“Casey Groves’ performance of Damien is very powerful, and I encourage parishes and schools throughout the islands to host a performance as a way of celebrating Blessed Damien’s coming canonization.”
-Most Reverend Larry Silva; Bishop of the Catholic Church of Hawaii-
“The historic reception and veneration of a major relic of Saint Damien of Molokai was a rare moment of grace for the Church in San Francisco, one that was greatly enhanced by Casey Groves’ masterful performance of the one man play ‘Damien.’
Casey brought the ‘Apostle of the Lepers’ to life for us. If Casey’s natural talent were not so obvious and our faith were not so genuine, one might be tempted to say the evening was magical.”
-Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco
My name is Casey Groves. I am an actor based in New Jersey, and I perform the one man play, Damien, by Aldyth Morris. In honor of Blessed Damien’s canonization, Bishop Larry Silva invited me to tour the play throughout the Hawaiian Islands from April 14th to May 2, 2009. I did 21 performances in 19 days. I was blessed with the opportunity to perform Damien in the presence of Fr. Damien’s relic at St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco and at St. Joseph’s Basilica in Alameda, CA in mid October of 2009 when the relic was en route to Hawaii from the canonization in Rome. I am currently setting up a tour of the play, and I would love to share Father Damien’s life and message with you and your community.
I toured the play throughout the Hawaiian Islands in both 2006 and 2009. I have also had two successful off-Broadway productions of Damien and have toured it nationally. I first took on the role of Father Damien as a high school student in New Orleans in 1987.
The play, Damien, tells the compelling story of the Belgium-born priest who ministered to people with leprosy on Moloka‘i before dying of the disease in 1889 at the age of 49. Father Damien, a member of the Congregation of Sacred Hearts, was beatified in 1995 and was canonized on October 11, 2009. A performance of Damien at your church or school will give parishioners or students an opportunity to see the life of this Catholic Hero of Hawaii unfold before them and will generate enthusiasm around his recent canonization.
There is no set fee for parish performances; I only ask that a free will offering be taken up. 25% of whatever is made will go back to the parish for hosting the play. In an ideal world it would be great to make at least $500 for the performance, but whatever the amount ends up to be will be wonderful. Also, I ask that parishes more than two hours drive away from my home in New Orleans send a non refundable $100 deposit to help with travel costs for performances. I am also very open to discussing the possibility of doing the play as a fundraiser for the parish. I generally charge $600 for school performances.
A performance of Damien is about an hour and twenty minutes long and requires little in terms of preparation on your end. I bring many of the minimal costume, prop, and scenic elements with me. I have included a link below describing the things you will need to provide if you would like to host a performance. You will also find links below to press information, my bio, my personal journey and connection with Fr. Damien, and a 6 minute promotional video which was filmed by a friend during a recent live performance.
Thank you for considering hosting a performance of Damien. I look forward to hearing from you soon.