Travels with a Masked Man, by John Hadden, is a play about deception, “the game” (espionage) and rough filial love. It is a fifty-minute, two-character, solo performance based on his book, Conversations with a Masked Man: My Father, the CIA, and Me.

Haunted by unanswered questions about his childhood overseas, a man confronts his father, an ex-CIA chief who ruminates darkly on the American Empire, the human animal, and himself. Alternately horrifying, hilarious, and poignant, their verbal contest covers Cold War material from Vietnam to the Middle East and the Bomb, from abstract art to James Bond films––but the real conversation, the subtext, is about what they mean to each other.

John Hadden (senior) was an early member of CIA in Berlin, Hamburg and Salzburg, he was the station chief in Israel during the 60’s, through the Six-Day War, and he ran the “Middle East Desk” in Washington, DC until his quasi-retirement in the early 70s.

The play is performed in minimal style, to bring as intense a focus as possible to the relationship between the two men. After the show, there is a wide-ranging talk-back session, in which people end up telling stories about their own family mysteries. With tasty things to eat and drink.

Performed by John Hadden/Directed by David Stern, Main Street Arts


To arrange a showing, contact us here!


Review by Chris Rohmann, Valley Advocate, February 2017:

Stagestruck: The Cold Warrior’s Mask

Review by J. Peter Bergman, Berkshire Bright Focus, May 2017: “…things covered in time”

Feature by Ben Cassidy, Berkshire Eagle, June 2017: “Actor-Playwright Aims to Peel Back Layers of Mask-ulinity in Solo Show”

Link to Joe Donohue/WAMC/Roundtable interview here

Link to Chris Lanois/WKVT/Green Mountain Mornings interview:

Travels with a Masked Man


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