The story of FATHER, SON & HOLY COACH told to us through the eyes a father, son and coach.
The NoHo Arts District dot Com team thinks that sometimes a story is best told by the one who experienced it. Meet John Posey, the author and creator of the production “Father, Son & Holy Coach,” a show about a father-son relationship, and yes, sports. But it could also apply to mothers and daughters because it’s about dreams, family and growing up….things of which everyone ultimately shares a part. Here’s his take on the development and background of “Father, Son & Holy Coach” running July 23 – August 30 at the Whitefire Theatre.
Once upon a time I was asked to write a monologue in preparation for a very important network meeting in New York. At the time I was living and performing in Atlanta. For some reason, what came out quite quickly was this little father, son piece that worked very well. The network loved it, offered me the lead role in a new much anticipated TV series and we were off to the races.
Two months later came the call every actor dreads. “You’ve been replaced.”
No fault of my own. Just one of those things. “Different creative direction,” is what came down from the top, which can mean a dozen different things.
That show was FULL HOUSE, a program that still airs globally 30 years later.
It knocked the wind out of me, but I dealt with it, shook it off as best I could and went back to the East Coast – this time NYC – to study, work and ponder my career.
While in New York, the little monologue, which I had entitled FATHER, SON & HOLY COACH, prior to ever writing a single word, began to gnaw at me. There was something much heavier than just a monologue at play here.
A conflicted relationship with my own father had informed and shaped much about me and apparently there was a little exploration that needed attending to.
So I sat and wrote, and I wrote; much of it during the summer rain storms in the big city.
The conflict the two of us had, much like many fathers and sons, was centered on what we viewed as life’s successes and failures. My father was quite good at what he did, yet seemed to focus on what he considered personal failures, rather than achievements.
What an irony. I, myself, had just been dumped from something that no doubt would have changed my life dramatically in many ways, not the least of which was financial security. Yet here I was in NYC, working again, enjoying life and writing something quite profound and personal to me: how we handle life, when life seems to get in the way, or how you handle life, when you are thrown a curve you didn’t see coming.
What I wrote became a long-running solo theatrical production. FATHER, SON & HOLY COACH premiered here in Los Angeles and later toured the country, over a period of a dozen years or so. The film rights were sold – several times. It also led to a writing career that, thus far, has resulted in numerous sold or optioned screenplays and one produced film – LEGENDARY.
I also remain a busy actor to this day with a long and varied career in TV, film and stage. I have also raised two boys – Tyler and Jesse – both of whom have chosen the same career. Tyler currently heads the cast of the global hit TV series TEEN WOLF on MTV.
First and foremost, FATHER, SON & HOLY COACH is a comedy, more accurately, a comedy of errors. It is the mostly hysterical, yet poignant study of the fragile psyche of the overprotective, aggressive father, whose objective is to prevent his child from experiencing or duplicating what he perceived to be life’s failures. It is about the father who lives his life vicariously through his child, and how that child, whose own ideals are quite different, must choose to break the chain to forge his own identity.
From an era where fathers were certain they had all the answers and mothers, who did have all the answers, had to knit them as needlepoints in order to be heard.
Welcome to Tupelo County Georgia, where the local Easter Egg hunt takes on legendary, Super Bowl proportions and where a certain father might pay the local egg hunt organizing committee under the table to secure his son’s entry into the event.
Meet that father – Ed Sanford – who has his own ideas as to why Humpty fell off the wall. (“He wasn’t mentally prepared.”)
You will meet much of the town of Tupelo County, all brought to life by a single actor…. Me.
Why have I chosen to stage this again these so many years later? Well in the last year, I lost both my dad and my wife, so life has thrown another curve and this is how Jesse, Tyler and I would like to respond to it.
Father, Son & Holy Coach is a comedy that centers on a father-son relationship. The dad wants a “do-over”: he thinks he’s failed in life (he hasn’t) and he pushes his son to excel, somewhat living his life vicariously through his son, who has some goals not connected to those of his father. The show is also to some degree a physical comedy, touching on sports (as the title implies).
In Tupelo County, Georgia, football is a religion. People seem to spend every moment of their waking lives thinking or talking about it. They play football, think football, eat football, pray football.
Ed Sanford has big dreams for his son. Those dreams revolve around (surprise!) football. The lad, John, displays some promise as a wrestler and a football player. But John has some dreams of his own, some involving his school sweetheart, Lori Lynne. John loves and respects his father. Will John, however, be able to become his own man without disappointing Ed?
Father, Son & Holy Coach is about sports. It is also about fathers and sons. It could also conceivably apply to mothers and daughters, and the dreams that any parent has for their offspring. It’s about dreams and family and growing up….things of which everyone ultimately shares a part.
John Posey is the writer and performer. An actor in the fourth decade of his career, He’s appeared on over three dozen television shows, hundreds of commercials and eight feature films. Also a screenwriter, he’s written for the TV series Doc; the feature film Legendary (starring Patricia Clarkson and John Cena); and a new film biography of 1950s wrestling legend Gorgeous George.
Michael Laskin directs. The recipient of a Master’s degree from University of Minnesota, he’s acted with The Guthrie Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Seattle Repertory, Mixed Blood Theatre Company and many others. He produced Jeffrey Tambor’s Performing Your Life. Tyler Posey produces. He’s best known as the star of the current MTV hit series Teen Wolf (five seasons and still going strong). He was also a series regular on Doc, and had recurring roles on Brothers and Sisters and Lincoln Heights. He’s also appeared in a number of films, and has been a TV host for MTV (Teen Choice Awards, other projects) and hosts a YouTube series, Music for Your Ears to Bleed By. He’s John Posey’s son. Father, Son & Holy Coach debuted locally in 1993 and has been performed since then throughout the country. Whether interested in athletics or not, Father, Son & Holy Coach resonates with parents and their children, growing or grown-up.
“Wonderful…Posey slips into each character effortlessly.”—Variety
“A serious, thoughtful and important play. Don’t Miss It.”—The Good Life
“Some real pearls of wisdom, some great memories and a poignant end.”—Rocky Mountain News
“Posey scores TD”—The Outlook
“Posey hits pay dirt….Moments that range from laugh-out-loud funny to movingly sad.”—Denver Post
“Endearing….Posey gently holds his audience throughout the show with his winning stage presence.”—Florida Today
Playing at the Whitefire Theater
July 23 – August 30, Fridays at 8PM and Sundays at 3PM
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