Pushcart Players Artistic Director, Paul Whelihan will be performing in the play about aphasia, “Talk To Me’” by Megan Bussiere. Performances of this Actors’ Equity showcase are Friday, June 28th through Sunday, June 30th 2019 at TheaterLab, located at 357 West 36th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY (www.theaterlabnyc.com).
“’Talk To Me’ is a play that follows a support group for people living with aphasia,” said Whelihan. “The very point of theater is to teach us about ourselves, to teach us about others, and to grow in compassion for both. And that growth hopefully compels us to meaningful action.”
Aphasia is an acquired communication disorder that impairs a person’s ability to process language, but does not affect intelligence; Aphasia impacts the ability to speak and understand others (https://www.aphasia.org/). “Talk To Me” follows a support group for people living with aphasia. When they discover that their clinic, located on a university campus, is in danger of closing, they band together in an elaborate plan to save their community.
“I am so grateful to be a part of Megan’s work,” said Whelihan. “Her passion for this subject opens up a dialogue that we’re not necessarily familiar with. My father, who passed away in 2004, was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), a nerve disorder which manifests symptoms very similar to aphasia. He was a brilliant thinker, a wordsmith, and an orator. He lost his ability to speak, read, and control his muscles, but never lost his intelligence.
“People who did not know him may have dismissed him as ‘being crazy.’ ‘Talk To Me’ creates a pathway to communication about those things we don’t understand, and may, perhaps frighten us.” Whelihan concluded, “Fear should never keep us from each other…or ourselves.”
Paul Whelihan directs, stage-manages and performs off-Broadway (47th Street Theater, 59 East 59 Theatres, NY Fringe Festival, 54 Below) and regionally (Royal Poincianna Playhouse, Broward Center for the Arts, Centenary Stage, The Bickford Theatre, The Growing Stage, Luna Stage Company, Forum Cultural Arts Center, Quillo Arts Center, Premier Stages, Dreamcatcher Rep) in musicals, dramas, original works and locally produced television, film and web series projects.
Megan Bussiere appears in the show as well as being the playwright of “Talk To Me” (2016 Bauer-Boucher Playwriting Award finalist). Megan graduated from Kean University with her MA in Speech Pathology and a minor in theater, and currently works as a private accent modification coach with AccentsOff in midtown Manhattan. She has performed around the world and in films “Cabin of Errors,” and “Click Send” (Amazon). She is currently a writer for the 2018-2020 Propulsion Lab with Mission to (dit)Mars, which recently hosted a staged reading of her new play End of the Line. Her feminist play A Period Piece (2019 O’Neill National Playwright’s Conference finalist, 2019 Playwrights Foundation/BAPF semi-finalist) will be produced this summer in NYC with The Shrill Collective. (// www.meganbussiere.com & @meganbussiere)
Tickets to “Talk To Me” are $20. A portion of the proceeds from the ticket sales of this production are being donated to the National Aphasia Association, as well as the aphasia support groups of Kean University, JFK Medical Center, and Adler Aphasia Center. Tickets may be ordered at: ttps://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/1011654.