I first met Tom Willner three or four years ago when a mutual friend suggested I help him promote his play Turning Thirty – The Musical. We got together, and I learned the play was about his diagnosis of testicular cancer – on his 30th birthday! OK, I thought, I've done public relations and marketing for gorillas, an opera singer, a plastic surgeon, Brazilian horses and numerous charitable "causes." But a musical play with songs titles like "Have a Ball" and "Masturbating in Cup" sounded a bit too "adult theater" for me. So not so!
This play is fabulous. It touches all of the emotions everyone goes through when the Big C is introduced into their lives. From devastating sadness and fear to magnificent joy and everything in between, I was astounded at how well Tom presented the vast range of feelings the cancer patient and family and friends go through.
So, I was especially pleased to find out that Tom is working to take the play to the professional stage. First he plans a two week workshop for professional theater people to fine tune the show. Then they will have a showcase performance for the arts community and ultimately do a professional run of the play. Tom's goal is to take the play and its story to a larger audience to share the message that hope is always within us and that cancer can be dealt with. Tom is not only a really good musician and playwright; he has kept his day job at the American Cancer Society!
I urge you to visit the play's website and, if you are so inclined, to make a donation through Kickstarter so Tom will have sufficient funds to hold the workshop and showcase.
Check it all out at www.turningthirty.org.