Perfectly Normel People Arrives in NYC...

Guest Contributor

Guest Grit post by Judy Heath (#2 in series: Read #1 here)


"If you want a ruben sweetheart, go to The Carnegie Deli." —a line from "Perfectly Normel People"


I snapped the above photo to say... we have arrived. In my first blog, I briefed you on the the adventure our Charleston-based cast and crew is setting out on, headed for the The Players Theatre in New York City for a five-show run of our play, “Perfectly Normel People.”



We started out, as all journeys do, hopeful, clean, and ready to rock and roll! Some of us by air, most of us by car, many of us together in a caravan rolling up the coast toward our final destination: FringeNYC. The young actors shared a car and when we met up at rest stops they remained lively and lovely, as the rest of us withered a bit by the second day—damned youth! Somehow our caravan went astray around New Jersey and we lost each other—thank God for cell phones.



We arrived at our venue: The Players Theatre on MacDougal Street in The Village; no place like this vibrant, artistic, colorful community in the world. I pried my hands off the steering wheel of the minivan, to which they had become glued somewhere around the Holland Tunnel when I saw my life passing before me. Thank God for our senior actor, Ross Magoulas (Pops), who kicked in with some show tunes as we became hopelessly lost, yet again!


Our “Perfectly Normel People” (PNP) family showed the folks at Players Theatre what teamwork is, as we kicked into high-gear unloading our U-Haul. There are no out-of-whack egos in this unusual ensemble—everyone pitches in, whether onstage or behind the scenes. Tripp Hamilton (Frankie), grew up around theatre, as his parents own Pure Theatre in Charleston. He knows what needs to be done on and off stage without being told. Bronson Taylor (Hadley) our College of Charleston lead, actually built our countertop for the production, and the contributions of our little group go on and on.


After checking into the venue, some of us went to our apartment rental in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, where we are living, dormitory-style for the next couple of weeks. As I woke to find our Associate Producer, Catherine Burton (Professor of Criminal Justice at The Citadel), sipping her first cup of coffee with an “I’m too old for this shit” look on her face and heard the pitter-patter of the elephant children in the apartment above us, I knew that we were not in Kansas anymore!


{ Judy Heath recently co-authored two full-length plays with husband Thomas, the second of which, "Perfectly Normel People," is headed to New York for its off-Broadway premiere at The New York International Fringe Festival. She's best known as a psychotherapist and bereavement specialist who has authored two books in her field, but her interest in theater has been ongoing. In fact, she and husband Thomas met acting in New York. “There is a natural correlation between theatre and psychology,” she explains, “One must understand human nature to develop believable characters.” }