Martin Moran was groomed and repeatedly sexually assaulted by Vietnam veteran and Catholic boys’ camp counselor, Bob, from the age 12–15. Thirty years later, Bob reached out to Moran for a meeting, and Moran obliged. In The Tricky Part, currently running at The Barrow Group, Moran breathtakingly, heartbreakingly, and exquisitely recounts—alone, on stage—the story of his sexual awakening and his adulthood encounter with the man who forced it upon him.
The current production, directed by Seth Barrish, is a revival of its premiere run—also at The Barrow Group—in 2004, which earned an Obie Award, as well as nominations for two Drama Desk Awards, an Outer Critics Circle Award, and a GLAAD Award. In 2005, Moran wrote a memoir based on the play, entitled The Tricky Part: A Boy’s Story of Sexual Trespass, a Man’s Journey to Forgiveness. The book won the 2005 Lambda Non-Fiction Prize, the Barnes and Noble Discover Award, and the Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction.
Moran—also known for his roles in the musicals Floyd Collins, A Man of No Importance, Titanic, and Spamalot—spoke to me on the phone the morning after I saw The Tricky Part on December 1. What follows is a condensed transcript of our discussion.