A new drama soon to open off-Broadway takes on the weighty subject of Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS), a term that is all too familiar to those who play or watch football.
“Headstrong” begins previews at the Ensemble Studio Theatre on April 18, where it will be preparing for an April 30 opening that has a limited run through May 13.
According to Playbill.com, playwright Patrick Link developed the play for E.S.T.’s Alfred P. Sloan Project for New Plays on Science and Technology, and Artistic Director William Carden is directing.
The drama, in which an ex-NFL player finds himself questioning everything in his life after the sudden death of his Pro-Bowler son-in-law, explores the phenomenon of repeated head trauma and its ramifications for athletes, as well as for their loved ones.
Alexander Gemignani, a veteran of Broadway (“Les Misérables,” “Sunday in the Park with George”) and Off-Broadway (“
But there are larger, societal questions evoked by the piece as well. In the same article, director Carden states, “Science tells us these men put their lives at risk when they go out on that field. But there is a deep need in our culture for heroes, and these men answer that need. So this play is asking, ‘do we lose our heroes if we heed our science?’ It’s a conflict.”
And how much loss must that society suffer before it responds? “When science tells us that our traditions, our passions are flawed,” added Link, “how do we change? What consequence is severe enough to bring about change? If brain damage isn’t enough…what is?”
“Headstrong” joins the growing medical and sports movements in asking these questions. Though currently, there are more questions than answer, it seems likely that such a pioneering work will help to further the discourse.
Sources close to the new play were unavailable for comment to TicketNews.