Douglas has been a professional food writer since 1986. He is also an award-winning actor and director in Community Theatre and has been for many years. His blog may be found at: www.urbaneguerilla.wordpress.com
On this ground, the flowers of humanity grow
Some people live lives that have greater impact than they know. Not great statesmen like Winston Churchill (who surely had a sneaking suspicion he'd be remembered) but people of lesser fame - the inventor of the 'cat's eye' road safety thingy for example.
Authors and painters who die before fame reaches their work, or sometimes the subjects of books. Such a one is the late Professor Morris 'Morrie' Schwartz. He taught, among others at Brandeis University, Mitch Albom, an American best-selling author, journalist, screenwriter, dramatist, radio and television broadcaster, and musician.
Jeff Hansen (Mitch) and Alan Kennedy (Morrie) (Photograph courtesy of Stirling players)
They had not spoken in many years when Mitch saw Morrie being interviewed on TV and renewed the connection. He learned that Morrie was dying of a wasting disease (ALS) and visited him in Boston. He fell into the habit of visiting him every Tuesday and during these visits they spoke of the big questions - life, death, belief, faith and the 'great perhaps'.
Towards the end of Morrie's painful illness Mitch wanted to raise money to pay for his medical bills and so wrote a simple, but moving account of their relationship and conversations. He called it Tuesdays With Morrie. It was rejected by several publishers before being picked up by Doubleday and became a huge and popular hit, allowing Mitch to settle Morrie's debts before his death.
The book, which is simply written, became an instant classic. A film followed with Jack Lemmon and Hank Azaria and then (with playwright Jeffrey Hatcher) a stage play which ran off-Broadway.
This is the play which is Stirling Players' next production. Directed by Ryan Taaffe and starring Jeff Hansen (Mitch) and Alan Kennedy (Morrie).
This is not a show to be missed.
Tuesdays With Morrie runs from February the 19th to March the 5th at 8 pm at Stirling Theatre, 25 Morris Pl, Innaloo. Tickets cost $22 full, $20 concession and are available from Morris News on 9440 1040 or on the Trybooking website here.