Social Distancing Brings Northern Essex Grad Actor and Playwright Together for Online Play Tonight

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A 24-year-old Haverhill actor, bored at the height of the pandemic, helped bring together a performance of an autobiographical story, “Rite of Passage,” which will be performed live tonight online.

“Rite of Passage” looks at how faith keeps a family together in a time of tragedy. A reading of the play will be performed tonight, July 11, at 7 p.m., from the B’Nai Israel Congregation in Rockville, Md., and available free on Zoom

Producer Linda Menzies Greenstein of Haverhill said her son Noah went online during social distancing and met Izzy Salant, a recent graduate of UMass Amherst. “Noah introduced himself as an actor and Izzy as a playwright. They became friends and Izzy shared his play with Noah who thought it was exceptional,” she said.

Two years later, Salant signed with Greenstein’s Punctuate 4 Productions and the play had its first test outing at a synagogue in Portsmouth, N.H. It now goes to Maryland where it will be live streamed nationally.

Noah, who graduated from Northern Essex Community College and Northern Vermont University, will portray his real-life friend Izzy, in the dramatic reading. What is even more interesting is Izzy is autistic and Noah had two strokes as a child.

“Through their shared challenges they have developed a bond. Izzy’s character of an autistic child is authentic and personal. Noah’s portrayal of a young man on the autism spectrum is based on his own understanding of being ‘different’ and knowing first-hand how the world looks at you,” Greenstein said.

The livestream is free, but registration is required by clicking here.

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