Photo credit: Art & Architecture Quarterly

On March 28, Creative Alliance will present a virtual reading of “SQUEAKY,” a new play by Baltimore native Jeff Cohen.

Produced in collaboration with Guild Hall arts center of Long Island, SQUEAKY is a sequel to Men of Clay, Cohen’s award-winning play about Baltimore in the 1970s, which got its first reading at Creative Alliance in 2005.

SQUEAKY is an autobiographical comedy about end-of-life issues with Cohen’s eccentric father, Stan “Squeaky” Cohen.

According to Creative Alliance, “Squeaky is the man who was banned from every Old Country Buffet in the metro Baltimore area – for stealing cake. He can’t remember where he lost his car. He lives across the street from Druid Hill Park in a ramshackle house that is a city inspection away from being condemned – and refuses to move.”

In the play, Squeaky’s son Jeff is a writer living in New York who finds himself battling his older brother Rob over what is best for their father.

“At its core,” according to an announcement from the Creative Alliance, “SQUEAKY is about wrestling with family issues and maintaining your sense of humor over corned beef sandwiches at Attman’s of Lombard Street.”

Cohen is a Drama Desk Award winner and 1975 Friends School of Baltimore graduate whose other works include The Soap Myth and The Man Who Ate Michael Rockefeller.

The production will premiere on Guild Hall’s YouTube channel on March 28 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Directed by Bob Balaban, its cast includes Jessica Hecht, Marc Kudisch, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Ben Shenkman and Harris Yulin.

“When I was writing the play, I was flooded with memories,” Cohen said in a statement. “Capturing my father on the page felt like he was there with me, over my shoulder, speaking to me, making me laugh. I felt a combination of sadness that he was gone and happiness that, just by thinking of him, I could conjure him and keep him alive.  Writing the play gave me something very precious — the gift of spending more time with him.”

Creative Alliance is an arts center based in the Patterson Theater at 3134 Eastern Avenue in Baltimore. Guild Hall is a 90-year-old arts center in  East Hampton, New York, that includes a theater, a museum and teaching space under one roof.  The play was developed at Emerging Artists Theatre Company of New York City as part of its New Play Series.

The premiere is free of charge, with the option to make a donation to Guild Hall. Registration is required and a link to access the program will be emailed 24 hours prior to the show for those who register. For more information visit

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Ed Gunts

Ed Gunts is a local freelance writer and the former architecture critic for The Baltimore Sun.