Former Hoosier-turned-Los-Angeleno Jack Freiberger wanted to be an actor. Then he wanted to be a teacher. Then an actor again, then a teacher again, and now he’s doing both.
Freiberger’s one man show, They Call Me Mister Fry is stopping in Indianapolis, his hometown, for the month of October as part of his national tour, which will see him in Washington DC for a command performance for the Department of Education, followed by eight weeks of an Off-Broadway performance in New York City in November and December.
Freiberger — Mister Fry, he said when he introduced himself to me — moved to Los Angeles years ago to become an actor. But while he was waiting for auditions and acting gigs, he started working as a substitute teacher, and then got his teaching credentials while he was still waiting. It was only natural since he comes from a family of teachers.
Mister Fry is about Freiberger’s own experiences teaching fifth grade in a South Los Angeles school, but serves as a commentary on different issues, like disciplinary problems, dealing with two problem students, and how No Child Left Behind has made life. . . challenging for the new teacher.
The play was originally written in 2001, but was rewritten two years ago to include Freiberger’s experiences and thoughts about the No Child Left Behind Act, which is one of the reasons he was invited to give a performance to the entire US Department of Education. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s actually good, having been named one of the “Best of the Fest” at the Washington Capital Fringe by dctheatrescene.com and “Best Male Monologue of the Cap Fringe” by allartsreview4u.com.
I got a chance to see a preview of the show on Tuesday, and had a chance to talk at length with the man they call Mister Fry. If you’re a teacher, administrator, or parent of students, you need to see They Call Me Mister Fry while it’s in town.
The show runs from October 3 – 18, and tickets are available at the door of the Indianapolis Fringe Theatre building at 719 East St. Clair Street in Indianapolis, just off the corner of College and Massachusetts Avenue. Or you can order them online at the Indy Fringe Theatre website.