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Kill Me Now

By Brad Fraser

Kill Me Now was the only production selected by both Metroland and the Times Union as one of the best theatrical productions of 2013.

Kill Me Now by Kaliyuga Arts at Cross Street Theatre Center, Hudson: The Catskill-based Kaliyuga Arts — which is run by a married couple, Steven Patterson and John Sowle, who have been artistic collaborators for 25 years — gave a wrenching U.S. premiere to Canadian playwright Brad Fraser's powerful drama about a father and son dealing with a health crisis. It was brave and painful theater, at times so emotionally intimate that watching felt voyeuristic, but you couldn't look away.  - Steve Barnes, Times Union

5. Kill Me Now Kaliyuga Arts at the Cross Street Theater. As with Canadian playwright Brad Fraser’s True Love Lies earlier in the summer, Kaliyuga Arts brought this challenging playwright to an unsuspecting audience, taking difficult characters and subject matter head on in plays not likely to be seen in the region elsewhere. The U.S. premiere of Kill Me Now showed the best of Fraser’s plays, as frank and cruelly honest as the others, but more humorously humane or humanely humorous. - James Yeara, Metroland


"A wrenching black comedy about - there's no sugarcoating it - euthanasia. Using hard-edged laughs to make his points, Fraser paints a portrait of a family struggling with a teenager's disability, and what happens when a crippling illness hits another member of the same family. There is sex, sadness, comedy and tragedy; in other words, a rich evening of theater."  Metroland

Kill Me Now

October 3-13, 2013
Cross Street Theater Center

41-A Cross Street, Hudson NY

Directed and Designed by John Sowle

Production Stage Manager Jen Dobies* 

Costume Coordinator Sarah Schaeffer 


Kay Capasso, Samuel Hoeksema, Molly Parker-Myers, Steven Patterson* and JD Scalzo


"A TRULY EXTRAORDINARY PERFORMANCE ... In a long summer/autumn season with many insightful and moving new plays and musicals this one is a standout ... Possibly the last must-see theater of the 2013 season. If you cannot get to see this you will have missed the best chance you'll ever have to see this play this well-performed. One more superlative here and the page will simply burn up." -- J. Peter Bergman, Berkshire Bright Focus  (Click here for the full review)

"Profoundly emotional and deeply human and humane, KILL ME NOW by leading Canadian playwright Brad Fraser is remarkable and rewarding theater ... So honest and raw that watching at times borders on unbearable. There are moments that are true and heartbreaking enough that it feels like a privilege to witness them ... Ensemble acting near its best. That Patterson and Sowle have an artistic bond is understandable, given that they’ve been partners in life and onstage for more than 25 years. But for them to develop such trust and passion with young actors is thrilling to experience. Productions like this keep me going back to the theater."   -- Steve Barnes, Albany Times Union  (Click here for the full review)

"Canadian playwright Brad Fraser at his best...As with Brad Fraser's True Love Lies earlier in the summer, Kaliyuga Arts brought a challenging playwright to an unsuspecting audience, taking difficult characters and subject matter head on in plays not likely to be seen in the region elsewhere. Kill Me Now is the best of Fraser's plays, as frank and cruelly honest as the others, but more humorously humane...Kaliyuga Arts director John Sowle services the play with an excellent cast again; each performer brings the same focus, energy, and believability. To call this 'ensemble acting' would be to slight each actor's achievement, but to not have had actors of equal talent would have been to slight Kill Me Now. Director Sowle once again does double duty, and his economical set design serves both director and playwright well."  -- James Yeara, Metroland  (Click here for the full review)

"I am so in awe...One of the most compelling plays I've seen this summer and this has been a season for challenging work...A moving and beautiful experience. The performances were perfect. Samuel Hoeksema as the disabled Joey was no less than brilliant. Work this good does not happen in a vacuum and director John Sowle's invisible hand had to shape this memorable theatrical experience. A week ago I did not know anything about Kaliyuga Arts. Now I wouldn't miss one of their productions."  -- Bob Goepfert, The Arts Whisperer blog @ "The Troy Record" (Click here for the full review)

"A NIPPERTOWN TIP! ... Intimate, funny, and heartbreaking."  -- Nippertown


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Following the remarkable success of our production of TRUE LOVE LIES at Stageworks/Hudson this past spring, Kaliyuga Arts continues its "Brad Fraser Mini-Fest" with the U.S. premiere of KILL ME NOW, his newest, deepest, and most compassionate work to date. With its highly acclaimed September 6th world premiere at Workshop West in Edmonton, Alberta now behind it, this will be the play’s second full production ever – a real coup for both Kaliyuga Arts and Capital Region audiences. Described by the playwright as a “comedy about euthanasia”, KILL ME NOW uses humor as its weapon of choice in dealing with the serious, complex, and sometimes shocking issues it raises.

Widower Jake Sturdy, once a promising novelist now a creative writing teacher, works very hard to care for his severely disabled son Joey who, despite his challenges, is still very much a typical teenage boy. He's aided in this by his younger sister Twyla and Joey’s best friend Rowdy who is afflicted with fetal-alcohol syndrome. A clandestine affair with Robyn, a married woman, is Jake's only respite from the pressures of his life. But when Jake himself is suddenly stricken with a crippling condition, everything he wants for his family is put in jeopardy and they are all forced to face some very hard questions about pain, mortality, and the true price of love. KILL ME NOW is a funny, shattering, and heartbreaking story about caring for and ultimately having to say good-bye to those we love.

While KILL ME NOW touches on such hot button topics as the rights of the disabled and the ability (or inability) of adults to make end-of-life choices, at its core it’s about the family ties we forge, whether they are biological or not, and about finding compassion in ourselves and in others when our physical and emotional limitations are stretched to the breaking point. And while the play takes audiences to some very dark places, it leavens the journey with healthy doses of laughter.

Those who saw Kaliyuga Arts’ TRUE LOVE LIES at Stageworks will recognize three returning cast members from that production – Samuel Hoeksema as Joey, Molly Parker-Myers as Robyn, and Steven Patterson as Jake.  They will be joined by two actors from New York City who are new to Kaliyuga Arts: Kay Capasso as Twyla and JD Scalzo as Rowdy. John Sowle will direct and design the production, and stage management duties will again be handled by Jen Dobies.

Be warned. This production contains nudity and adult situations and is recommended for mature audiences only. And bring Kleenex.

There was plenty of press about the Edmonton world premiere production, which opened on September 6. Here are some links:

What It Is Podcast: Inteview with Brad and Mathew Hulshof
National Post:  Q&A with playwright Brad Fraser: “I have no choice but to be who I am"
Gigcity.ca: Brad Fraser to premiere new play in Edmonton
Metro News: Edmonton playwright Brad Fraser debuts controversial play ‘Kill Me Now’
The Charlebois Post: In a Word... Brad Fraser on Kill Me Now (Workshop West)
http://finsterfinds.blogspot.com/ (Monday, September 16th entry)

Here is a response from David Ramsden, who witnessed a rehearsal prior to the opening:

"I was so privileged this afternoon to be able to watch the rehearsal for Brad Fraser's new play "Kill Me Now", invited by both Brad and David Skelton here in Edmonton. There was myself and a young woman named Elana who is studying playwriting at the National Theatre School, and other than that the cast and crew, designers and sound etc. Both Elana and I are leaving this city in the morning so very fortunate to have been invited.  What an incredible play. So touching, true, loving, compassionate, funny and raw, absolutely amazing writing and insight and unbelievable performances by the 5 cast members. I was pinned to my seat by it, alternately laughing and then swept away in a river of tears by the end. It touched so many chords in my life and I could see in Elana's too because we were both sitting there with tears rolling down our cheeks and mesmerized by the level of performance and commitment and understanding of the human condition. Really honoured to have seen it and met the people involved with it, and so great to see both David and Brad. David has worked on 9 of Brad's shows, unbeknownst to me. Somebody should be doing this show in Toronto immediately! No fucking kidding. Unlike anything I have ever seen of Brad's before and so deep and so human. Loved it. Can not wait to be given the opportunity to see it again somewhere. Fucking loved it."

And excerpts from a few of the Edmonton reviews:

"'FRASER DELIVERS POWERFUL, EDGY NEW PLAY'...A very funny, raw piece about disability, family love and end-of-life issues with immediately engaging, believable characters wrestling truthfully with one helluva complicated situation...A heart-wrenching, brutal conclusion that set off a chorus of sniffs to rival any doctor's office during the height of cold and flu season. It would be a cliche to say 'you'll laugh, you'll cry,' so let's put it a different way. Fraser's new work is like a family: intimate, difficult, one-of-a-kind, a beautiful beast of a thing which triggers the full spectrum of emotion."  Elizabeth Withey, Edmonton Journal
"Kill Me Now is the kind of play that wins awards. The kind of play that deserves to win awards. I've seen it twice so far, because after the first time I saw it I couldn't stop thinking about it. I still found it provocative, moving, amusing, and fascinating the second time through. And you might see me there again."  Ephemeral Pleasures
"A 90-minute whirlwind of raw, human feeling...Fraser is a master of mixing the tragic with just the right amount of levity and this delicate balance sustains a powerful attention-grabbing atmosphere throughout the duration of the show...A show that truly transcends the cultural taboo of discussing disability in a frank and open manner - something that makes this play one you won't want to miss."  Brad Kennedy, The Gateway
"'NO EASY ANSWERS, Brad Fraser's memorable Kill Me Now asks difficult questions'...At the heart of the story is the fundamental question of our rights - or lack thereof - over our own bodies. But Kill Me Now isn't there to offer an answer or present a moral treatise on the subject. Rather, it is a gritty, personal story of a family doing its best to grapple with these issues on a daily basis. And in this it succeeds, vividly and memorably."  Mel Priestly, VUE Weekly
"Four and a half Suns...Said Shakespeare in The Tempest : 'We are such stuff as dreams are made on.' In Kill Me Now, Fraser gives us the stuff of life. One of the most creative, original, and articulate voices in Canadian theatre."  Colin Maclean, Edmonton Sun

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Kay Capasso Kay Capasso as Twyla

Kay is an actor based in New York City. She received her Acting MFA at Actors Studio Drama School as part of the graduating class of 2012. Favorite NYC credits include Nan in As Wide As I Can See, Betsy in After the Circuit, and both Reggie and Jackie in 3x3, or 9 After 9.  Prior to New York, she worked professionally in Chicago for three years. Some of her favorite credits there were Sarah in Stop Kiss, Ingrid in Becoming Ingrid, and Chris in Dancing at Lughnasawww.kaycapasso.com
Samuel Hoeksema Samuel Hoeksema as Joey

Samuel returns to Kaliyuga Arts after appearing as Royce in their production of True Love Lies this spring. Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Samuel Hoeksema moved to New York in 2010, attending the two year Professional Acting Program at Circle in the Square Theatre School, graduating this past Spring. Select theatre credits include: Lazy Philosophy in which he originated the role of Evan (Manhattan Theatre Rep), Waiting for Lefty as Sid (Circle in the Square Theatre), Five Variations on Hamlet as Hamlet (Frost Theatre), and The Right to Children (Workshop Theatre) as Jack, also written by Samuel.  www.samuelhoeksema.com

Molly Parker-Myers as Robyn

Molly is an actor and singer based in the Hudson Valley.  Molly is delighted to work with the Kaliyuga Arts team again, after appearing their previous productions of True Love Lies (Carolyn) and The Mound Builders (Cynthia). Other recent credits include A Little Night Music (Desiree) at Rhinebeck Theatre Society, The Divine Sister (Mrs. Levinson/Timothy) and Forbidden Broadway at Stageworks/Hudson, The Ladies Man (Marie) at Shadowland Theatre and The Sound of Music (Elsa) at TriArts Sharon Playhouse.  Favorite roles includeThe Language Archive (Mary), Hairspray (Velma), The Drowsy Chaperone (The Drowsy Chaperone), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Muriel Eubanks) and Falsettos  (Doctor Charlotte). 

Steven Patterson* as Jake

Steven has performed in New York City and regionally with such theaters as South Coast Repertory, TheatreWorks, Capital Repertory, Lexington Conservatory Theatre, freeFall Theatre, Chenango River Theatre, Centenary Stage Company, Depot Theatre, Contemporary Opera Marin, and the Oregon, Orlando, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, and Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festivals. A few of his favorite roles have been King Lear, Jean Genet in Beauty, Austin Wiggin in The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World, David in Poor Super Man, Zach in A Chorus Line, the Creature in Frankenstein, Ubu in Ubu Rex, and Judi Boswell in How to Pray. Co-Artistic Director of Kaliyuga Arts, he currently resides in Catskill, NY.


JD Scalzo JD Scalzo as Rowdy

JD Scalzo is thrilled to be working with Kaliyuga Arts on the U.S. premiere of Kill Me Now. He was most recently seen in On the Uptown 2 Express Train with Broadway Theatre Studio in the Strawberry One Act Festival. He has been a part of several other new works including the New York City premieres of Envoy with Ensemble, Atria in the Midtown International Theatre Festival, Bayside the Unmusical! (a parody of Saved by the Bell), and in The Black Book as apart of the 2012 Araca Project. Additionally he originated the role of Andrew in the world premiere of Follow Me Down with Aporia Theatre produced at The Flea Theatre.  JD has worked across the grid with several independent theater companies including RAL Productions, YATA, The Heights Players, and The Looking Glass Theatre. He is a graduate of Wagner College Theatre. www.jdscalzo.com.  
Jen Dobies

Jen Dobies* -- Production Stage Manager

Jen returns to Kaliyuga Arts after stage managing their production ofTrue Love Lies and serving as Production Stage Manager and Artistic Associate for Stageworks/Hudson's 2013 summer season. Jen resides in Durham, NY and is a 2012 graduate of Mount Saint Mary College with a BA in English and a minor in Theater. In 2010, she produced, designed, and directed a Staged Reading of Dog Sees God. In her senior year, as an executive member of the Student Government Association, she designed the annual spring concert featuring We The Kings and Mayday Parade. And as President of the campus Drama club, she designed and directed an adaptation of Rent.  She plans to attend Graduate School sometime in the near future.

Brad Fraser Brad Fraser - Author

Brad Fraser is one of Canada's best known playwrights, in addition to being a director for stage and film, a talk show host, and wearing many other hats. Born in Edmonton, Alberta in 1959, Brad won his first playwritings competition at the age of 17 and has been writing ever since.

Brad's International hit play Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love premiered at Alberta Theatre Projects PlayRites festival in 1989. It has since been produced worldwide and has been translated into multiple languages. His Poor Super Man, developed by Canadian Stage, was first produced by the Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati in 1994. It was nominated for a Governor Generals Award for Drama and was developed into a feature film with Brad as writer and director. Poor Super Man, like Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love, was listed by Time Magazine as one of the top ten plays of its year.

Martin Yesterday premiered at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in 1997. The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, England commissioned Snake in Fridge, which opened November 20, 2000. His musical Outrageous, written with composer Joey Miller, enjoyed a successful run at Toronto's Canadian Stage and is being redeveloped for off-Broadway. The Royal Exchange Theatre commissioned Brad to write Cold Meat Party, which had a successful opening there in February 2003. And his two most recent plays, Five @ Fifty and True Love Lies have also premiered at the Royal Exchange. Kill Me Now is currently slated to premiere at Workshop West in Edmonton, Alberta in September of 2013.

Other produced plays include: Mutants (Walterdale Theatre, Edmonton, 1981), Wolfboy (Twenty-fifth Street Theatre, Saskatoon, 1982), Rude Noises (For a Blank Generation) (A pseudo-collective with Paul Thompson and Theatre Passe Muraille, Toronto, 1982), Chainsaw Love (Edmonton Fringe Festival, 1985), Young Art (Theatre Passe Muraille, 1986), Return of the Bride (Edmonton Fringe Festival, 1989), The Ugly Man (Alberta Theatre Projects, Calgary, 1990) and Prom Night of the Living Dead-a musical with Darrin Hagen (The Citadel Teen Festival of the Arts, Edmonton, 1991).

Brad's plays have won numerous awards including The London Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright, The L.A. Critics Award, The Dora Mavor Moore Award, and London's Time Out Award for Best New Play. Brad is a five-time winner of the Alberta Culture Playwrighting Competition and a two-time winner of the prestigious Chalmers Award.

In addition to his work as a playwright and director Brad has spoken at various universities and arts institutions across the continent on such subjects as "Why I Hate The Theatre" - a witty, merciless commentary on the current state of theatre and theatrical criticism (The Grand Theatre, London, Ontario and The University of Saskatchewan, Regina), and the affect of AIDS on his work in the highly personal and hard hitting "What I Did During the Plague" (Concordia University, Montreal and The University of Nebraska, Lincoln). Brad has written extensively for print media (The Edmonton Bullet, The Globe and Mail, Western Living, The National Post), radio (CBC, BBC, and CKUA) and various film companies (Disney/Touchstone, Lewis Chesler Productions, Atlantis/Alliance and Serendipity Point Films).

Brad's film and television work include "Love and Human Remains" (Directed by Denys Arcand and Genie award winner for best adapted screenplay), "Parade" (A feature length video with Daniel MacIvor), and the self-directed "Leaving Metropolis" (based on his play Poor Super Man, winner of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Film Festival Audience favourite award, and available on DVD in Canada and America). He worked as a writer and Supervising Producer on Showtime's highly popular "Queer As Folk" for three seasons and continues to develop scripts for film, TV and Stage. Brad has been playwright in residence at Theatre Passe Muraille, Workshop West Theatre and Alberta Theatre Projects. He has been a three-time member of the Banff Centre's Playwrights Colony. Currently Brad divides his time between his home in Toronto and Los Angeles. Brad's work has enjoyed the very important support of The Canada Council, The Edmonton Arts Council, Alberta Culture, The Trillium Foundation, The Laidlaw Foundation, Telefilm Canada and The Ontario Arts Council. Without the support of these groups Brad's work would not have achieved its success. Brad's plays are available at finer bookstores everywhere.
* Indicates a member of Actors Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.


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