John N. Frank, co-founder of the 2nd Act Players, will be portraying an elderly Albert Einstein in a planned stage reading of a new play, Einstein’s Compass produced by Chicago’s Royal James Theater. The reading will take place Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 7 p.m. in The Merion, an Evanston senior-living residence.
The part represents Frank’s first return to the stage since before the Covid Pandemic began in 2020. “I am so looking forward to being with other actors again and hearing an audience react to us,” says Frank. “And playing a legend like Albert Einstein is a great honor and challenge for me.”
Einstein’s Compass by B.J. Mohr delves into the mind of the man who revolutionized science at the beginning of the 20th century, the opposition he faced, the way in which Germany’s anti-Semitism transformed his view of his Jewish heritage, and his relationship to God.
“I’ve lost track of how many video auditions I sent theaters and various ad agencies and others looking for commercial talent this year. For this play, I auditioned in person, and with a German accent, and that seemed to do it,” Frank says. “I may use that German accent again. I’m sure all my high school and college German teachers are smiling down on me.” German was Frank’s college minor.
The Evanston 2nd Act Players has been inactive since its last online show in the summer of 2021 as the space it performed in goes through extensive renovations and it attempts to form a new board of directors focused on fundraising.
That’s left Frank the time to shop his numerous plays to other theaters and to audition for acting roles.
His play Boys in the Basement which examines how men deal with divorce will be produced next June by the Creative Corner Theater in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Boys also will have a Zoom reading this December by the ATC Studios in Clifton, N.J. Frank’s plays New Year’s Eve at Grandma’s House, My Pandemic Life and Moving Boxes received online readings earlier this year.