Second Stage raises curtain after pandemic with 'Letters of Suresh'

Sandy Kenyon Image
Tuesday, October 12, 2021
Second Stage raises curtain after pandemic with 'Letters of Suresh'
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Sandy Kenyon has more on "Letters of Suresh" as it opens off-Broadway.

NEW YORK -- As Broadway reopens so do those located Off-Broadway.

Those smaller houses, like the one operated by Second Stage, is where Carole Rothman is president & artistic director. It is there that you'll find some of the most daring, new plays, and it's hard to imagine a more perfect production than the one the nonprofit group has chosen to raise the curtain again.

"Letters of Suresh" are read as a series of monologues ensuring the minimum of interaction between performers on stage. And, the play, about a hunger for human connection, seems perfect for these difficult times.

"We've all been through 18 months of hell," says Ramiz Monsef who plays Suresh. "And I wanna look at people in the eye and be like 'I'm in the room with you right now! We're doing this together right now. You're a part of this!'"

Ali Ahn co-stars as Melody, who discovers Suresh's letters. She notes that members of the audience have been especially attentive.

"I can tell they're really listening, and everybody is just so invested in being in the theater, and that's really nice to perform to," Ahn said.

Her co-star agrees, "Yeah, the people who are here, they're here because they want to be here so we're thankful for them."

Strict protocols are in place, allowing one of NYC's leading Off Broadway theaters to reopen safely.

"Theater was always a sacrifice for artists," Ahn said. "And I think it's even more so now because your life has to stay really contained to just protect each other and make sure the show can go on."

At Second Stage the bond between artists and audiences has never been closer as both work to build future after a shutdown that was truly unprecedented.

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