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BWW Review: AFTER at 59E59 Theaters is a Riveting and Important Drama


BWW Review: AFTER at 59E59 Theaters is a Riveting and Important Drama

"When it comes to the well being of your child, nothing is easy."

-by Val in After

After, a powerful and profound drama, is now being performed at 59E59 Theaters through April 14. Written by Michael McKeever and superbly directed by Joe Brancato, the show features five exceptional actors. The story shines a light on bullying, its victims, and the effects that it has on families.

In After, Matthew and Kyle are high school classmates, but not friends. When Kyle sends a threatening text message to Matthew, Kyle is suspended from school for a few days. Matthew's parents, Connie and Alan Beckman are adamant that the punishment isn't sufficient. The Beckmans schedule a meeting with Kyle's parents, Tate and Julia Campbell at the posh home of the Campbell family. Julia also invites her sister, Val to attend the meeting to "mediate." The encounter is very contentious, as the Beckmans demand action be taken to protect their son, Matthew while the Campbells defend Kyle and believe that the problem will resolve itself. Shockingly, the situation between the teenage boys spirals out of control at school and a tragic event impacts the two families forever.

BWW Review: AFTER at 59E59 Theaters is a Riveting and Important Drama

The cast masters their portrayals of parents dealing with tensions and dire circumstances. They include Denise Cormier as Connie Beckman, an indignant mother; Bill Phillips as Alan Beckman, a father seeking justice; Jolie Curtsinger as Val Wallace, the voice of reason; Mia Matthews as Julia Campbell, a well intentioned, avid perfectionist; and Michael Frederic as Tate Campbell, an aloof and busy professional man. The company seamlessly delivers McKeever's finely crafted dialogue and captures their characters' distinct personalities.

The design team has done a great job of setting the scene for After. They include scenic design by Brian Prather; lighting design by Martin E. Vreeland; costume design by Gregory Gale; and original music and sound design by William Neal. Production Stage Manager is Michael Palmer

After is a timely and cautionary tale about the prevalence of bullying and its potential consequences. You don't have to be a parent to relate to this story and be moved by gravity of this issue. See this important production while it is on the Upper East Side stage.

Produced by Penguin Rep Theatre and InProximity Theatre Company, After is being performed for a limited engagement through April 14. The running time is 85 minutes with no intermission. The performance schedule is Tuesday - Friday at 7 PM; Saturday at 2 PM & 7 PM; and Sunday at 2 PM. Performances are at 59E59 Theaters (59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison). Single tickets are $25 - $70 ($49 for 59E59 Members). To purchase tickets, call the 59E59 Box Office at 646-892-7999 or visit The running time is 85 minutes with no intermission.

Photo Credit: John Quilty Photography

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From This Author Marina Kennedy