Stage production examines friendship and mental health

Around Town

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Out of Pocket, Inc. will present “Klonsky and Schwartz” with virtual performances on June 4, 5, 11, and 12 at 7:30 p.m.

Actor Brad Craddock, who plays Milton Klonsky in the production, discussed the show Tuesday during News 8 at Noon.

“So really it’s about two poets,” said Craddock. “One is Delmore Schwartz who is a famous poet. He won all sorts of awards. He wrote eight books. His poetry is collected in a lot of modern poetry anthologies, modern poetry. Klonsky – Milton Klonsky – was more of a failed poet. He wanted to be a poet but couldn’t do it. He wasn’t a very good poet but he was a very good non-fiction writer and really wrote a lot of scholarly books along with being an editor for a lot of poetry anthologies.”

Craddock explained how their differing talents helped shape their friendship and created fertile ground for the play, written by Romulus Linney. “My character, Milton Klonsky, was always in the shadow of Delmore Schwartz. Delmore Schwartz, as he got older, was suffering from mental illness and so really the play is largely about Delmore Schwartz’s falling into a mental decline and how really supportive Milton Klonsky was to their friendship. So it’s a very contentious play, a lot of arguing and lots of high and low moments in this particular play as we deal with the friendship between these two men.”

Audiences will have plenty absorb during the one-act production. “First we’re going to introduce you to poetry,” Craddock said. “The script itself is brilliant and beautifully written. It includes some of Schwartz’s poetry. But fundamentally, it’s really about how important relationships are. The tragedy is that I think we don’t necessarily always know how a lot about how to help those people who are suffering from a mental illness.”

Ross Amstey is also featured as Delmore Schwartz. To get your virtual tickets for “Klonsky and Schwartz” visit muccc.org.

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