July 9, 2015

The real Tom Pecinka didn’t die. He left for drama school. Still, loss is loss, and the handsome ghost who addresses the audience at the start of Morgan Gould’s “Losing Tom Pecinka” in the New Ohio Theater’s Ice Factory festival wears a Yale T-shirt, an emblem of that abandonment. Produced by Morgan Gould & Friends — the little theater company of which Mr. Pecinka, ahem, remains a founding member — this is a comedy about mourning the fictional Tom (Zack Segel), who died in a ridiculous car accident. The people who loved him figure out how to go on without him, and whether it’s O.K. for his older brother and ex-girlfriend to act on their attraction. Ms. Gould, who also directed the 80-minute play, intends it as a sneak attack on theatergoers, calling them out for their complacency in accepting cliché theatrical elements: “Tough straight guy with secret pain inside, hardened but mysteriously attractive main female love interest, self-destructive gay man, etc.,” she writes in a note in the script.