Purgatory, the land of suffering inhabited by the souls of sinners atoning before going to heaven, is the setting for a new play written and performed by Fordham students.
My Personal Hell, a comedic murder mystery written and directed byFordham College at Rose Hill senior Jonathan O’Neill, will be staged in August at FringeNYC, the largest multi-arts festival in North America.
The play, which was first produced by Fordham Experimental Theatre at Collins Auditorium, centers around Tucker Tomkins, a twenty-something photographer (played by Rose Hill junior AJ Golio) who is shot and killed. When he arrives in Purgatory, he is told that in order to get into heaven he must solve his own murder.
From the afterlife he witnesses how his friends, loved ones, and neighbors carry on in his absence, as he and two detectives try to deduce his killer. Suspicious characters include quarreling politicians, Tucker’s hot-headed fiancée, his agoraphobic best friend, and pretentious journalist, among others.
O’Neill said he’s been working on the play for the last two years.
The cast of My Personal Hell at Fordham in February
“It was an effort to combine traditional, large-ensemble mysteries such as Death on the Nile, And Then There Were None, andMurder on the Orient Express with a touch of post-war French drama along the lines of No Exit,” he said.
“The play has gone through another draft since our performance at Fordham in February; the characters are the same but the scenes have almost all been rewritten.”
The cast and crew of My Personal Hell features Timothy Rozmus, GSB ’13, as the assistant director and includes:
From Fordham College at Rose Hill: AJ Golio, Michael Brown, James Flanagan, Shannon Morrall, Alyssa Marino, Michael Guariglia, Devin Chowske, Joseph Gallagher, Elle Crane, Sarah Hill, Giancarlo Milea, Christopher Pedro, James Murtagh, and MaryClare Demenna.
From the Gabelli School of Business: Pat McCarthy, Vincent Pellizzi, and Collin Wright.
The production takes place at Loretto Auditorium, 18 Bleeker St. in Manhattan.
Sunday, Aug. 10 at 7:45 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 17 at 3:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 21 at 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 23 at 9:30 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 24 at 4:45 p.m.
Tickets are available at http://www.fringenyc.org/