Capital Fringe 2014 Preview: ‘À Demain’ by Ryan O’Connell

À Demain is a powerful and incredibly personal journey through the depths of life, death, depression and forgiveness. “À  Demain” is a French expression which translates as “until tomorrow.” It is most commonly used as a means of saying goodbye, but as many of us know all too well, tomorrow is a gift, not a guarantee.


Inspired by an event that took the lives of three bright, promising and compassionate individuals, the play follows a young man who must find a way to continue living. He does not wish to move on, to accept that his best friend, Johnny, is not coming back. Lead actor and playwright, Brendan O’Connell, shares, “What made Johnny so special was that he cared more about his friends than himself. While we’ve all tried so hard the past few years to emulate his joy and love of life, we’ve been filled with such anger, searching for answers as to how something so tragic could happen to someone so young.”

Struggling with his own guilt and grief, and blind to the reality that many around him feel the same way, our protagonist is afraid to face the uncertainty of Tomorrow.

My brother Brendan has poured his heart and soul into this play. It is truly a tall order for the rest of us to match his passion for this piece and to put in every bit of ourselves as he has. But as actress Naomi Cohen puts it, À Demain is a story that needs to be told, not just for those who know it, but for those who don’t. Actor Max Schneiderman adds, “This play is an emotional roller coaster, but a fun one at that, thanks to the whole cast and crew involved. We believe it is well put together and conveys a strong message today’s youth can benefit from.”

À Demain teaches us that we must be happy for the moments we have together. We must smile big and often and without reservation, as Johnny did. Brendan says, “In our darkest moments, he has given us the strength to keep driving toward the light. He has saved me from myself time and again. I truly believe he lives on through my smile and in that sense, we never really lose the people we love. They will always be a part of who we are.”

I am proud to be a part of this production, and invite you all to join us for Á Demain this July. As actor Javier del Pilar notes, “We all know what it is like to grieve, struggling to find the light in the all-consuming darkness.”À Demain provides an outlet for our grief. Johnny remains an inspiration to us all, for a pain so deep comes only from a love even deeper. These words, from a poem Johnny wrote, will hold a place in my heart forever:

“Say hello and smile before you say goodbye…”


 Redrum at Fort Fringe-612 L Street NW, in Washington, DC 20001
Nearest Metro: Mt. Vernon Square or Gallery Place-Chinatown

Thursday, July 10th at 9:15 pm

Sunday, July 13th at 12:30 pm

Thursday, July 17th at 6:15 pm

Friday, July 18th at 10 pm

Sunday, July 20th at 8:30 pm

Friday, July 25th at 6 pm



À Demain is part of the 9th annual Capital Fringe Festival (July 10th – 27, 2014).

Featuring: Natalie Piegari (Director), Brendan O’Connell, Max Schneiderman, Ryan O’Connell, Kate Edwards, Naomi Cohen, Javier del Pilar, and Matt Dyer.

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