The 2nd Act Players’ will be mounting a weekend of staged readings of Cofounder John N. Frank’s play The Institute next January in New York City. The performances, tentatively scheduled for Jan 25-26, will take place at Frank’s high school, Xavier, which serves as the inspiration for the setting of the play itself.
“To see this play done at the school where it’s set was something I didn’t even hope to dream of when I wrote it in 2016. It’s taken two years, and a lot of help from my high school, to pull this together,” says Frank.
Through referrals made by the school’s president, Frank has found a New York producer/casting director for the play. Frank himself will direct the staged readings in January. “When we produced this play in Evanston back in 2016, I acted in it, but realized when it was over that the next time it was done, I wanted to direct it. Now that’s going to happen,” he says.
The play is inspired by Frank’s years at Xavier during the height of the Vietnam War. The school, which sits only a few blocks from Greenwich Village, at the time was an all-military Catholic high school but Frank’s class was the last for which the military was mandatory for all students.
“Those were turbulent times in a highly divided country, much like today,” Frank recalls. “Issues of how friendships survive such divisions which the play raises are still very relevant today.”
Frank is in the process of revising his original script for the 2019 performances.
“Taking this show to New York will be expensive for us, so we need the help of our donors to make this a reality,” says Frank. “Use the donate button on our websites to help get us there.”