Dan Moran and Chris Jones are New York actors. Both have Parkinson’s disease — a disease that affects all the elements essential to their craft.

So it is an act of bravery for Dan and Chris to take on Samuel Beckett’s comic masterpiece, Endgame, a complex and difficult piece of theater that makes the case that “there’s nothing funnier than unhappiness.”

By performing with Parkinson’s disease while opening their lives to a documentary, these two men show that they can meet even the most difficult circumstances with aplomb, a sense of humor, and soul.

Dan and Chris

Dan and Chris represent six decades of acting between them. They have appeared on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in films and on TV.

They met in 1995 while sharing a Broadway dressing room during a production of A Month in the Country.

Now they share another bond: Parkinson’s disease.

Dan on IMDB

Chris on IMDB

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s is a progressive disorder that disables the brain cells that help control movement and balance. Its cause is unknown. There is no known cure.

More than a million Americans are afflicted with Parkinson’s, with 50,000 to 60,000 new cases diagnosed every year. Each person with Parkinson’s has his or her own unique symptoms — trembling hands, stumbling gate, slurred speech, jerky movements, or an expressionless face.

It affects all the elements that are essential to an actor’s craft.

Samuel Beckett’s Endgame

Endgame is the story of Hamm, who is blind and cannot stand, and Clov, who can shuffle but cannot sit. Together, these two characters play out a vaudevillian routine of repetitive sorrow as they await the inevitable end to their diminishing lives.

The play is the perfect metaphor for living each day with Parkinson’s disease.

But being Beckett, it’s also hilarious. Irony courses through the sadness; surprising wordplay and improbable gags keep the tone tragicomic.

Beckett’s comedy draws us into the drama, letting us sympathize with his idiosyncratic but utterly knowable characters.

In Endgame, Beckett says, “There’s nothing funnier than unhappiness!” Me To Play proves him right.