The Stands
Jack Neary


Four moms, one grandmother and one dad  huddle together in the chill of a New England Saturday morning as they wait for their kids to begin their first Little League practice of the year. As we get to know them, we’re surprised, entertained and sometimes even shocked by what they have to say. Underneath the delightful banter, however, is the measured revelation of a horrible, life-changing moment they all will share before the end of the play. A stunning, suspenseful story about kids and parents and the shattering power of words.


"The Stands, written and directed by Jack Neary and in its world premiere now at Players’ Ring Theatre in Portsmouth, NH, is not to be missed. Neary has matured as a playwright and tackles the tough issues making news today with characteristic humor and thoughtful insight. And this cast is quite simply superb. Don’t miss it!" NANCYE TUTTLE (Lowell Sun)

"This show is a keeper, not because of its pertinence to our current culture but more so of how it captures our humanness and how we affect others. These actors expertly capture the essence of their characters and deliver a masterful performance weaving such complex but simple identities around a moment that joins them altogether. But it's the two word sentence at the end of the play that hits home the hardest and has the most impact. Brilliant theater, entertainment and the charm of Portsmouth as a background to take it all in. Don't miss out!!" YOANNA OSBORNE

"This show is simple, beautiful, effective, poignant, and marvelously well-acted by all six cast members. You will laugh a lot, perhaps cry a little. think a lot, wonder at the brilliance of some of the dialog, and be dazzled and entertained. Go!" SCOTT HELMERS

"Hey Lowell! You DO know there’s another Jack from your town. The last name is Neary. And he just wrote a HIT. You have one more weekend to catch this amazing play. Acting, directing, writing … superb. Do yourselves a favor. Worth the trip ! What do they say? You’re never recognized in your own hometown?" JERRY BISANTZ

"If you're looking for something to do on this cold rainy day, l'd recommend the Players' Ring Theatre in Portsmouth by Prescott Park. 230 matinee. Their current play, The Stands, is told via the comments of 6 adults watching their kids play on Little League. It's heartbreaking, unsettling, dramatic. Actors are first rate. UPDATE: Next weekend! Was just told they're sold out this weekend!" BECKY FAUNCE

"So with the Ride to End Alzheimer's cancelled I found myself with unexpected free time. At the last minute I decided to drive to Portsmouth NH to see my cousin Jack's new play 'The Stands'. Jack is known for his wit and I was expecting a comedy. There were laughs but....nope. Timely, powerful and insightful. Truly one of the most thought provoking productions I have ever experienced. This is truly worth witnessing." BRENDA NEARY

"Stands was the best of the season.  What a knockout show.  The whole implicit bias issue was on full display in each and every character in both directions.  At the end as Megan shares her story she makes clear that Prissy - the most obvious redneck character - was the one who pushed everyone out of the way to get Megan the psychologist to her son and Prissy's husband the janitor becomes the son's lifeline with his daily visits.  That couple possesses the greatest compassion and love of all the characters simply mind-bendingly beautiful." ANGELA (Players' Ring Volunteer)

"Outstanding writing and perfect casting. The time flew by and every minute was worth watching. Highly recommend ." MARY ELLEN.

"Fantastic and moving show!!!" LAURIE TROY

"A playwright who can make you laugh out loud at the start and make you cry real tears at the end is a great play, right. Jack, you touched all the emotions, in a very poignant way with your favorite pastime, baseball as the background! An excellent performance, by all On stage and off!" PETE CARBONE

"Congratulations on a beautiful show, Jack. Phenomenal cast, superb script. I haven’t been that moved by a play in long time - if ever." JOHN MOYNIHAN

"An outstanding experience. My highest compliments to all involved." JOSEPH COX

"It was magnificent in every way! It is still with me." GRETCHEN STONE

"Fantastic play, fantastic team, loved every second!" JOHN MANNING

"What a fantastic show! Stellar cast and production!!" CHIP PHILLIPS

"What a great show. Incredible characters. Stellar performances." KRISTIN FOGALL

"This show is perfection and every theater needs to do it. Also Moonglow. Seriously 2 best plays I've seen in the past 5 years. Jack Neary, you genius. Special mention goes to Trish Aponte who was flawless playing a woman 20 years older than she is, so, so, so good." JULIE PERKINS

"Hello, Jack. My name is Scott J. Degan. I have been utterly moved this entire week, from viewing your beautifully written / performed production of The Stands. As an actor myself, I left feeling so envious of such important, honest work. I am not a writer but, having said this, watching those actors work their ass off to portray such emotional artistry, have invoked such inspiration to my life. I truly thank you for the inspiration that I needed to turn the next page. This piece was special and I feel for those who missed it. May this weekend find you well. Cheers "  "If you're unsure of what to do this evening, I highly advise you to go and watch The Stands at The Players' Ring Theatre in Portsmouth! Please, always support live theatre. That goes without saying. This production is Funny, Raw, Visceral, Poignant, Thought Provoking, and so much more that just conveying an important story, with an even more important message.  They, I think, are sold out for tomorrow's closing matinee. Put your names on the waiting list if you can't make it to tonight's performance. It's worth it.  Six incredible actors working their asses off from lights up, to lights out. If you need your cup filled, well, go and get your medicine." SCOTT DEGAN