Media and Communications Professor James O’Connor Debuts Off-Broadway Play

Jul 14, 2009

It will be Christmas in July for a local playwright who is having his Off-Broadway debut this summer.

James O'Connor, a resident of Erwinna and professor at Delaware Valley College, will be presenting his play "Christmas Guest" as part of the Midtown International Theatre Festival (MITF) beginning on July 25. O'Connor's play is part of MITF's "Broadway-in-the-making" series, which is a launch pad for commercially-viable theatre.

The three act drama, which O'Connor wrote in 2002, is the story of a young man whose estranged father shows up at his doorstep with no place to go on Christmas Eve after walking away from a rehab. The festival website describes "Christmas Guest" as "an un-shuttered look at dark family secrets and betrayal between parents and children." The play has elements of spontaneous breakdown, like in Edward Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf?" and the tension-filled family encounter of Arthur Miller's "The Price," said O'Connor.

"It's a play about people that have endured a lot of pain but learn that life's obstacles will always be with them," said O'Connor. "Coming to peace with this is something that requires more than thick skin."

O'Connor is a former journalist and a professor of media and communication at Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. O'Connor has written three stage plays and four screenplays.

The Midtown International Theatre Festival (MITF), which is in its 10th year, presents an array of up-and-coming talent in the theatre. "Christmas Guest" will be presented at the Dorothy Streslin Theatre on 347 West 36th Street at the following times:

  • Saturday July 25 - 2:30 p.m.
  • Monday July 27 - 8:15 p.m.
  • Wednesday July 29 - 8:30 p.m.
  • Saturday August 1 - 11:00 a.m.
  • Sunday August 2 - 4:00 p.m.

Tickets for Christmas Guest can be purchased at the festival website, or at the theatre box office.