WESTPORT, Conn. – Westporter Mike Krysiuk, who works in the Tax Collector's Office, has taken a turn as a playwright to detail his experiences as the victim of drunken driver back when he was a student at Staples High School in the 1970s.
Krysiuk wrote the one-man play, “I Don’t See My Shadow,” with co-author Frank S. Petrilli. This play will be presented at the Westport Historical Society next month.
“With the hope of preventing teen deaths due to drinking and driving, I wrote this play based on the book 'Why Me, Why Now?' about an automobile accident that I was in and the role that alcohol played," said Krysiuk, a 1974 graduate of Staples High School.
"This story needs to be told. Drinking and driving caused a very dangerous mix that night. It could have been fatal, but thanks to the support of my family, it was not. I was the lucky one. This is why I feel compelled to share this story with anyone who is open to understanding.”
One of the challenges in producing a play based on a true-life experience is finding the right actor, he said. The producers held auditions and the right actor showed up.
Cooper Ramsey, a young New York-based actor originally from Seattle, took the train to Westport to audition because he said that after reading the play he felt a close connection to the play and needed to be a part of this.
“Thank you all for the opportunity to be a part of this production. I want to emphasize how much this play means to me, and that it is my top priority. Words can't express how enthusiastic I am,” Ramsey said in an email.
The producers, Rozanne Gates and Suzanne Sheridan, were fortunate to find a sponsor with Rob Vaccaro of Liberty Mutual Insurance. Liberty Mutual has a Teen Driving contract , and Vaccaro felt that his company’s commitment to keeping families safe was in alignment with Krysiuk’s play.
Jason Howard is directing “I Don’t See My Shadow.” The performance will be at the Westport Historical Society, 25 Avery Place, on Friday, Oct. 21, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Reservations can be made by calling 203-222- 1424. The play is recommended for all ages.
Refreshments will be served before the performance. A free-will donation from audience members will be greatly appreciated.