I’m thrilled to announce that I recently signed a contract with the playwright David Zarko, giving him the rights to produce a play based on Honor, a novella by Daniel Grotta. I can’t imagine any other contract feeling so right to me, helping to firm up Daniel’s legacy.
Honor is a story about the fragility and power of the human heart. It explores the terrible toll paid when patriotism, personal ethics and the deep bond of friendship collide.
Next step on the road to production: a staged reading in New York City, hopefully later this year.
This Saturday afternoon was an event that I have been looking forward to for a long time, and it was years in the making: a Zoom reading of David Zarko’s play based on Daniel Grotta’s novella Honor.
I wasn’t the only audience member with tears in my eyes throughout the performance, and that wasn’t unexpected. Readers of Daniel’s small book have long reported how soulful and emotional the story is. Hardened, street-wise individuals have written me (and when he was alive, Daniel) that Honor made them openly cry, even in public.
Honor is the story of Jeff Smith who, as his bully of a brother-in-law Gene Engelhardt is fond of retelling, is “what the cat dragged in.” He’s a scruffy, bearded hippie who Gene’s sister Bonnie fell in love with decades ago, after meeting at a Washington peace rally against the Vietnam War. Even shaved and doing whatever the Engelhardts wanted, his in-laws never accepted or approved of Jeff. Now, Jeff is saddled with a family, a dead-end job, and, after Bonnie died of cancer, a mountain of debt. Read More