Now Showing!

Two Nights at
Chemically Imbalanced Theater!

Monday, September 9th 7:30PM
Monday, September 16th 7:30PM

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The Play

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As a filmmaker says goodbye to his art form, he realizes he's still mourning the death of his father.


"Memorial Service to Follow" is a piece about loss and remembrance. Through the staging of a wake and funeral for the dying use of film in the motion picture and television industries, we will experience the life and death of the filmmaker’s father on stage. The production will be accompanied by live 16mm film and video projections to further delve into the life of Vietnam War combat veteran James Michael Gerrity (also known to many as J. Michael Gerrity and “Mike”). As a result of the war, James struggled with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and manic depression for the rest of his life. Sadly James passed away in September 2009 due to exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam. The piece will stand as a memorial, not just to soldiers, other service members, and film, but to all things lost.

Michael Gerrity, the writer, director, and son of James Gerrity, will play the role of the filmmaker. For the duration of the piece he will remain on stage curating the life of his father, trying to connect to a part of his father he never knew. Michael will be sharing his grieving process for all to see. More ->

The Team

Michael Gerrity - Writer/Director

Michael received his BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he studied film and video making. He has produced a number of his own short films which have screened all over the country. You can view his reel here.

Sadie Rose Glaspey - Producer

Sadie graduated from Chicago College of the Performing Arts at Roosevelt University with a BFA in Musical Theater. She is the Executive Director of Pastiche Productions, a new Chicago theater company. Sadie Rose is very excited to be assisting Michael on this eye opening and interesting concept piece.

Production - Stay Updated

Contact

For general inquiries, questions, and comments please send an email to:

MemorialService2013@gmail.com

For tickets, please visit BrownPaperTickets.com

Help support future productions of "Memorial Service to Follow"

Every dollar helps. With your contributions we will be able to expand the production, making it bigger and better. Eventually we hope to tour the piece around the country.

Thank you.

Director's Notes

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From the moment I began working on this play, I thought I was making a show that simply honored motion picture film and my father. However, I very recently realized I’ve neglected to fully mourn my father. Although I am at peace with his passing, I’ve been so involved in my work that in the past year I haven't take the time to continue my grieving. In the past year every time I returned to my home town I told myself that I should go visit my father, but I would always get side tracked or forget. My father always wanted to share his story with the world, but he wasn’t given enough time. I’ve always wanted to tell his story, and I promised him that his story would be heard. Making this piece will allow me to put my concerns to rest and finally bury my father so that I can continue to grieve. So long as his story is untold, his soul still roams this earth, unable to pass to the other side. Neither my father nor I will find our peace until his truths are told.


Concept

Concept

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In the fall of 2008, the same year my father was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer from exposure to Agent Orange, I began studying film making at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. This was a bitter sweet time since I was so excited to finally be working with motion picture film, but I was also informed that I would loose my father within the year. At the time, I was aware that digital video was improving and would eventually match the quality of film, but I didn’t how soon it would happen. I had no idea that five years later, after I received my BFA and established a loving relationship with film, that motion picture film would be practically obsolete. I had no idea that five years later I would be mourning the loss of my father and my passion.

I began working on this project at the end of this May while I was on a study trip to Canada. I brought a 16mm film camera with me to make a project, but I didn’t know what it was going to be. As soon as I arrived in Toronto I realized that this was going to be the first time I was out of the country for Memorial Day. Since my father was a veteran, Memorial Day has always been important to me, so I decided I was going to film Canadian war memorials to explore how other countries paid tribute to the people they’ve lost. I discovered that since I was making a film about memorials on a dying format, I was also making a memorial to film. In talking with my instructors, I decided that the best way to present these ideas of loss and remembrance would be through a performance rather than a movie. By having the audience enter a theatre that is set up as a wake and funeral for film we can pay our respects as a community to the dying medium, and I can share what makes film so important to me. Although I am sharing my personal journey of loosing my passion and a parent, I hope that others will see themselves, their loved ones, and their passions in it and find their own way of honoring the things that they’ve lost.