Heights playwrights explore the funny side of Parkinson’s
“Side Effects May Include” explores the idea that sometimes it’s not the disease that changes us, but the side effects. Based on writer Marc Jaffe’s own experiences with his wife Karen’s early-onset Parkinson’s disease, the play explores how their life together took an unexpected turn—in some ways for the better.
“When Karen was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease several years ago,” said Eric Coble, the play’s co-writer, “she and Marc went through a host of experiences—some awful, but some surprisingly hilarious. Marc approached me about turning these stories into a play, and we co-wrote the script as a one-man comedy-drama.”
Before collaborating with Coble on “Side Effects,” Jaffe had never written for the stage—only for television, stand-up comedy and film.
A former “Seinfeld” writer, Jaffe grew up in Shaker Heights, and his wife graduated from Heights High in 1977. Coble came to Cleveland for an acting internship at the Cleveland Play House, and has now lived here for 20 years.
The play was workshopped at Cleveland Public Theater as part of its Big Box series, and is now touring regionally. “Side Effects” just ended its Chicago run, and will play for one weekend only at Dobama Theatre (2340 Lee Road), March 21–24.
MadKap Productions will donate 10 percent of ticket sales to Shaking with Laughter, an organization founded by Marc and Karen Jaffe in support of the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
Tickets are $25 for general admission, and performance times are: 7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 21; 8 p.m., Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23; and 2:30 p.m., Sunday, March 24. To purchase tickets, visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/311950 or call 847-947-2155.
Kim Sergio Inglis
Kim Sergio Inglis is editor-in-chief of the Heights Observer. She lives in the Shaker Farm Historic District in Cleveland Heights.