Voices of BTM XVIII: Jeanne Beckwith


Tell us a little bit about your play.

Speaking of Dead Mice is mostly about keeping faith with difficult friends. We have them in life and it speaks well of humanity that we don’t desert them.

What made you want to tell this story?

I reached up for a box of cereal one morning, and something was just not right about the feel of it. I realized pretty quickly that there was a critter in it. I went to the back door and dumped whatever was in it out. It was a mouse, and for a moment it lay there, stunned I expect, then scurried off for the open road. I found myself grateful it had not died, that I had not poured it into my bowl, that of all the dead mice I have encountered this one lived—anyway, it gave me a “line” that stuck in my mind, and everything else grew from there. Sometimes it happens that way.

What’s next for you as a playwright?

I am working on a new play with music—not a musical, but a play with music, called Rodeo Gals. It’s different from my usual fare, and my husband is writing the songs. We’ve not collaborated like this before, and it’s great fun. I also have a reading coming up of my play, Shot in Baghdad, so I’m keeping busy.

What are you most looking forward to on Boston Theater Marathon day?

Seeing all the wonderful plays! I try to see as many as I can. It has been incredible to me, that so many minds can work in such diverse ways. I haven’t been for a while, so I am looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones.


Don’t miss Speaking of Dead Mice—and 49 other amazing ten-minute plays—in Boston Theater Marathon XVIII on May 8! Tickets