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Chapel Performance Moves Suffield Community

On October 14, Detroit native John Morello performed a one-of-a-kind one man show as part of Suffield's chapel speaker program. Raised in Boston, John considers himself a survivor of a high-risk childhood which included abuse and addiction. After receiving a degree in theater and communications from Evangel University in Missouri, he spent several years touring as a comedian. In 2012, he wrote a critically acclaimed graphic novel called "Dirt" which chronicles the story he tells onstage, a story about four interwoven characters and the struggles they face.

While John spends most of his time making people laugh, the topics he addresses in his show are quite serious. With subtle grace, John portrays each of the characters (Hank, David/Pi, Jason, and Melissa), using different mannerisms and voices for each one to talk about everything from bullying to segregation. As he seamlessly transitions from one character to the next—depicting a rebellious high school student in rehab at one moment and his 80 year-old grandfather the next—John clearly understands what it means to be a teenager and how to talk about issues like addiction, self-esteem, and depression.

John received a standing ovation from the Suffield community for his performance. After the show, students were overheard describing it as "amazing" and "powerful." Jesse Phillips '15 said, "His performance was incredible, especially the fact was he was able to change characters so easily. He was totally relatable." Julia Harris '15 and Lily Flynn '15 agreed, saying that they liked how John tied it all together. When asked about the morale of John's story, Caroline Bauchiero '15 added, "Be true to yourself and always take in the whole picture."
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