"This is a fascinating work, managing to take hold of one’s curiosity from the onset. A pair of women speculating on Captain Pollard’s "scarred soul" suggest darker forces and heady portent, balanced by the children’s cruel jokes which follow Pollard at the end. After that the facts surrounding the case flow effortlessly…The theatrical medium is capably exploited, enabling the action to criss-cross the seas and spans of time through a Shakespearean trust in imagination rather than scenic verisimilitude. While many of the questions raised early on are satisfied by the end, we still look…to Pollard’s larger spiritual struggle."
The Script Review 1991
"Nineteenth century seafaring tale, based on fact, of Captain Pollard who loses two ill-fated whaling ships. A surprisingly gripping, poetic, well-structured … plot with appropriate period language and polished dialogue. The author skillfully moves back and forth in time with no confusion. Knowledgeable use of dramatic techniques…An empathetic yet creative director is critical here."
Baltimore Playwrights Festival 1991
"This is a re-enactment of an inquiry into the sinking of 2 whaling ships commandeered by George Pollard from Nantucket, Massachusetts in the years 1819-1823. As Pollard explains the events that occurred …the story is played out. The play is written in a historical epic style and it conveys the morals, goals, fears and courage of the people in early American 19th century.
The play sustained my interest in it tension and mystery. I have no interest or background in this period but I got caught up in what I suppose is a historical perspective. While these people are vastly different from what goes on today I could sense how their behavior has shaped who we are today…I think the play basically is very workable and it is nice to see writing that uses drama well as a means to illuminate history."
American Theater Ventures
"Your dialogue is sharp and interesting. Pithy. You seem to have a good feel for the period. Nice distinction between hunger and starvation.
The weaving between past and present time scenes, and the occasional simultaneity of times was interesting. While another writer might have turned all the flashback material into endless monologues—you made the active choice to present them as action."
Chicago Dramatists Workshop Network 1994
"It is with the deepest regret that I’m (finally) returning your script The Night Watchman to you. Your story was a particular favorite of mine and I very much wanted the Triangle Radio Theatre to produce it as our first two or three part serial production. It’s a grand story, combining element of Moby Dick, The Caine Mutiny, and perhaps of Edgar Alan Poe all into one dark tale that I feel could have been done fine justice as a radio drama.
However, The Triangle Radio Theatre has ceased operations (due to) unfortunate event(s)."
Secretary, Triangle Theatre, 1998
"The ‘Night Watchman’ is the story of George Pollard Jr., Captain of the Essex and the Two Brothers, ships which both were wrecked and for which he must provide explanation. The story is compelling, and you add depth in both the characters provided and the eventual description of the horror these men went through. The dialogue is also swift and vivid…There are many strong choices throughout the crafting of this play. The first is obviously the selection of Pollard himself…a worthwhile person in his own right…The character spread also works nicely, with the presence of Pollard’s cousin …laced into the narrative to give two levels of personal conflict on top of the professional work that he must perform as captain. The text also makes strong use of the stage, a good knowledge of the malleability of theatre – scenes eventually jumping back and forth in narrative in a way that suits performed and multi-role pieces…The language throughout is also effective, especially descriptions of the nature of hunger and starvation – and the increasingly dire situation as the men turn to allotted sacrifice and cannibalism…Overall, though, ‘The Night Watchman’ takes a compelling event and explores it in a measured but engaging manner, turning a historical catastrophe into a personal tragedy."
WILDsound Writing Festival 2012