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Playwright shares her ‘true life’ onstage


Playwright Doreen Firestone has long had an interest for music and fine arts every since she was a child, idolizing people like former child actor Mason Reese. Firestone will share her passion through the upcoming performance of her show, “Finding My Voice (Living My True Life)” on March 27.

In conjunction with the Long Island Breakfast Club and the Long Island Way, Firestone’s one-woman show is based on her own life experiences. Firestone, 55, has been sober for 34 years, and she hopes that her story can inspire people who may be struggling with addiction.

“It just makes me feel open and alive to perform onstage and to share my story with other people,” Firestone, of Seaford, said. “I try to engage with the audience as much as possible so that they can be a part of the show.”

As for her collaboration with the Breakfast Club, Firestone said that she and Janek have been friends for many years, and that her organization — which provides employment and career counseling, workshops, interviewing classes and referrals, among other assistance, to help those seeking employment after losing jobs in middle age — plays a role in motivating older residents on Long Island.

“It’s a blessing to work with strong women,” Firestone said. “Janek is one of them, along with my accompanist Ann Zalkind.”

“Doreen’s autobiographical, theatrical piece is filled with music and personal stories, told through the magnificent voice of the performer herself,” Janek, of West Hempstead, said in a news release. “She bears her soul fearlessly, as she lives out her struggles and triumphs on stage, before our very eyes. This classically trained singer performs in a variety of musical styles and as a versatile artist she will feature her original compositions. Doreen’s performance is captivating and will inspire every fan who listens to her story to discover and use their unique voice in their own life.”

The Long Island Way’s founder Donna Cariello added that with each show, Firestone “blows away audiences,” and that it inspires people to search for their hidden talents.

Firestone performs about a dozen times per year, including shows overseas. Now married with two children, Firestone said that she hopes to continue performing and engaging with people from different walks of life.

“It really is a blessing that I can use the stage to connect with people,” Firestone said. “It has always made me feel alive, and I hope that for people who see my show for the first time, they can have a special experience, too.”

Firestone’s performance will be held at the Ethical Humanist Society, located at 38 Old Country Road in Garden City, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 per person. The event will include refreshments and an opportunity to network with the Breakfast Club and The Long Island Way. For more information, call Janek at (516) 314-8989 or email her at vjanek@optonline.net.