‘THIS SHOW IS SURROUNDED BY TRUE EVENTS’ – A Comedy With A Crippling Punch Line…

By Ernest Kearney — Playwright Pamela Eberhardt has written a funny comedy that conceals, beneath the laughter, a very vicious “Bouncing Betty.”

The play is set up with rear stage projections, some perhaps a tad too dim and shifting a tad too fast, but they’re amusing little asides about the difficulties the production faced with the casting.

From there we find ourselves in a prison visitation room where a young woman meets her prison pen-pal.  The meeting is awkward, as they speak on handheld phones while sitting on opposite sides of a thick glassed panel.

Eberhardt, who plays the young woman, is evasive, Tyler Hayes Stilwill who plays the convict, a former actor, is emotive to the extreme.

Eberhardt and Stilwill are both charming, and the laughter comes effortlessly and plentiful.

“This Show Surrounded by True Events” AdArt

The audience is having a lovely time, just as the bull romping about the bullring enjoys himself lunging at that red cape completely oblivious to the fact that concealed beneath it is a very sharp estoc.

Under Scott Leggett’s deft direction, the reality of Eberhardt’s flashes into view by which time it’s too late.   Eberhardt’s character is responsible for Stilwill’s prisoner being convicted of a series of murders he was not guilty of.

The play continues to confuse us, is it a comedy we’re watching?  We will get a happy ending, won’t we?  Then the photos and names are projected against the back wall: Carlos DeLuna, Ruben Cantu, Troy Davis—men who were wrongly convicted and executed for crimes they were innocent of.

And Eberhardt slips the estoc right into our hearts, in her subtle, smart and savage indictment of the system.

The system that has convicted innocent men of capital crimes somewhere between four percent and twenty percent of the time; it’s hard to determine because state authorities are reluctant to open their files.

The system wherein the Supreme Court of the United States has declared that the U.S. Constitution does not give convicts the right to DNA testing.

Here we thought it was a comedy we were all laughing at, and in reality we were laughing at the joke that is the American justice system.

Ha.  Ha.


This Show is Surrounded by True Events

Playing During the Hollywood Festival Fringe 2024


The Broadwater (Black Box)

6322 Santa Monica Blvd.

Saturday June 29 2024, 10:30 PM | 1hr

Sunday June 30 2024, 8:00 PM | 1hr


Ernest Kearney - author
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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