He sees his play as a shine a spotlight on an underlying theme — a call to bring civility back to the political discussion.
O’Neill abided by the “six o’clock rule,” Flavin said, which meant that at the end of the workday, after debate and disagreement stopped, politicians would return to friends. They respected each other’s opinions, “even if the other guy was dead wrong,” Flavin said.
O’Neill saw politicians as “adversaries during the day and not as enemies like politicians now,” Flavin said. By following that path, politicians were able to come to a consensus on issues more and there was less of the deadlock that occurs today, he added.
“He would be dismayed at the amount of animosity that exists between politicians now,” he said.
The intimate setting of the Firehouse is perfect for “According to Tip,” Flavin said, as it caters to the conversational tone of the one-man show. The play is designed to feel like a conversation between O’Neill and the audience, he added.
“It was just perfect for us,” he said.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: “According to Tip” by Dick Flavin
WHEN: Tomorrow and Saturday, 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 3 p.m.
WHERE: Firehouse Center for the Arts, Market Square, Newburyport
HOW: $35 general admission, $20 students, $30 for seniors. Call the box office at 978-462-7336 or visit online at www.firehouse.org.