Coming to the Capital Fringe Festival: ‘The Play About The Coach’ by Paden Fallis

With the success of last year’s Lombardi and the recent run of Bird/Magic on Broadway, actor and writer Paden Fallis started thinking the time was ripe to remount his one-man show, The Play About The Coach.

“Sports and theatre have always been like oil and water. But recently we’ve seen the ice start to thaw. The storytelling possibilities are endless,” says Fallis.

Paden Fallis

Fallis developed The Play About The Coach in 2007 under the watchful eye of director Tom Ridgely. They previewed the show in New York and the following year took it to the Philadelphia Fringe Festival where they walked away with a handful of strong reviews.  In 2009, The Play About The Coach went to the Out of the Loop Festival in Dallas and played to sold out audiences and, later that year, was awarded the Top Touring Production for the 2008/09 season from the Dallas Ft Worth Theatre Critics Association.

The Play About The Coach takes place in the final three minutes of a March Madness basketball game. As the clock ticks away the coach comes head-to-head with a backstabbing assistant, a gifted adversary, a God-like referee and a mysterious stranger who repeatedly phones down to the bench. The play is the first of its kind…a one-man show that takes the audience courtside into the final, crucial minutes of a high stakes game through the eyes of a desperate man.

The Play About The Coach will be moving back to New York after its time in DC for its first Off-Broadway run. Fallis couldn’t be happier with the opportunity to bring this play back to the stage.

“Films have never shied from the sports story, but in most films, whether it be a classic like Rocky or a story about a Jamaican bobsledding team, they almost always approach it from the standpoint of the underdog.  They’re feel-good movies. What we are doing here is something different altogether,” Fallis states. “We are putting this coach’s American Dream under a microscope. This isn’t Disney. It’s Willy Loman on the sideline.”

Fallis and Ridgely took pains to make this play seem as authentic as possible. The entire play is “scored” with the real live sounds of a basketball game – the ebb and flow of the crowd, the referee’s whistle, and cheerleader music. “The minute you enter the theatre, we want you to feel like you’re in the world of the game,” Fallis says.

Director Tamara Fisch has recently come on board to take over the reigns from Ridgely as the show moves to DC and then back to New York. She is excited to help the show take its next important step.

“I am most compelled by theater that reveals the universal through the truly specific,” Fisch states.  “Paden has drawn a deeply authentic and detailed portrait of a true American Everyman searching for salvation on the basketball court. We all dream of a chance to transcend our little lives, our failures and inadequacies in one shining moment of triumph. We travel that journey with the coach, from hope to heartbreak.”

Fallis and Fisch are rehearsing the play in New York now, excited to premiere the show in DC for the Capital Fringe.

Fallis sums it up, “DC is a perfect fit. Great theatre town, great sports town.”

Paden Fallis

The Play About The Coach will be playing at the Goethe Institut – 812 7th Street. NW. Take the red, yellow or green line to the Gallery Place/Chinatown stop. The theatre is less than one block from the metro stop.

Showtimes are:

TU 7/17 6:30PM
FR 7/20 10:30PM
SU 7/22 NOON
TH 7/26 8:00PM
SA 7/28 5:15PM

Purchase tickets here starting June 18th.


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