X’s and O’s: A play about playing football

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X's and O's opening scene. Photo copyright by Richard Anderson

By Len Lazarick


X's and O's Photo copyright by Richard Anderson

X’s and O’s is a new play about playing football, and you don’t have to be a fan to like it.

If like me you’re only a dabbler in the gridiron that friends and relatives are obsessed with, you’ll still find X’s and O’s stimulating and thought-provoking.

It’s theme is concussions and injuries in pro football. The topic is obviously as relevant as Sunday’s football game in Baltimore, where the Rams quarterback was left in the game to play with a concussion and Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco had a season-ending knee injury.

This theme may sound like a downer, but the play is more engaging than depressing. It both celebrates the game and critiques it violence.

The 90-minute play was commissioned by Center Stage and the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in California, and is performed by an ensemble cast of California-based actors who play multiple roles. KJ Sanchez and Jenny Mercein wrote the script based on extensive interviews with ex-players, their families and fans, and it is told from their varying perspectives.

Center Stage is presenting it in its more intimate Head Theater. It plays through Dec. 20. For more information, click here.