As an actress, Comer actually can do everything. She is witty, she is charismatic, she is vulnerable, she is powerful. She can also oscillate from sweeping social commentary to devastatingly personal confessions in a single scene...Throughout The Fear of Speaking, Comer craftily uses pop culture to offer insight into her life... While sadness is essential to The Fear of Speaking, so is joy.
"Comer takes the audience on a journey of empathy. The message is that regardless of gender identity (or any other type of label we like to put on people), we're all just humans with the same hopes, dreams, and fears."
Krista Garver, Broadway World
The Fear of Speaking World Live Premiere November-December 2021
The Fear of Speaking was part of the 2021 Norcal Festival!
A newly created video production of The Fear of Speaking was streamed on Facebook on 6/27/2020. The Fear of Speaking was the Feature Production of this year's Outwright Theatre Festival, which has moved online due to the pandemic.
Thanks to all who came to see The Fear of Speaking at the 2020 Fertile Ground Festival!
Photo credits: Kate Mura; Theatredust
Reactions from audience members after seeing The Fear of Speaking:
Making a public speech is often considered human beings’ greatest fear. A fear even greater than death. It’s similar to acting in a play, but unlike a play there is no crew of technicians, no fancy lights, no costumes, and no other actors to work with. It’s just one single human being, facing an audience of people. All alone. There are, though, classes to help with the fear of speaking. Jane, who, in addition to being an actress, has many years of public speech experience, has been teaching such a class. And now, it’s the big event. The students of Jane’s class have written and practiced their speeches, and are ready to perform them at a public recital.
Karla has written something she calls “Olivia Newton John”. We’re not sure what that’s about.
Jasmine presents a memory of her late great friend, a well-known actor nicknamed the Angel of Romance, to a roomful of theatre people.
Suzanne has a eulogy for a long-time acquaintance. The only problem is she never really liked her.
Hortense presents a speech to a City Council about cakes, paper napkins …and tears.
Anita has a career day talk about her job. It’s called “Call Center Servitude.” It isn’t pretty.
Beth talks about her very best friend, and that horrible, dreadful thing that happened.
There are other students who will hopefully be speaking as well, however they were too scared to even have their speeches mentioned in this announcement. And Jane herself will present the final speech, The Fear of Speaking.
In case any of the students are unable to appear due to their fear of speaking, Jane has copies of most of their speeches and will try to present them in their place. Of course, what if none of the students show up…that could never happen, could it? Come have the laughs, come feel the tears, come experience The Fear of Speaking.
This play is dedicated to Glenn Knight, Sept. 23, 1928 - March 21, 2014. The greatest speech coach who ever lived.