Jamald Gardner is a great Dad, impassioned by his love and commitment to his son. Through his very personal solo performance What About Dad?, writer/performer Gardner delivers a message of support to men and for men, specifically single Dads. The way Gardner tells the story is totally inclusive.
The story is told through a series of shorts scenes. Gardner explores several characters; all single fathers in widely varying circumstances. One is trying to navigate social services after a surprise divorce left him needing additional support. Another is a bereaved widow navigating life and raising children after losing his wife prematurely. Gardner narrates the piece through voiceover and the last scene is his personal message, one of love and encouragement. He encourages all men to practice feeling and expressing emotion freely and allow themselves to be vulnerable without shame.
Direction by Courtney Nichole is crisp and organized. Nichole uses the space effectively, establishing several different environments in a very small playing space. The use of music throughout is pitch perfect.
Gardner lays out a clear and subtly compelling premise that centers around a Dad’s point of view. The outcome is not only an excellent display of Gardner’s acting ability but also a well-deserved pat on the back and a source of encouragement to the dads and father figures out there doing their best.