J.M. Eisenman's The Assessment to be Featured at Riant Theatre's Strawberry Festival

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Award-winning playright and lyricist, J.M. Eisenman's 15-minute comedy-drama, The Assessment, will be performed at 7:00 p.m. on August 14, 2010 as part of the Riant Theatre's 2010 Strawberry Festival at The Theatre at St. Clement's, 423 West 46th St., New York, New York. The Assessment tackles young attorney, Jason Shapiro's attempt to assess the legal capacity of Thelma Drayer, a tough, former comedy writer, suffering from dementia. In this funny, gripping story, the proud tough-as-nails, Thelma, is facing her increasing dementia with the same grit and humor that made her succesful. Jason soon finds out that Thelma is all he can handle and more. By the time he's done, the real question is who was assessing whom.

The 15-minute dramedy, entitled, The Assessment, written by J.M. Eisenman, award-winning, author, playright and lyricist, will be performed at the Riant Theatre's 2010 Strawberry One-Act Festival at The Theatre at St. Clement's, 423 West 46th St., NYC, Between 9th & 10th Avenue on August 14, 2010. The Assessment is a funny, touching encounter between 80-something, Thelma Drayer. Thelma has been picked up in front of Sak's in Los Angeles, confused and without identifcation. She is taken to the County Hospital for observation and young attorney, Justin Shapiro, has been assigned by the court to assess the need for imposing a conservatorship over Thelma. Thelma, in no uncertain terms, is not going down without a funny, scathing fight. Though clearly suffering from dementia, Thelma uses her cutting wit to mask her symptons and to keep people at a distance. Thelma refuses to allow Jason to get the upper hand over her by constantly challenging his attempts to assess her mental status. Despite her funny, cutting attempts to fend off Justin's inquiry, she is ultimately forced to face the terrifying prospect that she can no longer control her life and those around her and that she needs this young attorney to allow her to move forward with some semblance of dignity and humor. After their encounter, the question on everyone's mind is who was assessing whom. J. M. Eisenman's "Henry & Hyde" was presented in the 2008 Short, Sweet & Song Festival in Sydney, Australia and at the 2008 Bad Musicals Festival in New York City. Eisenman's musical, "Tevye," was featured in the Stages 2005 festival in Chicago and the 2009 Short, Sweet & Song Festival in Sydney, Australia. At both festivals, it won rave reviews. Eisenman is also the author of the funny and irreverent book "The New Ten Commandments." The Assessment will be directed by Al D'Andrea. Tickets are available at http://www.therianttheatre.com/cart.php for Series G.

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JAMES EISENMAN

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