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Benchwarmers showcase told stories of difficult subjects

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By Gina Schultz

Los Alamos playwright Robert F. Benjamin keeps the theme of aging, grief and moving on in the 10-minute short play, “Too Soon.”
Benjamin’s story of a widowed father and still-grieving daughter is one of the eight productions featured in Benchwarmers 13 at Santa Fe Playhouse. The other playwrights were Larry Glaister, Alix Hudson, Kelly Huertas, Chadney Everett, Lisa Gray Fisher, Mary Boliek and Alma Reposadas.
“Too Soon,” was a touching tale of a man who has been widowed for about a year, his willingness to move on with his life and his daughter’s inability to accept that he must. Played by Steven Oakey, Frank is a strong character, who just wants to be happy again and butts heads with his daughter, Dawn on how that is going to happen. Nicole Phelps’s performance as Dawn is unapologetic and emotional. Her grief was felt way down deep.
Much like Benjamin’s plays, this one deals with the harshness of loss and the struggles to move on — despite guilt that makes one think that they can’t or shouldn’t. Benjamin writes about topics that are realistic to human psyche. Suffering from bereavement and then moving on from it is one of the hardest things a person can deal with.


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