Gloucester Stage Presents Annisquam
A Dark Psychological Night of Theater
By: Charles Giuliano - Feb 13, 2023
My cousin, Kevin Flynn tipped me off regarding an upcoming play Annisquam at Gloucester Stage.
Having grown up summering in Annisquam my interest was aroused.
I connected for a chin wag with the playwright, Lawrence Hennesy. Of course I anticipated sharing insights about the upscale cul de sac about equidistant from Gloucester and Rockport.
Imagine my surprise when he revealed that his primary attraction to Annisquam was its musical and mystical Native American name.
When pressed he revealed having spent some 17 hours or so of on site research. Annisquam is notoriously clannish and secretive with a disinclination to open up to strangers. Including residents of less than several generations.
Rather, the protagonist, a psychologist who is off the rails, resides in a village cottage.
Writers are often advised to write about what they know. Hence Hennesy creates dramas about shrinks but in a manner he insists is purely fictional. Yet again the audience must decide who is more deranged the therapist or his younger female client.
There is humor in the play which the playwright hopes audiences find amusing and entertaining. Perhaps there is a soupcon of le grand guignol or the fashion during the ancien regime of visiting mad houses as a form or entertainment.
Something fishy is going on in the tiny seaside village of Annisquam. Dr. Petit, a local Psychologist, hasn’t shown up for work in weeks and people are starting to talk. Rumor has it that he is living with a woman young enough to be his daughter in his cluttered old Annisquam home, even though no one, including his real-life daughter has ever actually seen her.
That’s the premise for Annisquam the most recent theatrical production authored by Rockport Psychologist Lawrence Hennessy, which will be presented at The Gloucester Stage for three nights in March, Friday and Saturday March 10th and 11th, at 7:30 pm. And a Sunday matinee on March 12th at 3pm. This dark-comic-tragedy deals with adult themes and issues as it follows the decline and fall of a deeply troubled mental health professional who is in dire need of some professional help himself. Tickets are available for all shows through The Gloucester Stage box office.
Lawrence Hennessy has spent the better part of the last quarter century as both psychologist and a playwright. He is the former Director of Psychological Training at The Lynn Community Health Center, as well as maintaining his own private practice in Rockport, Massachusetts and participating in a group practice in Peabody, Massachusetts.
“Annisquam” is the lucky thirteenth play that Lawrence has had produced. It is however the first to be presented at The Gloucester Stage. Some of the other venues where his work has been shown include: Jimmy Tingle’s Off Broadway, The Actors Studio of Newburyport, The Hatbox Theatre of Concord New Hampshire, The Players Ring Theater of Portsmouth New Hampshire and The Lynn Multi-Cultural Center. Some of his shorter plays have been selected for festivals such as: The Boston Playwrights Festival, The Boston Play Café, The Boston Theater Marathon, The Firehouse Festival of New Works in Newburyport, The St. Botolph Club and The Collaboration Series with The Weekend Writers Group of the North Shore.