Friday, May 11, 2012

Headstrong: Is Strong

Have you seen Headstrong yet? People: you should see Headstrong. It's written by Patrick Link and directed by William Carden. It features the considerable talents of Ron Canada, Tim Cain, Alexander Gemignani, and Nedra McClyde. It is an exceptionally beautiful piece of theater, incredibly moving and smart and insightful.

It is also true. Now, Patrick Link always writes true, the man never met a truth he couldn't handle. But Headstrong reaches straight into a thing, a real thing that is happening right now, and lays it out for you to reckon with. It's the story of a man named Duncan Troy, a professional football player who dies under strange circumstances. His father-in-law--a former NFL linebacker--and his estranged wife are left to deal with the aftermath, aftermath that includes a visit from a man who wants permission to study Duncan's brain. Could it be that the game that they love, the game that has built the very house around them, could it be that that game killed Duncan Troy?

These are questions worth asking because these are questions that are real. Former NFL player Junior Seau died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound two weeks ago; his family is currently discussing whether or not to donate his brain for study. Seau's death has lit a debate that is captured excellently in Headstrong: should the game of football be blamed? And if it can be blamed, should it be changed?

The play has been extended through May 27; you can buy tickets here. PLUS: after the evening performance on Saturday, May 12 there will be a post-show discussion with Hall of Fame Linebacker Harry Carson; Forensic Pathologist/Neuropathologist/Epidemiologist & Clinical Professor of Pathology at University of California, Davis/the basis for a character in Headstrong Bennet Omalu; and news reporter Stone Phillips.

See this play. Bring your friends. There's something to be found, here.

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