call: Bruce Bouchard. Photo by Mark
Bruce Bouchard and his budding theater company, Saratoga Stages,
knew it would be difficult when they decided in late August
to take on the production of Joe Pintauro’s controversial
play The Dead Boy for their debut performance at Skidmore
College in October. But the company ran into trouble casting
the lead role, and its production of The Dead Boy has
were dealing with a tight time frame up front. And this is
an incredibly difficult role to cast,” says Bouchard, referring
to the lead role of the charismatic but emotionally tormented
Bouchard says that they came close to casting the role of
Father Sheridan several times, and thought they had finally
found their man when Colin Lane answered a callback. But Lane,
a Catholic, was skittish about the play’s subject matter,
Bouchard says, and ultimately decided not to take the role.
The plot of The Dead Boy mirrors the real-life sexual-abuse
scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church to its foundations
in recent months. Based loosely on the 1990 New York Covenant
House scandal, in which a respected New York priest was accused
of molesting a teenage boy in his care, The Dead Boy examines
the types of sordid affairs that saturate today’s newspapers.
Saratoga Stages wants to make it clear, however, that its
decision to postpone the play stems from a commitment to getting
it done right, not from any controversy surrounding the play.
“This is not the kind of role you fill with any warm body,”
Bouchard vows that his company will produce The Dead Boy,
probably sometime in early spring. Meanwhile, Bouchard hints
that Saratoga Stages may soon announce some smaller-scale
productions to tide the public over.