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Putnam Playwright Brings 'The Exorcist' To The Stage

John Pielmeier
John Pielmeier Photo Credit: Contributed

GARRISON, N.Y. -- John Pielmeier, a Garrison resident, is hoping his next play will leave you terrified.

Pielmeier, who wrote the play "Agnes of God" is in London, having written "The Exorcist," which is set to begin running in the West End after an initial run in Birmingham, England.

"I think it's such an incredibly theatrical story," Pielmeier said. "It's so marvelously dramatic."

Pielmeier said while "The Exorcist" fits naturally for the theater, adopting a beloved book and movie can be a challenge.

"You have to get the tone right so it meets people's expectations and surprises them," Pielmeier said. "You want to fulfill people's expectations."

The play will contain the famous pea soup and head-turning scenes but declined to go into specifics. The performance for the press will be on Halloween.

"I'm incredibly nervous," Pielmeier said. "In these experiences, you'd rather be anywhere else. You can be unpleasantly on edge."

Pielmeier said he doesn't read reviews, saying negative reviews can be damaging personally while even positive reviews can miss the point of the play.

Having lived in Garrison for 33 years, Pielmeier said is the perfect place for a writer. Aside from writing "The Exorcist," he recently wrote, "The Hook's Tail," Captain Hook's memoir and will be doing a signing at The Book Cove in Pawling on November 25.

In 2009, Pielmeier wrote "Gifted: The Ben Carson Story," a TV movie about the famous surgeon who later ran for president.

"He was a very gentle giving guy," Pielmeier said. "I was in the operating room with him. I don't agree with him politically in any way, but as a surgeon, I couldn't recommend him more highly."

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