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Denver Gazette: Denver playwright Jeffrey Neuman hits the trifecta

Writer with severe hearing loss will have three stage plays produced around metro in 2023

By John Moore, The Denver Gazette, April 22, 2023

When Denver’s Jeffrey Neuman began to lose his hearing, he found his voice as a playwright.

Both journeys go back about 15 years. That’s when Neuman’s diminishing hearing started to become debilitating – not only for him, but for his husband, Mark Reidel.

But perhaps no individual playwright has pulled off a trifecta like Neuman, who will have three different plays staged by three different local theater companies in 2023, starting with Cherry Creek Theater’s “The Headliners,” opening May 5 at the JCC Mizel Arts and Culture Center.

John Moore The Denver Gazette

“Because it’s really hard being a spouse to somebody who cannot hear anything – but believes they can,” he said with prototypical Neuman panache. Reidel urged Neuman to get tested, and in 2009, a doctor classified him as severely hard of hearing.

“They really couldn’t believe how bad my hearing had become, or how much I had just been compensating,” said Neuman, who realized he was not so much hearing conversations anymore but rather piecing them together by watching people’s faces.

That’s also when he started to explore playwriting. Not as a conscious response to his disability – ”but I do feel like there’s a connection there,” he said. Deciphering what someone might have just told Neuman in a crowded room is not unlike him constructing a narrative on his laptop, he said.

Read the full article here