A romantic drama about a star-crossed relationship between two men in midlife whose past tragedies encroach upon their present.

June 1 to 24, 2017
The Workshop Theater, 312 West 36th Street, 4 fl. East
Presented by The Workshop Theater (Thomas Coté, Artistic Director; Dana Leslie Goldstein, Managing Director)
Thursdays & Fridays at 7:00 PM, Saturdays at 8:00 PM, Sundays at 3:00 PM. Added performance Wednesday, June 21 at 7:00 PM.
$25 general admission, $18 students and seniors.
Box office or 866.811.4111 (Ovation Tickets).
Group sales:, 212-695-4173 (Kevin Stanfa at The Workshop Theater).
Running time: 1:40 (no intermission). Critics are invited on or after June 1.

NEW YORK, April 30 -- "Composure" by Scott C. Sickles is a romantic drama set on a college campus about a star-crossed relationship between two men in midlife whose past tragedies encroach upon their present. The play won two New York Innovative Theatre Awards for Outstanding Director (Fritz Brekeller) and Outstanding Original Full-Length Script following its developmental production that was presented by The Workshop Theater in 2015. From June 1 to 24, The Workshop Theater will present the play in finished form to share this thought-provoking piece with a wider audience. It will be directed again by Fritz Brekeller.

The setting of the play is a college town and the time of the play is a year after an on-campus murder-suicide that grew out of an unrequited love. Fletcher Driscoll, a 48 year-old theater director, has returned to his alma mater to stage "Romeo and Juliet," which was selected to commemorate the tragedy. Upon his arrival, Fletcher begins a casual fling with a divorced administrator, Jeff Landry, 52. Jeff is recently "out" and struggling to maintain a friendship with his ex-wife as they mourn her recently deceased brother. In the meantime, Fletcher encounters a former high school bully with whom he shares a disturbing, haunting history. Both men's distressing memories and associations interfere with their new romance. As the opening night of "Romeo and Juliet" looms closer, signaling the expiration date on their romance, Fletcher and Jeff are forced to process painful events of their own pasts in order to advance their lives.

Playwright Scott C. Sickles started the drama as a sort of "gay prodigal son returns" story, in which a theater artist comes home to direct a production and confronts his past while taking on a new romance. But it morphed into something bigger. After the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007 and succeeding tragedies, Sickles became fascinated with how horrific events would dwell in the public consciousness for only a couple of months, then fade until the next one. He entwined the two themes in "Composure," evolving it into a study of how people can face human frailty and loneliness in the wake of tragedies both great and small. Sickles notes, "Almost every character in the play has survived something significant--death of a loved one, an array of abuse, the dissolution of a marriage, even bearing witness to horror that stays with you after you walk away from it. I wanted to explore how (and if) life can normalize after a national tragedy and to analyze the resonance that remains in us, even with distance from it."

Mr. Sickles is an Asian-American LGBT writer. He has received three Writers Guild of America Awards for the daytime drama “General Hospital” and Emmy and WGA Award nominations for that series and “One Life to Live.” His plays have been performed in New York City, his native Pittsburgh, across the United States, and internationally in Canada, Australia, the UK, Hungary, Singapore, and Lebanon. They include "Shepherd’s Bush" (Winner, 2016 Dayton Playhouse FutureFest), "Intellectuals" (Smith & Kraus’ New Playwrights: Best Plays of 2007), "Moonlight & Love Songs" (GayFestNYC 2013), "Lightning From Heaven" (1999 Beverly Hills Theater Guild/Julie Harris Playwriting Award), "Demon Bitch Goddess," "From the Top," "Perfecting the Kiss" and the published short plays "Beautiful Noises" and "murmurs." He is a member of Dramatists Guild, Inc. and New Play Exchange. (

Director Fritz Brekeller has worked extensively in the New York soap opera world, winning a Daytime Emmy Award as part of the directing team on TOLN’s "One Life to Live." He also directs actively for stage and cabaret. His Workshop Theater productions include "Relent," an indie rock musical by Jennifer Makholm and Ian Wehrle, "All My Problems" by Laurie Graff, "BOOM! Revenge of the PLO" by Magaly Colimon, and two readings. He co-directed the feature film, "What Would Bear Do?" and helmed the short film, "Through the Morning." His TV directing credits also include numerous location sequences for ABC’s "All My Children" and the fourth season of the Indie Series Award winning Internet soap, "Empire."

The actors are CK Allen, Susan Izatt, Robert Bruce McIntosh, Cliff Miller (June 1-21), Rob Ventre, J. Warren Weber (June 22-24) and Christine Verleny. Set design is by Elizabet Puksto. Lighting design is by Diana Duecker. Costume design is by Anthony Paul-Cavaretta. Projection design is by Greg Emetaz. Sound design is by Ian Wehrle.

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