Truth Be Told

By William Cameron    

Directed by Lavina Jadhwani

Lead sponsor: Jane and Bill Bardin

Wednesday, October 21, at 7:30 pm PT
Saturday, October 24, at 1:00 pm PT

Synopsis

Kathleen Abedon’s teenage son Julian carries an automatic weapon into his workplace and opens fire. When the smoke clears, fourteen people are dead, Julian among them. One year later, when true-crime writer Jo Hunter comes to town to interview Kathleen for a book on the shooting, the grief-stricken mother seeks to convince the skeptical journalist that Julian has been framed. At a time in our history when the truth is under attack on a daily basis, Truth Be Told explores the nature of objective truth and the ways in which we manipulate and distort it to serve our own ends.

Playwright Perspective

In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, a Florida college professor—whose name I will not mention—claimed that the massacre was a hoax perpetrated by the federal government. Those twenty children and six teachers, he declared, didn’t really die because those shots were never really fired. The grieving parents, he insisted, were played by ‘crisis actors,’ and he went so far as to demand that the father of a Sandy Hook victim provide proof of his son’s death. Proof of his son’s death! As if the poor man and his family hadn’t suffered enough! The professor was ultimately discredited and lost his professorship over the affair. I started writing Truth Be Told in response to this professor’s cruel and self-aggrandizing stunt.

The other key factor impacting my work on the play is this—I am a father. My son is now 31 years old and while I no longer worry about him perishing in a school shooting, I still worry about him every day. Is he safe? Healthy? Happy in his work? Happy in his relationships? Much of my anxiety has to do with my role in parenting him. If none of the above are true, is it my fault?

Who

Kathleen Abedon Mia Morris
Josepha (Jo) Hunter Amy Kim Waschke*
Stage directions Galen James-Heskett
Production Stage Manager Emily Robinson
Production Asssistant Sarah Tyson
* Appearing through an Agreement between ANPF and Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Where

A modest apartment in Mecklenburg, a small town in the eastern United States.

Poster art by: Kara Q. Lewis/fcscafeine

Play Length: 1 hour 37 minutes (no intermission)

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Playwright Image

William Cameron is a playwright, actor, director, and educator. His plays have been performed around the country, including off-off Broadway at the Harold Clurman Theatre, the Source Theatre in Washington, DC, the Pittsburgh New Works Festival and numerous community and academic theatres. Truth Be Told won the 2020 Stanley Drama Award. His play Violet Sharp won the 2007 Julie Harris Playwriting Prize, received its world premiere at Theatre 40 in Los Angeles in 2009, and was published by Samuel French in 2012. He is professor emeritus of Theatre and Communication Arts at Washington & Jefferson College in Pennsylvania and wrote several plays tailored specifically to his students. He also directed over 40 plays during his 31 years as a college professor. As an actor, he has performed with the Pittsburgh Public Theatre and the Philadelphia Drama Guild and has appeared on screen in such films as Lorenzo’s Oil, Hoffa, The Dark Half, and the 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead.




Director Image

Lavina Jadhwani is a theatre director, adaptor, and activist. Recent directing credits include As You Like It (Guthrie Theatre); Peter and the Starcatcher (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Roe and The Cake (Asolo Repertory Theatre). Directing fellowships include the Phil Killian Directing Fellowship at OSF, the Drama League’s Classical Directing Fellowship at Shakespeare & Company, and the National Directors Fellowship (O’Neill/NNPN/SDC/Kennedy Center).

Lavina lives in Chicago, where she was recently named “One of the Top Fifty People Who Really Perform for Chicago” by NewCity; in 2013 she was TimeOut Chicago’s “Best Next Generation Stage Director.” She has a BFA/MA from Carnegie Mellon University and an MFA from The Theatre School at DePaul University.




Galen James Heskett
Galen James-Heskett
Mia Morris
Mia Morris
Amy Kim Waschke
Amy Kim Waschke

Reading, Old Red Barn New Play Reading Series, Theatre on the Lake, McHenry, MD (cancelled due to coronavirus), 2020
Workshop, Dayton Playhouse FutureFest, 2020
Workshop, Ashland New Plays Festival, 2020
Winner, Stanley Drama Award, Wagner College, Staten Island, NY, 2020
Winner, W Keith Hedrick Playwriting Contest, HRC Showcase Theatre, 2020
Runner Up, Playwrights First, 2019
Reading, Genesius Theatre, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, 2019


Click here to see the ANPF 2020 virtual playbill.


Listen to the conversation with Grace McLeod and William Cameron.

This conversation brings together two generations of playwrights: Grace McLeod is an emerging playwright (also one of the youngest winners ever at ANPF) and William Cameron is an established theatre maker, retired from teaching and focusing on his playwriting. Like their plays, they don’t shy away from important topics — white privilege, economic disparity, and the nature of truth. Listen along and find out more about their ANPF 2020 winning plays, Williams’ TRUTH BE TOLD and Grace’s THE COMMUNIST REVOLUTION: A NINTH-GRADE EUROPEAN HISTORY PROJECT (THERE WILL BE A PRACTICAL DEMONSTRATION).

Get tickets to ANPF 2020 here: https://ashlandnewplays.org/fall-festival/#schedule

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