Picture of Benoit Denizet-Lewis

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Brother’s Keeper: One Family, Two Suicides

On the afternoon of Saturday, May 4, 2001, the cast of the Monadnock Regional High School production of “Ordinary People” gathered in the school auditorium in Swanzey, N.H., for its first dress rehearsal. Opening night was only four days away, and the mood was strained and occasionally hostile. The problem, most of the cast agreed, was an angry Greg Kochman, who played the lead role of Conrad, a suicidal teenager coping with the death of this older brother. Greg, then a junior at Monadnock, was in one of his moods. “He was so angry that week, and that day was the worst of it,” recalls Christen Arrow, who played Conrad’s mother in the play. “He would just lash out at people for no reason.” Still, there was no denying that Greg could act. And on Saturday, the broad-shouldered, dark-haired 17-year-old was acting even better than usual. “Then I sit down and think about – things,” Greg, playing the role of Conrad, said. “Everything that hurts. And I cry. Inside, I’m burning up. Outside – all

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