Kristy Thomas on Memories of the Game / by Declan Maloney Drummond

What's your show about?

Memories Of The Game is a drama that centers on the McIntosh family. The action takes place in the McIntosh home, a middle class African American family of four. Kenneth, the head of the household is retired and suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. It is a difficult reality for him to accept. When his mind is on the joy he has for life it’s evident and heart warming, but when he looses himself our heart breaks for the man that he was and wants to be again but can’t.  Kenneth’s love for football has always been his solid hold on reality, but soon even the love of the game is fighting against him. This harsh reality is even more difficult for his wife Karen who wants nothing more than to help the man she has only known to be independent accept that he cannot be that man anymore. Karen continues to work on keeping her husband’s mind as present as she can while also being pulled into the sadness of her son, Michael and his addiction to crack. Michael has gone from the top of the mountain to sinking into the deepest part of the valley without the hope of recovery. He yearns for the freedom he had when he was clean, but like his father it is only a memory and one that he can no longer reach. Their daughter Sharon tries to assist as best she can to keep her mother balanced, her father strong and as independent as possible, but Michael is on a downward spiral and unintentionally taking the family with him. He loves his family but the addiction has a hold on his soul. The theme of the play is the ability to wrap our minds and hearts around people that we love who are sick. Realizing that some sicknesses are chosen and others are not, they are still sick and still hold a piece of our hearts. As Kenneth forgets, Michael tries to balance on the edge, Sharon fights for the sanity of her mother and Karen tries to hold all of the pieces of her life together, life still continues to happen, to all of them. Sometimes it is what we are willing to live without for the sake of moving forward that makes the next breath possible.

How did it get to SheNYC?

I entered the play into the competition and received word that it had been selected as a semi finalist then finalist. 

What's your casting and rehearsal process been like?

Casting and producing a play from Los Angeles was very challenging. Luckily the festival sent us a list of artists in all areas of production who had signed up as wanting to be a part of the festival. I took some serious time doing research on a few different directors and decided on Cate Cammarata who literally saved my life. She attended the auditions and has had constant communication with me about the process. With her guidance we were able to cast the play with a group of actors that I am very excited to see on stage telling this story. The rehearsal process thus far has been a lot of work with myself and the director making sure that the story is solid and that we understand the vision. It's been great and I can't wait to keep going.