This past week I saw my first rehearsal for the Newton Nomadic Theater’s upcoming production Molly Sweeney by Brian Friel. It’s the story of a blind woman and her sighted husband who brings her to a doctor in hopes of curing her blindness.

Meanwhile I’ve been reading a Christmas present from my wife – “On the Move”, Oliver Sacks’ memoir.  Oliver Sacks is the neurologist/writer best known for writing “Awakenings” and “The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat”.

The further I got into the book the more I enjoyed it and the more and more it began to overlap with the themes in Molly Sweeney.  There was all sorts of fascinating discussion about the nature and mechanisms of vision and how vision is connected to our (most of us) whole sense of reality and personality.  I was getting quite a kick out of all the parallels between this book and our theaters’ upcoming production.

Today I read Oliver Sacks talking about a particular patient’s case.  It was a young man, who’s sighted wife brings him to a doctor to see if he can cure her blindness.  The wife says “what does he have to lose” – a line right out of Molly Sweeney.   I was bowled over by these amazing coincidences.

I sent an email about all this to the cast of the play … and found out the playwright was inspired to write Molly Sweeney after reading an Oliver Sacks book.   Somehow that was a bit reassuring.  Otherwise the coincidences were just getting a bit too strange.

The Newton Nomadic Theater’s production of Molly Sweeney will run from Feb 5 – March 6.  We’re just finalizing the schedule so more details soon.  One exciting bit of news is that we’ll be bringing this production to a new venue – Boccabella’s Cafe in Auburndale for two nights (Feb 26/27)

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