2013 Capital Fringe Show Preview: ‘The Actual Dance’ by Sam A. Simon

A Rare and Courageous Male Voice Brings to DC Fringe the Unique Perspective of the Love Partner in the Breast Cancer Struggle

Sam A. Simon.
Sam A. Simon.

The Actual Dance is a true story. But did it really happen? You must decide as you wander through the mystical world of spirits, out-of-body experiences and a love so deep it seems tangible. Sam’s wife of 33 years is finally diagnosed with breast cancer after years of false alarms. The Actual Dance is the story of what happened after that diagnosis.

The characters and the story resonant deeply with all those who have faced a cancer diagnosis in a loved one. There is a gap in the cancer “ritual.” There is support for the patient. There are infrastructures for the care givers. There is little, if any, discussion or support for those in a love relationship to the person diagnosed with cancer. The Actual Dance is about that difficult place and gives voice to the range of emotions, fears, love, and the occasional comedy.

The show has previewed on stages in Washington, New York, California, and Arkansas. Everyone who has seen it has been changed by the story and its dramatic and inspiring presentation. The story and the show hold lessons for everyone: loved ones, the nurses, the doctors, the clergy and the friends.

The Actual Dance began as a brief monologue developed as part of Carol Fox Prescott acting class in New York City. Encouraged by the responses to the monologue Sam began to write “the rest of the story.” In April of 2012 he engaged Gabrielle Maisels talented and accomplished solo performer in New York to help him figure out how to finish this project as dramaturg. During the developmental readings the responses have changed Sam. The Actual Dance has not only been transformed into a fully developed show, but it is changed Sam who now pursue the play and performance as his calling.

About Samuel A. Simon (Playwright/Performer)
Samuel A. (Sam) Simon is in his “fourth age.” He began his career as one of the first lawyers to work for Ralph Nader. He went on to create a company that pioneered in building winning coalitions for public advocacy in Washington for 25 years. In his third age he has served as a Senior Fellow at Intersections International in New York, a multi-faith initiative of the Collegiate Church devoted to justice, peace and reconciliation. The Actual Dance represents a “fourth age” for Sam as he finds a new calling in telling the story of his experiences with the woman he has loved most in the world through her diagnosis of Stage 3 Breast Cancer. As an Actor, Sam has trained and worked with Artistic New Directions in New York for the last 15 years, as well as training in Gary Austin Workshops, Carol Fox Prescott acting teacher and coach, and most recently with Gabrielle Maisels as Dramaturg for The Actual Dance and as his solo show and acting coach.  The show is directed by Jessie Roberts, an accomplished actor, director, and playwright.

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All performances are at the Fort Fringe  — Bedroom 612 L Street NW, in Washington, DC 

Friday July 12th at 8:00 p.m.
Sunday July 14th at 4:30 p.m.
Thursday July 18th at 6:30 pm
Saturday July 20th at 9:30 p.m.
Saturday July 27th at 2:30 p.m.



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