THE STORY: A wealthy New York couple, strained to the breaking point by caring for their severely disabled daughter, Emily, weigh their own happiness against that of their child—with shocking consequences. Emily’s lyrical poetry, the bitter volleys of the couple’s disintegrating marriage, and the appraisals of the outside world frame the narrative of this insightful play. Commissioned by the Actors Theatre of Louisville, and premiered at the Humana Festival of New American Plays, A NERVOUS SMILE is a brutal portrait of love, lust and despair set against Belluso’s fiery brand of social satire.
“Provocative…meaty topics of immediate political and social currency…honest funny and compassionate.” —The New York Times.
“Belluso’s dialogue is most compelling…because of his perspective, his empathy and obvious skill, Belluso’s is a name to remember.” —San Diego Union-Tribune.
“Belluso understands that it’s not necessary to grapple directly with the headlines to comment on our greed-driven society.” —Village Voice.
“Belluso’s play at Actors Theatre of Louisville brings a fresh, honest perspective and a surprising amount of humor to the emotionally difficult subject.” —Louisville Courier-Journal.