Play examines father-son relationship in cold war era

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SAXTONS RIVER >> What kinds of secrets keep a father and son from understanding or accepting each other? And how big might those secrets be if the father worked for the CIA?

That is the question posed by author and playwright John Hadden in his new play Travels with a Masked Man that will be presented at Main Street Arts Friday, March 25 at 7:30 p.m.

Drawn from Hadden's personal experience, Travels tells the story of an aging man and his estranged son as they attempt reconciliation around the dinner table. Separated by distance, the youth revolution of the '60s and the father's searing memories of World War II and his CIA career, they plumb the secrets that have kept them apart. In retrospect, the son's idyllic childhood overseas looks less so as the clandestine history of the past comes into clearer view. It is a play about history, family and trust.

Directed by David Stern, the play is alternately deeply sad and funny and an examination of the ways that the forces of history and the choices we make or fail to make can shred even the tightest family bonds. Hadden's play, performed by the playwright himself, will appeal to the student of history, the psychologist, the lover of theater, or anybody who has ever wondered just who his father really is.

Hadden is a founding member of Shakespeare & Co. and the Counterpoint Theater. He has adapted the play from his book "Conversations with a Masked Man."

Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. There will be a discussion with the playwright at the end of the show. More information at www.mainstreetarts.org or by calling 802-869-2960.

Main Street Arts is fully handicapped accessible space on Main Street.


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