A death in the family


A devastating loss sparked something creative in Damon Krometis.

The death of his mother, Lauren Krometis, in 1999 at age 48 stirred within him thoughts about how the unexpected death of a mother might affect those left behind.

The result is his play, "No Regrets," which will have preview showings at 7 p.m. today, tomorrow and Saturday at Glenelg High School.

The work so impressed Glenelg's drama teacher, Sue Leader, that she is allowing the 17-year-old senior to direct the play. It's a challenge Krometis said he welcomed.

"Directing is not as easy as I thought it would be," Krometis said. "Ms. Leader has basically left it up to me, and she has taught me a great deal about helping the actors develop the characters and paying close attention to details."

The play centers on life after the death of Victoria Moore. The two main characters, her husband, Robert, and her eldest son, Trevor, must deal with the loss and the conflict it has caused between them.

It's a story that draws emotion from Krometis' life. The heart attack that claimed his mother's life during a biking trip on the Eastern Shore shocked and devastated his family, he said.

"The person who tried to save my mother's life came up to me at the funeral and apologized for not being able to help her," the teen said. "From that, I got the idea of what might happen if a family couldn't accept a mother's death and blamed the person who tried to help her."

Krometis said he has used writing and acting to deal with his grief and completed the final draft of "No Regrets" in December.

Glenelg sophomore Danny Ciborowski, 15, portrays Trevor. He said he became impressed with Krometis after seeing him perform this year in a school production of "Rehearsal for Murder."

"I thought that doing 'No Regrets' would be a good opportunity to work with someone I consider to be one of the best kid actors I've ever seen," Ciborowski said. "His directing style is a lot like our drama teacher's because she taught him everything he knows.

"It's interesting because she's there, but she really doesn't say too much. She wants him to figure it out for himself, and when he gets it, she gets really excited."

Leader said Krometis possesses great directorial instincts.

"I think he has tremendous potential," Leader said. "He has a great sensitivity for the actors, and he gives them a lot of freedom."

For Krometis, seeing his words come to life will be one more step in coming to terms with life after the loss of his mother. He hopes audiences come away with a message.

"In life, you don't always get to say what you think, but you have to be honest with the people close to you so that you have no regrets," he said.

Preview performances of "No Regrets" will be held in the auditorium at Glenelg High School, 14025 Burnt Woods Road. Tickets are $5. A free performance is scheduled May 17. Information: 410-313-5528.

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