A Different Kind of 2020–2021 Season

BPT’s 2020-21 season of new plays—thesis plays by our cohort of third-year MFA playwrights—has been postponed until next year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In the meantime, all five plays are currently being workshopped in collaboration with our friends at BU’s College of Fine Arts School of Theatre. A series of conversations about these plays, BPT Talks, was begun last fall via the videoconferencing tool Zoom.

Beginning Feb. 23, BPT Talks About Design (moderated by BPT Technical Director Jeffrey Petersen) will further expand the discussion with a focus on the contributions of designers and the roles of design in new play development. BPT Talks About Design will convene on Zoom each Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m. through March 23. Audiences will be treated to conversations with each play’s workshop team—a look “behind the curtain” at new plays in various stages of the development process. Each conversation will include the virtual audience as well, with an online Q&A.

You will need to download the Zoom app to participate. Visit the BPT homepage (and scroll down) for information, including the link to join.

BPT Talks About Design: BEASTS by Cayenne Douglass

Directed by Kelly Galvin with assistant director Kolton Bradley
Scenic design by Marina Sartori
Costume design by Cortnie Beatty
Lighting design by Kayleigha Zawacki

Tuesday, February 23 at 7:30 p.m.

BEASTS is a character-driven play that explores the chaos of American womanhood through the dark underbelly of a relationship between Fran, a pregnant suburbanite, and her older sister Judy, an irreverent artist with a propensity for disruption. When Judy hears that Fran’s husband Jim is on a business trip, she decides to pay Fran a visit. The friction between these siblings is palpable and only continues to intensify as Judy unearths confounding secrets and infringes upon the relationship that Fran has with her Doula Amelia, an elitist earth mama who’s been Fran’s only female friend since relocating back East. As their environment starts to mirror the anarchy of their psychological labyrinthine world, form and logic disintegrate into another realm as Fran and Judy unwittingly fight through pain to arrive at a crystallizing moment of realization.

BPT Talks About Design: RX Machina by Caity-Shea Violette

Directed by Blair Cadden with assistant director Rani O’Brien
Scenic design by Alyssa Jewell
Costume design by Nia Banks
Lighting design by Qian Chengyuan
Sound design by Mary White

Tuesday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m.

Rx Machina unpacks big pharma’s impact on everyday American culture and illuminates the search for humanity in a healthcare system that views patients as consumers and pain as profitable. An ambitious pharmaceutical sales representative’s relentless pursuit of a rigidly principled pain management doctor leads to an intoxicating, forbidden relationship that comes with a cost. Ethical boundaries are blurred in a literal manifestation of doctors being in bed with drug reps that forms a love triangle fueled by money, sex, and power. Set in 2015, two years before the federal government would officially recognize it as the Opioid Epidemic, Rx Machina explores who gets to get better and who gets left behind.

BPT Talks About Design: LORENA: a Tabloid Epic by Eliana Pipes

Directed by Erica Terpening-Romeo
Scenic design by Meg McGuigan
Costume design by Emma George
Lighting design by Amanda Fallon
Sound design by Sean Doyle

Tuesday, March 9 at 7:30 p.m.

LORENA: a Tabloid Epic spins out of the media hailstorm surrounding Lorena Bobbitt, who became a sensation after she used a kitchen knife to cut off her abusive husband’s penis in 1993. The tacky dystopia of American pop culture tumbles onto the stage in a series of funhouse vignettes that know no bounds, while The Playwright desperately tries to protect Lorena from the play which has clearly gotten out of her control. Then, a twist ending re-contextualizes Lorena’s outsized epic through the lens of a quieter sexual assault story that’s all too common. LORENA merges the personal with the political to reckon with our cultural sins, and bring Lorena’s story into the present day.

BPT Talks About Design: Gone Nowhere by Daniel C. Blanda

Directed by Noah Putterman
Scenic design by Adam Hawkins
Costume design by Sandra Jia
Lighting design by Kevin Dunn

Tuesday, March 16 at 7:30 p.m.

At an old cabin in rural Minnesota, something is lurking in the corn. In the wake of his father’s death, straight-laced Riley has left his fiancé and the big city behind to search for peace by visiting his old friend. Luckily Hunter knows the cure for grief — old stories, the great outdoors, and plenty of beers. But soon, it becomes clear that Hunter is running from his own demons, and no one will be spared a battle. They spiral through a reckoning of biblical proportions, and neither of them will emerge as the same man…if they make it out at all.

BPT Talks About Design: Incels and Other Myths by Ally Sass

Directed by Erica Terpening-Romeo
Scenic design by Steven Velasquez
Costume design by Sandra Jia
Lighting design by Maximilian Wallace
Sound design by Sara Vargas

Tuesday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Incels and Other Myths takes us on a mother and son’s epic journey into the online realms of gender, power, and mythology.

After allowing her creative and quick-witted son Avery to attend high school online, Elaine Roberts, a teacher of mythology, grows concerned as Avery spends much of his time playing the online adventure game, Oracle. When Avery informs Elaine that his Oracle guild consists of “incels,” men who desire sexual relationships though are unable to find them, Elaine decides she must save Avery from spiraling deep into a notoriously wrathful and misogynistic community. With the help of Mr. Anderson, a well-intentioned but wearied admissions counselor, Elaine follows Avery into the depths of Oracle, the incel world, and spaces in between. In this digital landscape both Elaine and Avery tap into unexpected and intoxicating new realities that shape how they see their own worlds.