McDonald’s Play Opens on Broadway

Posted: February 8, 2002 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Colleen Kearney Rich

An Almost Holy Picture, written by playwright and George Mason Theater professor Heather McDonald, opened last night on Broadway at the Roundabout’s American Airlines Theater. The two-hour, one-man play stars Kevin Bacon, who was instrumental in bringing the piece to Broadway.

It’s been almost a decade since Bacon has appeared on stage, and he was searching for just the right vehicle. “[This play] was one of those things that, for whatever reasons, you feel connected to,” Bacon was quoted in the New York Times. In An Almost Holy Picture, Bacon portrays Samuel Gentle, a former Episcopal minister, who is now the groundskeeper at the Church of the Holy Comforter. The four-part soliloquy chronicles Gentle’s life as well as his spiritual crisis.

The play, McDonald’s fifth, is not a new one. An Almost Holy Picture debuted at the La Jolla Playhouse in California in 1995 and was selected Best New Play of the Year by the Los Angeles Times. In 1999, McDonald was also awarded the Kesselring Prize for Young Playwrights for the work. Michael Mayer, who directed the 1995 run, has returned to direct the Broadway version.

McDonald, who has taught at Mason for seven years, has had two of her plays, Dream of a Common Language and Faulkner’s Bicycle, produced on campus by the Mason’s own resident theater company, Theater of the First Amendment (TFA). TFA’s production of Dream was recognized with four Helen Hayes awards, including Outstanding Play.

Write to at