When Matt May was taking a college journalism course, he got an assignment to interview someone. He chose his friend Terrance Olear, a then-overweight actor from a strict Catholic family, and hit pay dirt. Olear (in the first photo) talked about his gay brother's death from AIDS and their mother's death from cancer only six months later; years later, at May's suggestion, Olear would write a series of funny, tragic, complicated stories about his life.
After 14 years, those stories have been woven by May into an inspired-by-life play, Still Untitled. The play gets a short run next week at Fort Lauderdale's Rising Action Theatre, with May directing and Olear playing the main character.
That character is Tristan O'Brien, an actor preparing to make his Broadway debut. As he gets ready to go on, O'Brien muses about love, life and going on after the deaths of two people so important in his life.
"I know we all have sad stories inside. We all have questions about the paths we take," says Olear. "I am just so glad that a friend has taken a chance on me, and that my stories have inspired him to write a wonderful piece of theater."
May (in second photo) put the production together as his master's thesis project for Nova Southeastern University's Interdisciplinary Arts Program. Performances are 8 p.m. July 22-25, 2 p.m. July 25, 3 p.m. July 26 at Rising Action, 840 E. Oakland Park Blvd. Tickets are $30 ($20 for students and seniors 55 and up), and a portion of sales will benefit Care Resource, a nonprofit AIDS organization. Visit Verve Central Productions' web site to order.