Category: 2018/2019 Season
Award-winning playwright, educator, and Visiting Professor of Playwriting Gary Garrison talks with MFA playwright Beirut Balutis about the inspiration behind Dead House.
Gary: You’ve written about a very specific part of high school: athletics and particularly, football. What’s your connection, if any, to high school football?
Beirut: Football was a big ritual in my area. In a place that is very rural, football was the weekly ramp up. If you were anyone you’d watch the high school games and afterwards go to the bonfire the church across the street held. Even if you didn’t watch the game—the social aspect of being at a game was important. My school had these grass hills around the field; kids would lay blankets out to socialize and gossip. My mother is a big inspiration for this play. She’s the football person in our family—every game, every Super Bowl, she’s watching. More
Review from BroadwayWorld.com
The Boston theater community is enriched by the presence of Boston Playwrights' Theatre, founded in 1981 at Boston University by Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott. The BU New Play Initiative is an element of the Boston University College of Fine Arts which fosters a commitment to the School of Theatre's development of new work. Together, BPT and NPI are producing the final entry in the 2018-2019 season of new plays, Dead House by Beirut Balutis, a member of the BU M.F.A. Playwriting Program, class of 2019. M.F.A. directing candidate Adam Kassim (The Honey Trap, 2017) returns to BPT to direct this new drama.
Performances of Dead House start tonight, with Pay-What-You-Can Previews (min. $10) on 4/18 and 4/19! Tickets
Review from The Theater Mirror
I’ve only visited Florida a handful of times and have never been to Miami. Each trip was to Orlando and if I had to venture a guess, true Floridians probably don’t view the world of Walt Disney as “real” Florida. I’ll have to take it on faith that the Miami invoked in Boston Playwrights’ Theatre’s Laughs in Spanish is true to the real place, but given that playwright Alexis Scheer calls the city her home, I’m willing to make that leap. There’s an energy at play in Laughs in Spanish, a kind of beat that you start bobbing your head to as you enter the theater. You don’t realize how easily you’ve slipped into the world of the play. It’s a world of rhythm and color and once you’re on its wavelength, the production hooks you with its many charms and keeps you in a state of frothy fun.
Part two of award-winning playwright alumna and Adjunct Assistant Professor Melinda Lopez's conversation with Laughs in Spanish playwright Alexis Scheer.
Melinda: And what does 'Laughs in Spanish' say that’s true to you? How is that play yours?
Alexis: I think it’s the most unapologetically Miami-thing I’ve written. For so long I felt it was something I didn’t want to even try to write, because the Latinx experience that’s reflected onstage and screen—deportation, crime, poverty—these life or death situations—is just so far from my experience. It was only recently that I realized that my personal narrative was also part of the Latinx experience, and there is space onstage for that too.
Melinda: I feel like what you’re articulating is this very familiar struggle for me which is, “Is my life interesting and do I dare lay claim to the capital ‘L’, Latinx experience?”
Alexis: Right, which I don’t claim at all—I’m just now turning a corner where I can finally claim my experience, which is a world populated with badass Latinas who make the rules and are successful. More
The first performances of Laughs in Spanish are next week, with Pay-What-You-Can Previews (min. $10) on 2/21 and 2/22! Tickets
Award-winning playwright and Adjunct Assistant Professor Melinda Lopez talks with Laughs in Spanish playwright Alexis Scheer about process, what’s next, and finding her voice.
Melinda: Talk to me about 'Laughs in Spanish'. Where are you in your process?
Alexis: Ready for an audience! It’s hard to develop comedies without them—they’re their own character. So I’m at the point in my process where I try to stop touching the play and just let it set for a moment. I’ve had my hands on it for a while now. We read the first full draft December 2017. Then I did a significant rewrite last summer, where I basically wrote a new play with the characters and world I had created in the first draft. More
Third-year MFA playwright Kira Rockwell's The Tragic Ecstasy of Girlhood has been awarded top prize in The Bridge Initiative: Women in Theatre's second Bechdel Test Fest! The play was BPT's season opener last fall. Congratulations!
Part two of my conversation with Winter People playwright Laura Neill about her play, collaboration, and the challenges along the way.
I love what you said about collaboration, about the end result belonging to the whole team of artists behind it. At what point in your process is it useful to pull others in? Are there times when collaboration/feedback is less useful, and you’d rather be left to your own devices?
I like to barrel through the first draft on my own and just get the thing out there. But beyond that I like to hear it out loud and get responses to key questions right away—there’s so much great information in actors’ choices! I like to use a modified Liz Lerman model for feedback at the beginning, where we start with things that stick out to listeners and then progress to a few key questions.
I think I work best when I have time alone followed by collab time followed by time alone followed by collab time, all in relatively quick succession… I need total quiet to write, so stepping back and internalizing things is important in between rehearsals. But I need that connection and collaboration to see what’s working and what isn’t! More
Review from The New England Theatre Geek
Winter People and playwright Laura Neill aren’t taking any of your establishment bullshit. This play challenges how we view play production. It takes great risk with even greater success. It is well written and should be viewed by as many developing and established artists as possible. It breaks rules and shows us why these traditional rules are should be broken.