J. A. Di Bello’s Review of Tesla’s Letters

September 9, 2017

Cornerstone Theatre Arts


And of the citizens: is any one right?

     Tesla’s  Letters is a drama for stage written by a socially active Jeffrey Stanley.  The story unfolds on the stage of the intimate, 55 seat theatre at the Goshen Music Hall.  Here an adequately prepared audience will find a small office with a large, bellicose occupant, Dragan Milincevic.  He is the Director of the Tesla Museum in Belgrade, Serbia.  Director Joe Barra’s choice of Mark Von Oesen is the perfect and somewhat interesting choice for this part, as he easily dominates the stage with his sizeable physique and vocal pitch, which is baritone and a nearly a thunderous bass.

The dramatic adversary in this play is a young, attractive American Ph.D. candidate, Daisy Archer.  She is effectively brought to the stage by Jessica Rose Markman, a talented actor, who represents Daisy Archer as bright, articulate and a tad naïve.   She, with prior permission from the Museum, has traveled to Belgrade to learn and subsequently write about the scientific and personal life of Nikola Tesla and a “doomsday device.”

Milincevic sends Daisy on a frivolous, unnecessary and perilous journey into war torn Croatia to determine the level of her scholastic intentions.  During her travels she encounters Zoran.  He’s portrayed by an engaging David Camacho, a familiar and efficient actor at the Goshen Music Hall.  He is a part of the learning process experienced by Ms. Archer.  Also, rounding out the cast of this unusual drama is Evelyn Albino as Milincevic’s secretary.  She, Evelyn, is a dedicated and competent actor at Cornerstone Theatre Arts.

Director, Joe Barra, was wise to provide the audience with a prologue prior to performance, for this drama can not stand alone.  There are politics, politics and myth associated with the reality of the play’s purpose.  What was not provided is a informative excerpt from the published play.  A full page was dedicated by Jeffrey Stanley to a quote from Dante’s The Inferno.  A portion provided here: 

Tell if you can the divided city’s fate,

And of the citizens: is any one right?

And that is the whole point of the drama as it unfolds:  humankind’s propensity for conflict and the very real potential for mutual destruction.  Consider Tesla’s alleged doomsday device on the same page as the obsessed Director Milincevic’s abusive power and control disorder.  Each striving to dominate the stage:  a conflict with unintended consequence?

This superbly presented and acted drama results in the arousal of curiosity.  The complete story of the genius of Tesla and his place in understanding electromagnetism as well as his innumerable contributions to science.  He has for all practical purposes been ignored. 

Tesla’s Letters will play at the Goshen Music Hall through September 24, Friday and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm.  Reservations are required:  Call 845-294-4188.



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