Barry Malawer has developed three full length scripts over the last 15 years and his third play 'dEAD dOG pARK' will be performed this weekend.
The Yorktown resident, who works as a realtor in Katonah, said he started out as an actor and gradually turned to writing after he could no longer pursue an acting career. He became involved in writing groups first in Manhattan and then in Westchester after he moved up here from the Bronx in 1993.
His latest play 'dEAD dOG pARK' will be performed at the The Philipstown Depot Theatre in Garrison and it will run from March 2 to March 18.
"For the past 10 years I have been walking around with a newspaper article about a black teenager who accused a white police officer of pushing him out of a building," Malawer said. "I was intrigued about the implications this would have for the police officer and his family and the teenager and his family."
He said he wrote a few pages every now and but nothing really came of it until he met an actress, Tracey McAllister, at his writers group.
"She was perfect for the part of the mother," Malawer said. "I told her I was going to write a scene for her for the next meeting. I did, but instead of writing just the scene I wrote the entire play in just 10 days."
'dEAD dOG pARK' is the story of a white NYPD police officer accused of pushing an African American teenager out of a four story window. The play follows the affect this has on the cop, his wife, his partner, the mother of the boy and the boy, who survived the fall.
The title of Malawer's play 'dEAD dOG pARK' was actually a typo – he had the cap lock on when he typed it out, but liked the way it looked, so it stuck.
"[Dead Dog Park] is an actual park located in Washington Heights, by the George Washington Bridge," Malawer said. "I was driving in the area one day and saw the city park sign with the name on it and said to my wife that it would make a great title for a play."
His play consists of two character scenes and has a cast of six actors playing seven parts. The play's themes concern the nature of truth and fate and how those elements play against each other and not necessarily to anyone’s advantage, Malawer said.
While he said he tried not to attend the rehearsals to allow the director to control the situation without his interference, Malawer said he trusts the hands his play is in.
"I have a lot of faith in creative people finding their way and it usually makes the play stronger and more vibrant if they are allowed to explore the dimensions of the script without imposing my vision on it," Malawer said.
The playwright said he wants to continue writing in the future and work with the company and theatre again. Some of his other work includes his first play – "Chrysler," whcih explored the family dynamics when one of the children becomes involved in drugs. The second play, "Cadillac," also concerned a family adversely affected by the marriage of their eldest son.
The production of 'dEAD dOG pARK' is being directed by Alison Costello, whose previous credits include productions at the Elmwood Playhouse and the garage band theatre co.
"Alison is a brilliant director and has assembled an amazing cast," Malawer said. "The whole production is beautifully designed and I am very excited to see the play in this space.
The cast includes: Rick Apicella, Stavros Adamides, Mark Colvson, Tracey McAllister, Suzanne Blair and Ildemar Lagares.
The Philipstown Depot Theatre is located at 10 Garrison's Landing, Garrison, NY 10524. For reservations call 845-424-39004 or visit www.deaddogpark.com for more information. Performances (which run for 90 minutes) are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $20/$15 for seniors and students.
To watch a trailer for the play, click here. In addition, the Stadium restaurant on Route 9 will offer a 10-percent discount to anyone who sees the show and eats at the restaurant before or after each performance (bring your tickets or program).
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