Final Breath

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A World Premiere Stage Play

Walnut Street Theatre Studio 5
Show ran from December 3 through December 14, 2002

An Unconventional Comedy-Drama about Life & Death

Here is a glimpse at the illusionary world of Eric Meader, who after the apparent death of his family, finds himself confined to an Institute where with the help of characters real or imagined he questions the most fundamental problem for all humanity --the cessation of life. Instead of accepting his own demise, he confronts it, rebuking evolution and admonishing God for making each one of us an "expendable play toy." With a touch of farce, a smattering of humor, this new stageplay deals with issues that are often suppressed but which deserve a place in dramatic literature.

Read the review....

Long thoughts on death and loss

"Final Breath, an original stage play written and directed by Philadelphia native Ronald P. Smolin, deals with some dark topics: death, loss and the reasons behind it all. Here, Eric Meader, played by Nick DeMatteo, finds himself shut away in the mysterious 'institute' following the apparent death of his family. Wrestling with the absence of loved ones and what is -- for all intents and purposes -- his own living death, Meader encounters a parade of characters who may or may not be real.

"Dark stuff, to be sure, but the story's insistence on human interaction above all else gives this existential soul-searching tale a hands-on, even humorous tone. Also featuring Tom Besseillieu, Joy Orlemann, Marjorie Goldman, Trevor Algatt, and Zack Colonna, this script sheds some light on the big questions -- succeeding, in the process, at making them much less damn unpleasant. Because just as Meader chooses thought and inquiry over fear, so the audience feels a strange sense of leisure, even comfort, as these expert actors make God, evolution, and the hereafter into the kind of thing you might joke about with friends -- albeit in a mysterious cell, surrounded by figures of dubious reality."

-- Nate Friedman,

Cast Biographies                                     Creative Team

Cast Photo Album

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December 3 through 14, 2002
at the
Walnut Street Theatre Studio 5
825 Walnut Street / Philadelphia PA 19107

Length of Play:
Approximately One Hour & Forty Minutes Without Interruption

Written & Directed by Philadelphia Native
Ronald P. Smolin

Fat Hat Productions
318 Bainbridge Street
Philadelphia PA 19147

Latest posting: January 3, 2003.