Our Current 2017-2018 Season:

Our Current 2017-2018 Season:

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Alex Macksoud Finds His Inner Child as Mickey in Greetings!

Alex Macksoud (seated center) plays man-child Mickey, who is based on the author's real-life brother.
PHOTO by Jan Cartwright
All actors love a good challenge, and playing a part that is different from your own personality can be difficult.  But playing someone who is mentally challenged is a unique test.  It requires care to play such a role for laughs, while not being insensitive or appearing to laugh at someone’s disability.  Alex Macksoud strikes this balance beautifully as he plays Mickey, a mentally challenged adult, in Greetings! which opens this Friday December 1st at the Farmington Players.

Alex describes Mickey as “a playful, lovable, pure-hearted person – who just so happens to have the mind of a toddler. I enjoy playing Mickey because he allows me to revert back to my younger days when I didn't have a care in the world and only wanted to play.”   Alex regards mentally challenged people as “the happiest, purest, most carefree people on the planet.” 

When I interviewed author Tom Dudzick, I asked him about his inspirations for Greetings!  I was surprised to learn that “Mickey” was based on a family member.  Mr. Dudzick said, “Growing up I had a mentally disabled brother, one year older than me. He had Down Syndrome. For the most part, all he could say was ‘Oh boy’ and ‘Wow.’ He's passed on now, but he was exactly like Mickey in the play.”  This touching revelation about the real Mickey makes the role especially poignant. 

Alex believes that Greetings! does a “fantastic job at bridging the line between drama and comedy.” Alex also finds the show’s themes of “faith and the strength of family during turbulent times” very relatable to audiences.  He can personally relate to the religious themes:  “Growing up devoutly Catholic and ultimately scaling back my faith, this play has a lot of great, familiar dialogue between father and son about the son's decision to alter his beliefs.”

Alex is a Farmington Hills native and now lives in Berkley. His hobbies include traveling, hiking, writing, and performing improv comedy. He holds a degree in Advertising from Central Michigan University. Regarding his cast mates, Alex says, “it has been an absolute pleasure to work with everyone, and watch each individual grow into their character with each rehearsal!”


Greetings! has 10 performances at Farmington Players Barn Theater from December 1 – 17, 2017.  The show is proudly sponsored by Jill Jones and Cadillac Travel.  Author Tom Dudzick also penned our successful production of Miracle on South Division Street.  Tickets are available online at farmingtonplayers.org or by emailing boxoffice@farmingtonplayers.org or calling the Barn box office at 248-553-2955.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Ties That Bind: Maureen Mansfield Tests Her Faith in Greetings!

Maureen Mansfield as Emily Gorski (seated, center) seeks divine intervention to restore peace in her home.
PHOTO: Jan Cartwright
Interfaith marriage pulls on family ties in a way that tests a couple’s commitment to one another.  Sometimes the knot gets pulled even tighter as the couple’s bond is strengthened.  And sometimes the ties are strained to the point of breaking.  In Greetings!, when Andy brings his Jewish atheist fiancĂ© to meet his traditional Catholic family on Christmas Eve, it’s a recipe for disaster … with hilarious and poignant consequences.
In the Farmington Players production of Greetings!, Maureen Mansfield plays Emily Gorski, Andy’s mother.  Maureen can definitely relate to the show’s theme of “marrying outside of your religion.  I did this.  In my family, it wasn't as big of a deal as it is in the show, probably because I had previously dated outside my faith, but I can certainly relate.”  Maureen describes her character Emily as “a deeply religious wife and mother.  She's not the brightest log in the fire, but often has surprising insight. I really enjoy the comedy that comes from the naivety of my character.”  Maureen also enjoys the “challenge of playing the submissive Catholic wife, a far stretch from who I am. It's also a challenge for me to respond to my characters' family in ways that I personally would not.  For instance, if my real life child was hurt, I would run to him, while my character retreats.”

Maureen recalls watching another production of Greetings! and thinking she “had it all figured out in the middle of the first act. It was going to be your typical, lovely holiday show.  At the end of the act, all of a sudden I sat up and thought, ‘Wait, what just happened?’  I couldn't wait for intermission to be over so I could see how it turned out!  So it's a lovely holiday show … with a twist!”
Maureen is originally from northwest Detroit and has lived in Farmington HIlls for almost 30 years, including about 20 years as a member of the Farmington Players.  She calls the Greetings! cast “one of the most talented and thoughtful casts I have worked with.  The amount of work each person is putting into their character is awesome.  And it's all because of our incredible directorial team who is pushing us to be better than we ever thought we could be!”

Greetings! has 10 performances at Farmington Players Barn Theater from December 1 – 17, 2017.  The show is proudly sponsored by Jill Jones and Cadillac Travel.  Author Tom Dudzick also penned our successful production of Miracle on South Division Street.  Tickets are available online at farmingtonplayers.org or by emailing boxoffice@farmingtonplayers.org or calling the Barn box office at 248-553-2955.

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