Sunday, January 19, 2014

'Doodu Boy' Opens At Santa Monica Playhouse

Stefhen F.D. Bryan

            Stefhen grows up in a church commune in the ghetto of Kingston, Jamaica. His deeply religious mother loves him but frequently beats the sin out of him with a tamarind branch if she suspects any taint of the devil. He acquires the nickname Doodu Boy after a childhood accident (recounted in hilarious if embarrassing detail).
            As a teenager, he gets to go to Yonkers to live with his father and loving stepmother in an “apartment in the sky” (a la The Jeffersons). He wishes to bond with his father and seeks his approval, but finds his attempts cruelly rejected.
            Years later, Stefhen graduates from UCLA. He visits his father, who calls the police to have him removed. His mother reveals to Stefhen a shocking truth: he was a child of rape. His devout Christian mother also rejects him after he reveals he is an atheist. He travels to Japan, where he has found long-term employment as an English language teacher. The sex-addicted Stefhen gets to indulge his particular preference: East Asian women. Something unexpected happens: A particular woman touches his heart and he falls in love. His life will never be the same. He has unfinished family business in the U.S.A.  His new love, Shoko, will accompany him.
            “Doodu Boy” is a story that will resonate with many: A love story that begins in a place of horrific trauma, and a protagonist who must surmount daunting obstacles to emerge triumphant, played out against an international canvas stretching from the Caribbean to the U.S.A. to Japan and back.
            The current engagement of “Doodu Boy” in Santa Monica will be followed by performances in San Francisco, Toronto, London and Japan.
            Playwright and performer Stefhen F.D. Bryan is also the author of a new novel, “Only Begotten,” and a memoir, “Black Passenger Yellow Cabs: Of Exiles and Excess in Japan.”
            Jared Scheib is the director and dramaturge. A graduate of USC, his previous directing credits include a play, “Wrestles With Machista,” and documentary films, among them “The Mayor” and “Life’s Waltz.”
WHAT: “Doodu Boy.” A memoir.
WHO: Written and performed by Stefhen F.D. Bryan. Directed and dramaturged by Jared Scheib. Produced by Meadowbrook Entertainment. Executive producer: Juan Pablo Frias.
WHERE: Santa Monica Playhouse, on the main stage, 1211 Fourth Street, Santa Monica, CA 90402.
WHEN: January 19- February 23, 2014. Sundays at 6: 00 p.m.
RESERVATIONS: (800) 838-3006.

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