Arts and Culture | Local

‘My Life in Sports’ returns from Off-Broadway to Tucson

Bill Epstein

The Scoundrel & Scamp Theatre will present “My Life in Sports,” written and performed by Tucsonan Bill Epstein, Jan. 17-27.

“A coming-of age story, a cautionary tale, and a love story, ‘My Life in Sports’ is a dramatic memoir about the romance of men and sports, about the games we play with love and family, masculinity and identity, death and desire,” says the playwright.

Epstein, who grew up in “a very observant Reform Jewish family” in a small Pennsylvania town, says that while the play does not focus on his Jewish identity, “it is there always, but it’s on the back burner …and occasionally erupts,” as when a boy beats him up on the playground and calls him names because he’s Jewish.

Many others of his generation share such experiences of prejudice, he says, but in the play he explores some of the reasons that may have motivated the boy, who lived with his father, an abusive drunk, in a two-room shack with a tar-paper roof.

Originally written, workshopped and performed in Tucson to critical acclaim, “My Life in Sports” was performed off-Broadway in 2016 as part of the United Solo Theatre Festival, the world’s largest solo theater festival.

Epstein, a professor emeritus of English at the University of Arizona, has produced, directed, written, and acted in productions in the United States and the United Kingdom. He has published articles and books of literary and film scholarship and criticism, and works of fiction and creative non-fiction. His written work has been nominated for various awards and won the James L. Clifford Prize.

The Scoundrel & Scamp Theatre is located in Tucson’s Historic Y, 738 N. Fifth Ave. For tickets, visit www.scoundrelandscamp.org or call 448-3300.

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