I met M.J. working on the book trailer for my memoir “Back on the Court”. She too is a writer and what a story she has to tell. Her novel, “The Improv” is based on her personal experience as an actress in college . After I finished her book, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I had to talk to my teenage daughter about it.
As an athlete and fashion model I grew up witnessing predators in action. A coach that dated his, much younger, players, photographers that suggested bras or panties be removed, agents that asked young men to remove ALL their clothing while they were measured. But what is revealed in “The Improv” brings the predators manipulation to a whole new level.
“The Improv” is a thought-provoking, oh-so-relevant, must-read. The novel (based on a true story) flawlessly weaves college life, youthful innocence, and a predator’s perversion, into a suspenseful, entertaining and at times haunting story. A story that needed to be told. Thank you Ms. McDermott.
From the back cover:
A novel based on a true story. For mature young adults. It is 1982 at a New England university, and drama major Margo Laughton is thrilled and terrified to be cast as “Sheila” in the rock musical Hair. The show’s director, Professor Harrison P. Adler, is known for his daring productions. Rumors have circulated for decades about how Harry gets actors to break through their inhibitions. He prefers working with boys, encouraging them to become violent and explore their sexuality in carefully guided improvisations or “improvs.” In 1969, an actor in one of Harry’s plays committed suicide. Is Harry a brilliant ground-breaking acting coach, or is he a manipulative voyeur who has found an academically and artistically sanctioned way to indulge his perversions? Margo and her leading man enjoy a playful rehearsal relationship that is shattered after a highly secretive, males-only improv. Margo is determined to find out what happened in the improv and the 1969 suicide, risking her romance and her hoped-for acting career in order to make sure that Harry never directs another play at the college.