‘Wounded’ – Shows That Vengeance Is The Great Salve

By Ernest Kearney   —  Wounded is an engine firing on all cylinders.  A granite strong script by Jiggs Burgess, two actors, Shaw Jones and Craig Taggart, whose talents fuse into a perfect partnering, and the deft and precise direction of Spencer Frankeberger.

The story is composed in bold strokes, functioning like a work of Japanese calligraphy.  Two high school friends come together for a reunion.  After a long absence, Carroll (Taggart) has returned to their rural hometown.  He is a kimono-clad prancing self-proclaimed “queer,” whose obvious homosexuality made him a target throughout his youth. Robert (Jones) who is also gay, remained in the South and has purposely tuned his persona to avoid the friction he would otherwise face. 

From the outset, the dramatic narrative is in continual discord, with Burgess’ dialogue purposely designed to affect an inharmonious duet between the two men that seems to echo Bernard Herrmann’s score for Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.

Platinum Medal

As Herrmann’s composition did, the dissonance of Burgess’ language evokes and maintains a relentless tension.  In a series of exchanges, each more savage than the prior, we have a horrible confession and learn of a brutal assault which changed both men’s lives.  The vengeance that comes is both layered and perhaps meaningless as nothing is healed if the soul is cauterized down to blackened ash. In the end, the question that lingers is who is to blame if a wound is self-inflicted?

For all involved a Platinum Medal.


playing during the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2023
at the
The Broadwater (Black Box)), in Hollywood.

For Hollywood Fringe Festival Details, Wounded Show Information, and Tickets Click HERE.

Written by

An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

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