Faith Healer

Brian Friel (Playwright)

About Brian

“I am married, have 5 children, live in the country, smoke too much, fish a little, worry a lot, get involved in sporadic causes and invariably regret the involvement, and hope that between now and my death I will have acquired a religion, a philosophy, a sense of life that will make the end less frightening than it appears to me at this moment.” (Brian Friel, Self Portrait)

David Hillman (Director)

About David

Each of us is born without our prior consent, into a particular situation. For those of you in the audience, you were probably humans on the planet Earth, for starters. You had parents. Your society was a certain way. There were certain prevailing values and points of view and expectations.

Eventually, if we are to truly live, we need to find out who we really are. This typically requires some degree of rebellion. For we are not our parents, we are not our society, we are not those prevailing values and points of view and expectations. We are ourselves. And if we do not fight, ourselves will surely be lost.
Hence we strike out on our own. In our van. We find our truth, our creative impulse. We create our life. Our life becomes our own work of art.
Yet rebellion, this perpetual running away from home, brings with it its price. The fear of losing self, of being swallowed up, can keep us clinging fiercely to who we are. That very fierceness ironically gets in our way. Fear of failure ties us in knots, causes us to fail. The answer, I feel, is to let go. To fall. To be willing to lose one’s self. To accept one’s mortality. Easier said than done!
These are some of the things that Faith Healer makes me think about. But I am not the cast. They have their own unique ways of resonating with this play. And I am not you. So forget what I just said, and have your own unique experience of Faith Healer. –David Hillman

Full Cast

Cast & Contributors

Cast & Contributors from left to right: Ann Treacy (Artwork), Steve Treacy (FRANK/Co-producer), Michelle Hensel (GRACE), David Hillman (Director), Doug Taylor (TEDDY), David Draheim (Co-Producer)

Production Extras

Left: Steve Treacy (in front of Eclectic Theater’s Odd Duck Studio)

Right: Rik Deskin (producer of Eclectic Theater Company) with David Hillman (director)


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Reviews and Mentions

Discovery Bay’s leap of faith ‘mesmerizing’ by PT Leader…

To read the full review CLICK HERE.

Bullet review (9 Oct 2010, Seattle-News@Irishclub.Org, Irish Play)

“It is a stunning 3 person rendition of Brian Friel’s amazing play.”

Excerpts (16 Oct 2010, Michael Moore, Kitsap Sun, ‘Faith Healer’ as Worthwhile as it is Difficult)

  • “The onus is on the actors, as their respective characters tell their versions of the life they lived as they barnstormed through the United Kingdom, aiding and abetting Frank in his faith-healing ‘performances,’ and relate how the three of them were linked by a symbiosis that kept them together, but couldn’t prevent them — particularly the tortured Frank — from ripping each other to emotional shreds.”
  • “All three are spell-binding. Hensel’s Grace is terminally damaged by her experiences with Frank, who used her for years, and perhaps even loved and needed her, but never could live up to his end of the marital bargain. Her heartbreak, which is conveyed with great skill and subtlety, comes not just from the years of abuse at Frank’s hand, but from the admission that she never could bring herself to leave him.”
  • “(Taylor) — the last of the trio to have his say — and his 50-minute testimony ran the gamut from amiable and comical, to enraged and horrified, chuckling over certain memories, then slipping in a few seconds into palpable, jaw-quivering, blubbering grief.”
  • “Frank, whose dubious talents inspired the faith that kept the other two clinging to him — as well as providing their meager living — gets to have the first and last words, the opening argument and a rebuttal of sorts. Treacy — an Equity actor — plays him with a tempered grace, mixing perfectly Frank’s combination of bemusement, frustration, rage and ultimate resignation.”


Rediscover your own inner journey at a performance of “Faith Healer” by Discovery Bay Players. Steer clear of the doldrums by celebrating the spirit of Ireland and reliving its passionate story. Simulate a Dublin night out by taking in Faith Healer, a dark Celtic tale by Ireland’s premiere playwright Brian Friel. Look for the Irish flag out front. Meet the low-rent faith healer Frank Hardy (Steve Treacy, Aea), his wife Grace (Michelle Hensel), and his road manager Teddy (Doug Taylor) as they recount their own peculiar versions of events leading up to an ill-fated homecoming in Ireland. Chat with the actors in the lobby after the show.

Seattle audience member Peter Ong Lim wrote (Facebook): “Emotional raw and powerful stuff. It grabs you by the throat and never lets go. After the play, no one stood to leave for around 5 minutes or so.” Elizabeth Lindell wrote (The Seattle Times webpage): “Loved this play! Totally mysterious and engrossing. I’ve seen this play once before but this version was better, even though it was in a smaller theatre. The guy who played the faith healer was awesome and the other two were also. I was into the story all the way through but then confused at the end – what happened exactly? I’m not sure if he dies or what but it was spooky.”

Shows are 7:00pm Fridays & Saturdays and 2:00pm Sundays, October 15 – 24 at The Chameleon Theatre. Tickets ($18) available now at or by calling 1-800-838-3006. Remaining tix at The Food Co-op (414 Kearney Street) or at the door.

Discovery Bay Players ( is a new group producing literate transformative plays, especially by American and Irish playwrights. We use professional-level talent, rehearse shows in Port Townsend, then stage full play productions in Puget Sound area theatres. Discovery Bay Players opened this first show at Odd Duck Studio, Seattle, and now proudly steers “Faith Healer” home to Port Townsend for six pre-Halloween shows at The Chameleon Theatre.