BOY GETS GIRL @ The American Academy of Dramatic Arts

By Rebecca Gilman

THIS PAGE IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF JULIAN BRENNAN – who played Howard in this production.  His soon-to-be wife, Bettina Beard, played Theresa.  Both were wonderful in the show and absolute joys to work with.

Julian made the ultimate sacrifice to his country on January 24th, 2009.  He was killed in action while driving a tank in the Farah province of Afghanistan.   He is survived by his wife Bettina Brennan, his mother Thya Merz, his father Bill Brennan, his brother James Brennan, and his sister Shannon Brennan.  With the permission of Jullian’s relatives, I have reproduced one of many emails he sent from his life as a Marine.  I deleted the emails previous to this one, casually, not thinking that they (and the pictures below) would soon be all I would have to remember him by.   You can view more information on Julian by clicking here.

Photos by Mark Wyville

Julian Brennan (Howard)
, Bettina Beard (Theresa)

Email from Jullian January 11, 2009 – 13 days before he was killed.

So, I’m waiting now to get on line. Sitting on the dusty floor of a large metal freight shipping container that makes up our ‘Internet center’. There are four Internet cords spread out on a make shift L-shaped desk in the back corner, and a single florescent light fixed to the wall. I figured, it might be a little while before I get my chance to ‘plug in’, so I might as well use this time to write.

We’ve been crazy busy for the last two weeks. Constantly on the move, sleeping in our trucks most nights, running the engine one hour on, one hour off, to blast the heat and keep the com equipment from draining the battery. We stand watch in shifts. One hour on, three off. You sleep as much as you can for those three hours, but not really. The cramped space in the truck and the constant discomfort of wearing a flack jacket make for only an imitation of actual sleep. You finish your hour of watch, wake up the next guy, trade places with him so that he can get in the turret behind the gun and you can climb down into the relative warmth of the cab. You adjust, find a position, discover the discomforts of that position, and then re-adjust. Finally, often contorted in some un-godly godly position, you find it, and quickly pass out into a half asleep half awake purgatory.  You sleep, sound, for an hour or so, until the overwhelming pain of pins and needles attacks your foot or arm, or more often, ass. You re-adjust. Night becomes day, and when you hear someone say ‘’revile’’, your mind pretends it was a dream, and you fight the absolute knowledge that you do in fact HAVE to get up.
Days flow together. Because there is no real end to one or beginning to the next, you loose track of the date.
“Is it Tuesday?” You’ll hear someone ask.
“Dude, it’s Saturday”
Date and day become irrelevant. Life is a never ending, forever repeating, twenty four hour clock. Someone says “We’re moving”. You drive. You go until you’re told to stop. Stop until your told to go. It’s almost kinda Zen.

Poo, an Internet cable has open up : )

I actually have to get going, but I wanted to at least touch base with everyone. I might be able to get on line later tonight, but who knows?

With love,