Chapter Meeting – August 5, 2015

We were four people at this meeting.  Richard, a student at St Joseph’s University, joined us for the first time.  Richard recently completed a refresher of the SSMP (Successful Sttutering Management Program) which focuses on stuttering modification, and managing our own stuttering.  We had a nice discussion about other types of programs out there.

Jim talked about confronting situations that could be challenging as a person who stutters. He forces himself to take on those situations to keep in practice.  This is not something that will work for everyone and some people are reluctant to do it not because they don’t want to, but because it might not be the right solution for them.

I brought up my recent emails and conversations with Diuedonne  Nsabimana from the African Stuttering Institute in Rwanda.  Mitch said that when he was with the Louisiana NSA they raised money to buy computers and ship them to Africa.

Philly NSA on Stage!

Philly NSA on Stage!

I have not reported any updates regarding our play for the last few months and there is a lot to tell.  It’s called Alzheimer’s – The Musical, a one-act play by Todd Cardin.  It is a musical comedy produced by Actor’s International, Katherine Filer’s group that works to provide the opportunity to act for people with any type of disability.

From March through May we met once a week over the phone to read the script and start memorizing our lines.  Rehearsals started in June at Plays and Players Theater in Philadelphia, where we will be performing.

This is my first experience doing theater and so far it has exceeded all my expectations.  We are acting, dancing and singing!  Scenes change quickly just by moving differently on stage, or changing the intonation of what you are saying.  From the stuttering point of view, I am discovering how my fluency changes from one scene to the next, or even on the same scene after several repetitions.  There are times that I get anxious as the live date approaches, but I find that a lot of rehearsal helps a lot to increase my level of confidence.

The cast are members of our chapter: Marissa Moscheta, Bill Collins, Alan Cohen, Mitch Trichon and myself.  A lot of great people are donating their time and experience to help us prepare for this.  Dom Olivastro, Lucy Reed and Katherine Filer from the South Jersey chapter are helping us with script rehearsals, filling in for the other actors when needed and many other tasks.  Jerry Puma, a professional actor, plays one of the characters and we are learning a lot from him.  We have a costume designer, Michele Marg, that will help us look fabulous. Live music is provided by Mark Pasquini, who is working his magic to make our songs sound terrific.  And our director, Bill McKinlay, who is very patient with us and has great ideas to make us all shine.

Part of the proceeds will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association and the National Stuttering Association.  We just kicked off the ticket sales and fundraising campaign.  You can purchase tickets ($20 ea.) and/or make a donation by going to the Kickstarter site:

On the site, click on “Back This Project”.  Select the type of pledge you want and then enter the amount.  For example to get two tickets only, select the “$20 or more” pledge for the day you want and enter $40.  Let me know if you have any problems navigating through this.  The theatre is small, about 60 seats, and they are not numbered; every seat is a good seat.  The shows will sell out once the Fringe Festival starts selling tickets in mid-August.  Get yours now!

Below is our schedule.  Check the details on our Events page

  • Sunday, September 13th at 3 pm
  • Monday, September 14th at 7 pm
  • Saturday, September 19th at 5 pm
  • Sunday, September 20th at 7 pm

The running time is 75 minutes, with a 30 minute talk back with the cast immediately following.

There will be two additional performances in October, but they have not been confirmed yet.  One at the same location in Philly and another at the Producers Club in New York City, 2 blocks from Time Square.  Tickets are not for sale for those yet, but let me know if you are interested.