Fort Worth author Tim Madigan’s “I’m Proud of You: My Friendship with Fred Rogers” springs to life in stage adaptation at Circle Theatre

By scott@360westmagazine.comOctober 26, 2023November 1st, 2023No Comments
"I'm Proud of You: My Friendship with Fred Rogers" takes the stage at Circle Theatre Oct. 26 and runs through Nov. 18.

Author Tim Madigan’s “I’m Proud of You” comes to life at Circle Theatre

By Scott Nishimura

The stage adaptation of Fort Worth journalist and author Tim Madigan’s book “I’m Proud of You: My Friendship with Fred Rogers” makes its debut Oct. 26 at Circle Theatre.

Madigan and Dr. Harry Parker — professor of theatre at TCU and founding managing director of the Trinity Shakespeare Festival — co-wrote the adaptation of Madigan’s book, first published in 2006. Madigan wrote the story about the friendship he formed with Rogers, the childrens’ icon, after reporting and writing a newspaper story about Rogers in 1995. The play runs through Nov. 18. Tickets are available at circletheatre.com. Madigan sat down for a Q&A with 360West recently.

First, congratulations on such longevity with this story.
Madigan: It’s had a good run. I still hear from people who are reading it.

Tell us how the stage play came about.
Madigan: I heard from Harry Parker four years ago. He said, ‘I love your book and I think it’d make a great play.’ I said, ‘great, knock yourself out.’”

So you’ve said he did three or four revisions by spring 2022?
Madigan: He knows everybody in the Fort Worth theatre scene. He got these actors together for a reading in late spring 2022. These four wonderful actors agreed to do it. I was sitting there weeping. It was such an experience seeing your words — my life’s story — come to life. I think it’s very beautiful. It’s kind of surreal in a way that, after all these years, this would have taken such a turn.

What’s the potential for this play after Circle Theatre?
Madigan: They said from the beginning that this isn’t going to end in Fort Worth. The themes are kind of timeless. Harry and I are very proud of where we got the script. We’re very hopeful this isn’t the end of it.

“I’m Proud of You: My Friendship with Fred Rogers” debuts Oct. 26 at Circle Theatre and runs through Nov. 18. Tickets for sale here