‘Park for Your Problems’ Off-Broadway show spills dark secrets

Imagine you’re out for a stroll in Central Park and strangers walking around you start blurting out their deepest secrets. 

“I’m having an affair.”

“My family doesn’t know I’m gay.”

“I’m sleeping with my boss.”

That’s the premise of Jacklyn Thrapp’s one-night-only Off-Broadway production, “Park for Your Problems,” coming to Davenport Theatre May 15. 

On a stage decked out like a scene from Central Park, actors will blurt out stories actual people have kept hidden from their friends and families for years. 

“Whenever something crazy happens in my life, I write it down in a monologue, so I knew there must be a bunch of other writers out there with thoughts and feelings they want to share anonymously but they can’t because there’s not an opportunity,” Thrapp, 25, says. 

Thrapp, who is based in the Financial District, says she put a call out online for people to share their secrets for the chance to have them read aloud during her NYC production. After receiving more than 50 submissions from tristate area residents, she selected 10 to become the foundation of her Off-Broadway show. 

“We don’t expose anyone, for the record!” she says. “But I wanted to give people a chance to say what they really think. I think there’s a lot of thoughts that will stick in your head afterward.” 

Each monologue, about five minutes long, will be read by an actor. Though some brave storytellers, including Amy Oestreicher, have decided to stand up themselves and share their darkest thoughts with a room full of strangers. 
Monologues selected for the production range from a CFO who’s romantically involved with his mentor to a mother who admits she wishes she’d chosen a different life path and a tough guy who has a hidden passion for chick flicks. 

“Some are funny, some are really deep,” she says. “I hope people will relate and think, ‘Oh, finally, someone is saying it ‘cause I’ve been thinking it.” 

The production will be hosted by Brooklyn-based comedian Rita Sengupta, who will find humorous ways to tie together each of the 10 stories. But neither Sengupta nor Thrapp will be offering advice for the woes. 

For now, “Park for Your Problems” is set for only one night, due to the high cost of running an Off-Broadway production, Thrapp says. But there’s hope for more dates in the future. 

“If all goes well this time around, I’ll bring it back once every season and theme the park and secrets around the season,” she adds. 

Tickets for the production ($15-$30) are available at brownpapertickets.com or at the door. “Park for Your Problems” starts at 8 p.m.