The Patient

The Patient

Doug Holder and Lawrence Kessenich

Chapbook, 28 pages, $8.00

“Congratulations to Lawrence Kessenich (playwright) and Doug Holder (memoir author) for the 26 minute actors’ reading last night of THE PATIENT: a wonderful story brought powerfully to the stage. I loved the contrasts between monologue, where the young writer character appeals to audience sympathy for his lonely and hardscrabble life and dialogue, as he is upstaged by a restrained and sedated mental patient, whom he’s supposed to watch all night–his miserable job.  Where the writer has been appealing to “us” to listen and commiserate with his situation, the patient reads his character, even in silence, all too well, and berates him for self-pity: no girl, shacked up in some ‘suicide suite.’  Get a life!  Finally a nurse sedates the patient, leaving him silent, while the writer’s eyes fill with tears. I was reminded of that scene in Richard Yate’s REVOLUTIONARY ROAD, where the self-doubting Frank Wheeler is critiqued and exposed by a mental patient on family furlough– arguably the best scene in Sam Mendes’ film version, with Givings, the patient, played by Michael Shannon.”
                                             – DeWitt Henry
                                              Founder of Ploughshares Magazine

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