One actor, seven characters and a story of forgiveness


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Hummingbird Theatre Company will present “The Amish Project” November 6-10 at Rochester’s Multi-use Community Cultural Center.

Director Don Bartalo and actor M.J. Savastano discussed the play Tuesday during News 8 at Noon.

“I’ve been in community theater for about 60 years, starting in 1964 and this is the most beautiful play I have ever been associated with,” Bartalo said. “It tells an inspiring story of how after a tragic event, like the one that took place in 2006 in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, where children were killed, that the Amish community forgave the shooter and spent a lot of time with the shooter’s family. It’s a remarkable, just a remarkable play.”

Stage veteran Savastano will take on a unique challenge, portraying seven characters in this one-person performance. “They’re all in it about the same amount and the transitions, a lot of them, happen very quickly,” she said. “Sometimes I will be in the middle of a sentence when I will change a character. I wear one costume. I’m not changing costumes, doing anything like that. So it all has to happen within my physicality, my voice, things like that.”

“The Amish Project” spoke her personally and professionally. “I’ve done one person shows before and it’s such a challenge,” Savastano said. “While I love the challenge of it, it’s really difficult to be up there alone. But I read the play and I was emotionally affected by it, so emotionally affected by it. I thought it was a really important piece of work, beautifully written, and I really wanted to do it.”

Bartalo hopes audiences will take theme play’s theme to heart. “I really hope, and I think this play will get them to think about their own ability to forgive.”

You can get your tickets for “The Amish Project” each night at the door, or ahead of time online by going to the MuCCC website.

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