True Believer | Blowing Shit Up

Contributed by Marcus Dargan

DSP Logo - Sq Bl“It is a truism that many who join a rising revolutionary movement are attracted by the prospect of sudden and spectacular change in their conditions of life.” —Eric Hoffer,
The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements

Asa Merrit’s new play True Believer is a romantic tale between a young journalist (Kersti Bryan) and a nondescript revolution: girl meets radicalism, girl falls in love with radicalism, girl loses radicalism, girl regains radicalism.

Kersti Bryan in True Believer. Photo credit: Pavel Ezrohi.

The journalist is 20-something, educated, privileged, talented, naive, and unfulfilled. She has all of the makings of the Occupy Wall Street generation; however, she is not content with sitting in the park or writing unpublished prose. She wants immediate change.  She wants to blow shit up.

True Believer explores these themes of identity, angst, and alienation in a subjective narrative indicative of Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye and the insomnia induced rebellion of Fight Club.  It represents the contemporary desire to evoke radical change within a complacent society content with simply singing petitions on

Kersti Bryan in True Believer.  Photo credit: Pavel Ezrohi.

Kersti Bryan in True Believer. Photo credit: Pavel Ezrohi.

As our protagonist, Kersti is endearing and naturally charming. We get her and we all know her.  She introduces us to her family and friends, and we know them.  She gives us free beers and we like that.

She talks directly to us, we listen and provide feed back.  We watch her untangle her thought process one page at a time knowing that she’ll return to her senses before it’s too late.   We know she’s smart. She’ll come back before she gets in too deep.  She does.  We breathe.  We help her clean up the mess she’s created.

Kersti Bryan in True Believer. Photo credit: Pavel Ezrohi.

Kersti weaves her story in a very intimate setting accompanied by composer/musician Bay Bryan, whose voice and guitar deliver a warm and familiar tone. The underscoring of his riffs, the slight bleed of gospel/blues music from an adjacent floor, and the faint roar of traffic from the street create a complimentary soundtrack.

All of these elements combine to transform us from Chicago to Cairo to Washington. We sit at her parent’s dinner table, hide in her darkened apartment, and hole up in a terrorist den seamlessly as Kersti’s storytelling, Bay’s music, the audience’s breath, and the universal soundscape align for this journey.

If only revolution could happen so effortlessly.

Theaterlab presents True Believer
Written by Asa Merritt | Directed by Joshua Kahan Brody

April 17 – May 9, 2015
Fridays at 8 pm. & Saturdays at 8 p.m. & 10 p.m.
Special Industry Performance | Sunday, April 26, 2015 at 7 p.m.
Additional Performance | Friday, May 1st at 10 p.m. Theaterlab

357 West 36th Street, 3rd Floor New York, NY 10018

Tickets | Visit or call 212-352-3101


About the author

Marcus Dargan is the Artistic Director of NuAFrikan Theatre and a recipient of the Jacob A. Weiser Playwright Award for his play Dream Deferred, which was nominated for the AUDELCO 2012 Dramatic Production of the Year. He was last seen in the role created by Ken Page in Ain’t Misbehavin’ with the Harlem Repertory Theatre, a show garnering five AUDELCO Award nominations. He is the author of the play Antichrist Lament, which received workshop performances at the Manhattan Theatre Source PlayGround Development Series and Nuyorican Poet’s Café. He is an adjunct professor of the Speech, Communications and Theatre department at Borough of Manhattan Community where he received an A.S. in Theatre. He also holds a B.A. in Theatre and M.S.Ed. in Educational Theatre from City College of New York.


Stay CREATIVELY CONNECTED by joining our weekly email list!

Become part of the web of creativity and connectivity with local artists and arts organizations.