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SUICIDE NOTES: In Their Own Words

ensemble theatre · combined artform · Ages 15+ · world premiere · United States of America

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EVA CHARNEY certified reviewer June 21, 2015
"Suicide Notes" is a beautifully moving, insightful exploration of the moments before suicide told through astounding statistics and the suicide letters of real people. It's hard to be believe that a play about suicide could be inspiring, but thanks to the profoundly talented writer/director Stan Zimmerman and the magnificent cast (Olivia D'Abo, Allie Gonino, Peter Onorati, Brendan Robinson), it is a remarkable, uplifting evening in the theatre. ... full review
CHARLES ZIARKO certified reviewer June 22, 2015
An interesting, embryonic pot pouri---some celebs, some historical figures, some bullied teens---skillfully performed by four solidly pro performers. The teen girl with the sign show on You Tube (well done by Allie Gonino) draws the tears, and Peter Onorati gets the laughs, but Olivia D'Abo and Brendan Robinson have their moments too. I can see this in better form as a two-hour package which could be carved and rearranged to suit its prospective audiences. ... full review
BREN COOMBS uncertified reviewer June 28, 2015
tagged as: powerful · daring · Beautiful · moving · drama
Powerful, moving, and beautiful! The intensity of the heavy subject matter juxtaposed with the simple staging and minimal production design allows the audience to really engage with the subject matter and let it sink in. The wonderfully nuanced cast and the inclusion of photos of those who died really helps the message reverberate. In the closing speech, the director mentioned hope of the material prompting conversations, which is ultimately what art sets out to do, and the piece definitely has me talking. This is a daring show that I hope reaches many and gets them talking about suicide, a subject matter that often is only discussed by those who commit it, in the notes they leave behind. ... full review
STEPHEN JERROME certified reviewer June 28, 2015
"Suicide Notes: In Their Own Words", written and directed by Stan Zimmerman, delivers exactly what the title says, and does so theatrically, movingly, informatively, and with elegant simplicity--just four actors standing on the stage reading from notes, sometimes assisted with pictures on a screen of the suicide note writer. Zimmerman has balanced the text perfectly, bringing dignity to the sad fact of suicide while never getting maudlin. And while suicide notes themselves can be powerful testaments, as a director, Stan Zimmerman has brought pace, rhythm and between-actor interaction that builds to an appropriate climax (a little broad for my taste, but not IN-appropriate), transforming potentially non-theatrical recitation into powerf... full review
GREGORY BLAIR certified reviewer June 29, 2015
The eclectic selection of letters and people revealed in this swiftly moving piece is enlightening on so many levels: it not only exposes the various levels of mental stress and heartache of the people whose suicide letters are read, but also the social behaviors and attitudes of those around them that played a part in that tragedy...or, in some cases, made no difference at all. Kudos to creator Stan Zimmerman for wisely choosing letters from a wide variety of people, showing that suicide can be seen as the only escape in the eyes of the old as well as the young, the unknown as well as the famous, the common and the uncommon. It’s eye-opening and, while sobering, never becomes maudlin--though Brendan Robinson’s gut-wrenching portraya... full review
BRIAN WHIDDEN certified reviewer June 29, 2015
Amazing show and Director. Would definately love to see this project get into schools where it would make a huge difference in many lives. ... full review
MAGGIE MCCOLLESTER uncertified reviewer June 29, 2015
What the world needs now is this play. Zimmerman has skillfully collected suicide letters and stories that take the audience behind the fragile veneers of those who felt they had no other choice. One cannot walk away from seeing this show without a greater sense of compassion for their fellow human beings. Bravo to Zimmerman for shedding light on this taboo subject, for raising our awareness meters to those who may be hurting around us, for reaching out and starting this important conversation. It's an impactful piece of theatre. ... full review
REBECCA ASQUINO certified reviewer June 30, 2015
This show is short, but incredibly powerful. Very moving performances from all four actors. Recipient of the Encore! Producer's Award, so you still have an opportunity to see it. Highly recommended. Pro-tip: bring tissues.... full review
PHIL OSSMAN uncertified reviewer July 19, 2015
This program needs to reach a larger audience. It could easily be a teaching model for acceptance, tolerance and how we impact the well being of each other. The fragile balance of dealing with fear, cruelty, war, abuse and the emotions of why a person may take such actions are examined. Brought to tears more than once. Worthy of an expanded program. Good use of images behind the 4 actors reading the poignant letters. Much better than expected. ... full review