Roy, an unmerciful theatre critic on a major power trip, must atone for his misdeeds in front of a live audience. When he turns his razor-sharp analysis on himself, he unlocks an imaginative world full of suspense and wonder. Performed at the Brick’s Moral Values Festival in Brooklyn in 2005.

Mahamudra Cartoon

Illustration by Ben Harcum

…In the end Roy completes a journey of self-discovery and frees his mind of its burdens. (Hence the title of the show, Mahamudra.) Mahamudra is a Buddhist theory in which, simply stated, we learn to deconstruct the walls we build up in our minds. The point being that the mahamudra must be experienced and this is exactly what happens to Roy. He realizes that (here I paraphrase Harcum’s brilliant script) he’s driven all of his friends away by trying to be better than them so they would love him. Harcum’s words are those of a man who is searching for personal enlightenment and wishes to share this search with others. I enjoyed his descent into his own nightmare and I came away thinking about ways that I too judge myself and others too harshly. Harcum is a very engaging and emotional performer. His ability to juxtapose his dream world and reality is very impressive…his script is astute and intuitive….

-Richard Hinojosa, NYTheatre

surburban jail


Harcum is a seasoned solo performer and this newest piece is well worth the price of the ticket…In this charming 30-minute comedy, Harcum plays Roy, a theater critic who suddenly finds himself onstage, livid when the solo performer he’s come to see fails to show. Ironically, even as he rants against the proliferation of solipsistic one-person shows in the theater, Roy embarks on his own one-man confessional, recounting a disastrous (and weirdly fatal) breakup that led to a commentary, examining both the profession of a critic and also the nature and, dare I say, morality breakdown, followed by his entry into the acting profession.

Mahamudra, directed with finesse by Bricken Sparacino, is a shrewd, if still in-process, piece of comedy and, of being judgmental. Harcum, as Roy rants and raves, demonstrates an intensity that borders on the ‘no-holds- barred’ that more than amply fills the intimate Brick Theater. In this intimacy, though, one also sees the most charming aspect of Harcum’s style – the ability to be warmly human and exceedingly vulnerable. As a critic, I felt, as well I should, lightly and lovingly chided by Mahamudra. As a member of the human race, Harcum’s piece reminded me that the mental ‘tick sheet’ I carry every day may not always serve the best purpose.

-Andy Propst, American Theatre Web