Mein Freund
by Alice Kira-Mannette
Orlando Playwrights Round Table
Cherry Street Theatre, Orlando
October 2002

This well-researched one-act play is based on a moment in the life of the composer Johannes Brahms and his lifelong friend and collaborator, premiere violinist Joseph Joachim. Based on historical fact, the play details the relationship between the two men, under strain due to a letter Brahms had written Joachim's wife which was used in the couple's divorce proceedings. Three years later, Joachim was still playing Brahms' music, despite his personal aloofness from Brahms. In the play and in fact, Brahms wrote a double concerto for violin and cello, Op. 102,  which he dedicated to Joachim, and which healed the rift in their friendship. This play is a fictionalized account of their meeting in a "wharfside brothel"  where Brahms had played the piano as a child, and where he gives the manuscript to Joachim.

The play was presented in a unique workshop format along with four others over the course of a long weekend. On Friday the play received a table reading, with input from the audience. On Saturday the play received a staged reading, with costumes and staging, but with the revised script in hand. After more commentary from the audience, the play received a fully staged production on the following night (after much hectic rehearsal and "improvement" in the afternoon).

The production featured veteran professional actors Jay Glick and Frank Zeleznik, as well as Stetson University student Ashley Stutzman.

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Copyright 2003 by Ken McCoy.