I am proud to announce the world premiere production of my gripping drama, Riding the Comet, to be performed at the Heritage Center in Morrisville, PA for a three weekend run beginning Friday, September 16, 2011.
Produced by the Actors’ NET of Bucks County, Riding the Comet launches the stage company’s sixteenth season. It was well received as a staged reading held at The NET in May 2009. I then made some adjustments to the script and it has been accepted to be mounted as a full production.
The WWII-era drama centers on a farming family living in German-Occupied France just days following D-Day. The family is part of the “Comet Escape Line,” a secret underground railroad designed to help wayward Allied soldiers get back to London. When the family harbors two American GIs, a plan is set in motion to return them safely to England. As the family endures the horrors of war, the eldest daughter, Linette, and her nine-year-old sister, Andie, become key players in the dangerous mission.
Of further interest is that the Comet Escape Line did actually exist. It was begun in 1940 by a young Belgium woman. By war’s end, British Intelligence estimated the Comet Line aided over 5,000 Allied soldiers.
When asked what the play is about I respond, ‘It is about fear and the different ways people will deal with a terrifying situation.’ I’ve tried to write a script that constantly builds tension and raises the stakes for the characters. There’s definitely a sense that something big is going to happen. When the final punch is delivered, I think the audience will be shocked, saddened and relieved at once. It’s pretty powerful.
Riding the Comet is directed by Kyla Mostello Donnelly of Levittown, PA, who also directed the previous staged reading version. The cast is a fine mix of veterans and newcomers from NJ and PA, featuring Kathryn Skelly, Patrick Albanesius, Ed Patton, Brian Jason Kelly, John Helmke, William Schnakenberg and Anna Chandless as Andie, the young sister.