Albany Playwright Sets Dark Comedy in Flight at The University Club

Albany Playwright Sets Dark Comedy in Flight at The University Club

A local author has set his first short play on-board a flight from St. Paul to Albany, with two stagings set for this month at The University Club of Albany.

"Cabin Pressure," by Damon Stewart, is a situational comedy in which two former lovers find themselves together on a plane, engaged in what they believe may be their last conversation.

Directed by Karen ChrisTina Jones of the Callaloo Theater Company, the performance stars Jean-Remy Monnay as Porter MacFarlane, who specializes in crisis management (professionally solving problems, personally creating them), and Angelique Powell as Valerie Dane, his ex who is trying to move on to bigger and better things.

"We see the whole second arc of a relationship unfold on a plane," Stewart said. "These former lovers are forced to talk to each other because of what's happening. There's no time for reflection or spinning. Porter especially decides, in the circumstance, he might as well tell the truth. He recognizes who he is by having the conversations. No point dodging. No point spinning. Sex in this situation is not going to happen, so he's not going to get her in bed another time."

The cast also includes Amy Scharf as Joyce Costello; Jared Scharf as Kyle Costello; Rachel Leah Pearlman as Sara Jane Meacham; Tyler Broker as Cory Schmidt; John Quinan as Don Nicholson, Isaac Scranton as Steve Valerio, Morgan Elizabeth as Lisa Mason, and Lonnie Honsinger as Voice of Captain.

Strong language and adult themes in the play may make it unsuitable for children (i.e. PG-13).


As director, Jones said she's going for laughs, teasing out the humor in the craziness and uncomfortableness of the piece with a naturally funny cast. As part of their prep, she instructed her cast to watch the film "Airplane," not necessarily to mimic its slapstick style but to see the opportunities for movement in such a confined set.

"The best thing about this show is that there is always something going on," Jones said. "Even when the actors don't have lines, they're always doing something. Because even though the action may be on stage right, somebody will look to stage left."


"Cabin Pressure" will be performed on Saturday, Oct. 14 and Saturday Oct 21 at The University Club of Albany, located at 141 Washington Avenue in downtown Albany. One need not be a member to purchase tickets.

There will be a cash bar at 6:30 p.m. The show starts at 7 p.m.

The cost for the performance is $20 per ticket.

Reservations by the Friday prior to the performance are strongly requested by the Friday prior to the performance and may be made by calling The University Club at 518-463-1151; by sending an email to; or online at:

This event is presented by the University Club Foundation, a 501(c)3 corporation, and Callallo Theater Company.

Photo credit: Tonya Scanlon Massey

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