Playwrights’ Perspective

Rockwell named MCC Fellow

By Editor
May 26th, 2021 in Alums, Blog, fellowships, Kira Rockwell, Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Kate Gakenheimer (Crafts Fellow ’21), Deco Circle (2018), stained glass, 23x23x2 in

Congratulations to playwright alum Kira Rockwell, chosen to receive a 2021 Mass Cultural Council Artist Fellowship for exceptional work in Dramatic Writing!

Seventy-five Massachusetts artists were selected across the disciplines of Crafts, Dramatic Writing, Film & Video, Music Composition, Photography, and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres. Check out the full list of 2021 Artist Fellowships awardees here, which includes many, many friends of BPT and other amazing people!

Voices of BTM XXIII: Jack Neary

By Editor
May 21st, 2021 in Blog, Boston Theater Marathon XXIII, new plays, short plays.

Tell us a little about your play.

Kick the Tires, Alma features three characters created over 20 years ago, for the very first BTM. (I can’t do the math, so somebody figure out the year.) Back then, the play was called Oral Report and the actors, under the direction of Adam Zahler (for I think, maybe New Rep?) were Kate Carney, Patricia Till, and Alice Duffy. The ladies were so well received, I brought them back for a second year and I directed Kate, Alice, and Mary Klug for New Century Theatre in Alternative Lifestyle. Then I reprised the characters in Three-Peat. Subsequently, while I was working for Spiro directing Lend Me a Tenor at the Lyric, a show from his upcoming season fell through and he asked me if I had a full-length he could consider as a replacement. I said sure. He said, What is it? I said, Sex and Catholics. He said I can’t do a show called Sex and Catholics. I said, How about if I change the title? He said, Lemme read it. He did, and for the show I put together the three Marathon plays, a couple of other sketches, and one much longer, much more serious playlet for the three ladies, now played by Bobbie Steinbach, Ellen Colton, and Cheryl McMahon, directed by me, and that became Beyond Belief and even the Globe liked it. (Is this what you meant about “tell me a little about your play” Alexa?) More

Congratulations, graduates!

By Editor
May 17th, 2021 in Ally Sass, Alums, Blog, Caity-Shea Violette, Cayenne Douglass, Daniel Blanda, Eliana Pipes.

MFA Playwright Ally Sass (Photo: Ally Sass)

We're so proud of our graduating playwrights! Not everyone could attend last weekend's Commencement in person, but Ally Sass found a crafty way to make sure the rest of her cohort (L-R: Caity-Shea Violette, Daniel C. Blanda, Cayenne Douglass, and Eliana Pipes) was there in spirit. Congratulations, all!

Voices of BTM XXIII: Nick Malakhow

By Editor
May 12th, 2021 in Blog, Boston Theater Marathon XXIII, new plays, short plays.

Tell us a little about your play.

Thrasher is about two close friends—Gabby and Taj—who are arguing about whether or not to go to a party that Gabby was invited to by her “cool” (and totally white) new friends. Taj is trying to convince Gabby that they should just hang out together at Gabby’s house when she reveals that she’s going to the party with a purpose—to be with her crush.

What made you want to tell this story?

I grew up in a diverse suburb in New Jersey close to New York City. It had the perceived “safety” and privileges of a suburb with the diverse demographics of a more urban metro area. It even marketed itself as a “little suburban metropolis” that had the best of both worlds. It was a fascinating experience to grow up in this environment as a multi-racial queer person (who was grappling with those two things mostly internally throughout my adolescence). On the one hand, I was surrounded by a diverse group of peers, and on the other hand, divisions along various identity lines and the reach of cultural white dominance co-existed with each other as well. I wanted to write a story that captured some of that inner conflict I felt growing up—namely, wanting to belong, defining oneself against whiteness, being torn between your affinity groups and some idealized social reality. More

Lopez’s ‘Black Beans’ streaming at HTC

By Editor
May 11th, 2021 in Alums, Blog, Huntington Theatre Company, Melinda Lopez, new plays.

Happy opening to Melinda Lopez's Black Beans Project (co-written by and co-starring Joel Perez), streaming on demand at Huntington Theatre Company. See it online through May 30!

Voices of BTM XXIII: Sophie McIntosh

By Editor
April 30th, 2021 in Blog, Boston Theater Marathon XXIII, new plays, short plays.

Tell us a little about your play.

Ipswich follows a pair of sisters as they examine the effect that one sister’s anxiety disorder—a severe case of aquaphobia—has had on their upbringing and relationship.

What made you want to tell this story?

Irrational anxieties have always fascinated me. Knowing that something cannot hurt you, while simultaneously being unable to fully accept this as the truth, is incredibly difficult to articulate and thus intensely isolating. I’m also interested in analyzing the way that an individual’s mental illness extends beyond them to impact the lives of family members and other people in their circle. Mental illness is never just one person’s problem—it affects us all, and we all need to be willing to help destroying the stigmas surrounding it. More

KCACTF honors for Pipes and Wien

By Editor
April 27th, 2021 in Alums, awards, Blog, Eliana Pipes, Elise Wien, KCACTF, Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, new plays.

Third-year playwright Eliana Pipes's DREAM HOU$E is the recipient of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival's (KCACTF) Harold and Mimi Steinberg National Student Playwriting Award. The award includes a check for $7,500, membership in the Dramatists Guild of America and the Playwrights’ Center of Minneapolis, and an offer of publication from Samuel French.

First-year playwright Elise Wien's play [cowboy face] is the recipient of KCACTF’s Mark Twain Prize for Comedic Playwriting. The award includes a $1,000 cash prize, professional development opportunities, and membership to the Dramatists Guild of America.

Congratulations!

Maan named 2021 International Forum fellow

By Editor
April 23rd, 2021 in Blog, Fatima A. Maan, fellowships.

First-year MFA playwright Fatima A. Maan has been selected as a Theatertreffen 2021 International Forum fellow. Fatima is one of just 35 emerging artists chosen for the event in Berlin; fellows will attend Theatertreffen’s productions and events, and take part in exclusive workshops, discussions, excursions, and artists’ talks. Congratulations!

Voices of BTM XXIII: Mark Evan Chimsky and Zev Burrows

By Editor
April 22nd, 2021 in Blog, Boston Theater Marathon XXIII, new plays, short plays.

L-R: Zev Burrows and Mark Evan Chimsky

Tell us a little about your play.

We’re excited that we have the only ten-minute musical in this year’s Boston Theater Marathon! As a musical theatre writing team, we seek to create meaningful musicals celebrating a shared humanity with an eye towards social change. Our musical Albert, based on the life of transgender pioneer Albert Cashier, will have its premiere at BTM XXIII on Tuesday, April 27, at noon.

Albert is being presented by Boston Conservatory at Berklee and we’re grateful to be working with a dream team of collaborators: our actors Mack Elliot Schaefer as Albert and Alex Leondedis as the Translator, our director Helen Deborah Lewis, our music director Isaac Leaverton, and our producer Sarah Ford. Each of them has contributed their creativity, insights, and passion to this project and we’re thrilled to see them bring it to life for the first time. More

Voices of BTM XXIII: Nina Mansfield

By Editor
April 15th, 2021 in Blog, Boston Theater Marathon XXIII, new plays, short plays.

Tell us a little about your play.

Out Damn Spot is a short relationship comedy inspired by Shakespeare’s Macbeth. It’s similar to many of my other 10-minute plays which usually involve a husband and wife dealing with relationship issues in a comic way. Without giving away too much, this relationship issue deals with laundry.

What made you want to tell this story?

I love Shakespeare, and I love 10-minute plays. I originally wrote the play for an opportunity that was looking for short plays inspired by Macbeth. I knew that I wanted to set the story in a modern context. I thought about who Lady M. and Macbeth might be in 2021, and I had a great deal of fun reimagining the details of the play in a modern context.

What interests you in the ten-minute format?

I love the way that so much can be said in 10-minutes. It’s a way to explore character and conflict in a really compact way. Often there’s a twist or some kind of reversal at the end, which I also really enjoy. There’s not a lot of room for exposition. Things have to escalate quickly, since you only have 10-minutes to play with! More