frequently directed, won Best In Philly from Philadelphia Magazine in 2010. Other recent directing credits include Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead (Philly Fringe), The Pillowman (Bootless Artworks), and Bug (All College Theatre at The College of New Jersey). He is a graduate of Vassar College and attended the 2007 Lincoln Center Director's Lab.

Set Design by Danielle Ferguson, Costume Design by Jillian Keys, Light Design by Amanda Jensen, Sound Design by John Kolbinski, Projection Design by Mike Long, Animation by Emily Homrok, and Stage Management by Lauren Tracy

About Plays & Players: Over 100 years old, Plays & Players was reborn in 2011 as a professional theater under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Daniel Student. As a coalition of theatre artists and enthusiasts, Plays & Players strives to provide intelligent, inclusive, and diverse plays that engage and entertain audiences, to invest in local talent, and to preserve its historic landmark home. Plays & Players' 2013-14 season focuses on Brothers and Sisters; those with whom we are closest, those who share our blood, and those with whom, familiar or unknown, we seek connection. Through rituals old and new, we continue searching for those who are both distant from and deeply within us as we attempt to unwrap the simplest of notions: brotherhood. The Disappearing Quarterback appears on the heels of our provocative and poignant Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet. Plays & Players is proud to announce a new series for young audiences called P.L.A.Y. (Philadelphia Local Artists for Youth.) The first entry is called Delaware Mudtub & The Mighty Wampum, which explores mythic local animals from Lenni-Lenape native american lore, written by local playwright Greg Romero, and performing March 13-29 in the Skinner Studio. The season concludes with legendary Puerto Rican playwright José Rivera's Cloud Tectonics, directed by Allison Heishman and starring Taysha Canales, Anthony Martinez-Briggs, and Eric Scotolati, running June 5-22.

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