Sean Grennan is acting in his own play; In ‘Beer for Breakfast,’ Sean Grennan is performing his work for director Paul Hough.

The Kansas City Star

And so Sean Grennan returns.

The New York-based actor/playwright has been a fairly regular presence at the American Heartland Theatre since 2003, when the Heartland’s Paul Hough cast him in “The Diaries of Adam and Eve.”

Since then he’s been seen there as an actor (James Sheridan’s “Influenza,” Mitch Albom’s “Duck Hunter Shoots Angel”), a co-writer with Leah Okimoto of clever musicals (“A Dog’s Life,” “Married Alive!”) and as a playwright (“Another Night Before Christmas.”)

This season Heartland audiences will get both versions of Grennan (actor and playwright), beginning with his new play “Beer for Breakfast,” which begins previews Friday.

The comedy depicts a reunion of three middle-aged guys whose attempt to re-create the carefree weekends of their younger days is thrown off balance by the arrival of the wife of a fourth friend.

Playwright/actor Sean Grennan (AHT)

Grennan finds himself in the odd position of performing his own words under the eye of a director (Hough) with a cast that includes Scott Cordes, Martin English and Cathy Barnett.

Grennan explained that he had already written a draft of “Beer for Breakfast” when he was appearing in “The Love List,” which opened the Heartland’s 2010-2012 season. Cordes was in that show.

“We had a reading,” Grennan said. “The character I’m playing was kind of thin in the preliminary draft so I gave him more background and more depth.”

Grennan plays a newspaper reporter who lost his job and his now a stringer. The other characters include a guy recovering from a stroke; another is aging out of his job as the creative director at an ad agency. A fourth member of the group doesn’t show up, but his wife does. And none of the guys have ever liked her.

“These guys are at a crossroads and they’re trying to put that thing back together they had in their 20s,” Grennan said. “A lot of truths get revealed.”

Grennan said he thought the challenges facing his characters are familiar to a lot of people these days. People in their 50s, he said, have honed their skills to their highest level, but they’re nonetheless perceived as “too old” for some professions. Read the rest at

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