The two most horrible things next to actually having a fatal illness are all of the emotional ups and downs and uncertainty its presence can bring to surface. How will my family survive without me? Is there really an after-life? What treatment options should I choose? Will the procedure be painful? Will my quality of life be the same after treatment? Can I afford the medications and doctor visit co-pays? Is it too late for treatment?
These, among many other questions of the sort, are very valid and common concerns humans beings must ponder when faced with a life altering illness or fatal disease. Jon Spelman, a local artist and exceptional storyteller, leads his audience through some of these soul searching questions as he shares personal accounts of his own bout with prostate cancer. His monologue entitled The Prostate Dialogues is an entertaining piece of art sprinkled with just the right amount of comedy, drama, and wit to keep the audience engaged. Spelman speaks to a theater filled with people and yet it feels so intimate, as though he is speaking only to you. The dark theater and intense spot light on Spelman help create this illusion of being alone with him as he tells the story. I felt like a child listening to a bedtime story. Although not quite the content one would like to hear as a bedtime story, it was captivating and I didn’t want it to end.
…thought provoking and entertaining.
To some the monologue may be as helpful as a group therapy session where people can hear the stories of others in the same situation. For others, it provides a glimpse into the world of someone facing severe illness and inspires a sense of compassion. Spectators will extract certain pieces of the story and compare it to their own. As all good art should be, The Prostate Dialogues is thought provoking and entertaining.
Running Time: 75 minutes, with no intermission.
The Prostate Dialogues is being performed as part of the Locally Grown: Community Supported Art Festival at Theater J, Washington District of Columbia Jewish Community Center, 1529 16th Street NW, Washington DC 20036, and is performed at various times through June 29th. For ticket information click here.