Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about performance. Well…really all my life since I am a performer, but right now I’m thinking in more academic terms. The department where I work at Bates College is currently working through ideas and thoughts about the theory of performance and how it works with in our own pedagogical approaches. (I get giddy every time I get to use the word “pedagogical.” Not sure why.) There are two standard definitions of “performance.” One is “an act of staging or presenting a play, concert, or other form of entertainment. The other is “the action or process of carrying out or accomplishing an action, task, or function.” You might notice that definition one is a part of definition two, but definition two is not necessarily definition one. (I probably didn’t have to point that out, but it makes me feel smarter when I do.) As a performer based in the first definition, I try hard to make people forget that they are watching the first, but simply experiencing the second. That is the whole concept behind making theatre a mirror unto society. More
For our current and future students, and alumni of Boston University’s Playwriting Program:
We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.
We grieve for the lives lost to police violence.
We support peaceful protest here in Boston, Minneapolis, Louisville, Atlanta, and across the United States and the world.
We hear you.
Kate Snodgrass, Ronán Noone, Gary Garrison, Melinda Lopez
Faculty, Boston University, Playwriting
“There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.”
—Howard Zinn (beloved friend of Boston Playwrights’ Theatre)
The murder of George Floyd at the hands of police, only the latest in a seemingly never-ending string of similar incidents, has once again highlighted the systemic racism and injustice in our society. Time and again, law enforcement personnel—representatives of our government—kill black and brown people with nearly universal impunity. These long-standing injustices have understandably boiled over into protest, some of the most widespread in the history of this nation.
Prof. Zinn goes on to say with great foreshadowing: “…when we stand up and speak out together, we can create a power no government can suppress.”
Speak out together, we must. As a theatre whose mission is the creation and nurturing of new plays, we are committed to bringing new voices to our community and to the world. We will not be “neutral on a moving train.” We are a family of artists who feel the need, now more than ever, to listen to and learn from those who are most affected by the systemic racism in this city and country.
In that spirit, we will be using our platform in this moment to amplify the voices in our community that are systematically and often institutionally marginalized. We’ll start this week with BPT alumnus Cliff Odle.
We also encourage all of our friends and supporters to donate to the following organizations if you are able to do so:
We see you, and we hear you. Black Lives Matter.
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
Congratulations to Billy Meleady, who won the Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Solo Performance for his turn in Ronán Noone’s the smuggler!
The North American premiere of The Rosenbergs—produced by Boston University and Brandeis University, and presented by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre (BPT) in 2018—has been selected for the second annual IOTF: The International Online Theatre Festival. The Festival performance of The Rosenbergs was filmed during the opera’s run at BPT, and is available for free online until May 15.
This tragic love story—set during the United States’ Communist witch-hunt of the 1950s—is based on the lives of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were executed for atomic espionage. The Rosenbergs features a score by Joachim Holbek and a libretto by Rhea Leman. Dmitry Troyanovsky directed the production with musical direction by Cristi Catt. Christie Lee Gibson and Brian Church portray Ethel and Julius Rosenberg.
A conversation with members of the creative team of The Rosenbergs will be held on May 10 at 2 p.m. EDT in the Festival’s “Zoom Room.” Details: https://thetheatretimes.com/
The Rosenbergs was generously supported by the Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies at Boston University, the Jewish Cultural Endowment at Boston University, the Brandeis Arts Council, the Boston University Center for the Humanities, and through an arts grant from the BU Arts Initiative—Office of the Provost.
Second-year MFA playwright Eliana Pipes has been named the recipient of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival's Ken Ludwig Playwriting Scholarship. The award, given annually, is based on a student playwright's body of work. Congratulations!
Boston Theater Marathon XXII: Special Zoom Edition features readings of ten-minute plays by New England playwrights in collaboration with New England theatres, via the video conferencing tool Zoom. Audiences are encouraged to lend their support to area theatre companies and to the Theatre Community Benevolent Fund, which provides financial support to theatres and theatre artists in times of need.
Readings begin on April 2 at 12 noon EDT, and will happen daily through May 17! To join, click on the link below from your computer, phone, or other device. You’ll need the Zoom app to participate (it's free!), and it is recommended you call in a few minutes before “curtain” time.
The cast list for each day's reading will be available on www.BostonPlaywrights.org; theatre links can also be found there and via the Zoom interface itself.
PLEASE VISIT www.BostonPlaywrights.org TO JOIN.
Three Ladybugs by Vicki Meagher
Sponsored by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
Directed by Darren Evans
Atheist Ladybug: Melinda Lopez
Believer Ladybug: Karen MacDonald
Agnostic Ladybug: Paula Plum
Voice of Woman: Kate Snodgrass
Voice of Man: Darren Evans
Stage Directions: K. Alexa Mavromatis
Three ladybugs—a Believer, an Agnostic, and an Atheist, ponder the existence of other species. Two humans, a man and woman (not seen), ponder the existence of God. But don’t kill that ladybug—it’s bad luck! Or is it?
Don't Be a Scrooge by James C. Ferguson
Sponsored by Moonbox Productions
Directed by Andrew Child
Featuring Karina Wen, Sara Kenney, Alyssa Germaine, Liz Eacmen, Gavin Damore, and Michael Eckenreiter
Everyone knows the events of Charles Dickens' famous story A Christmas Carol. But do you know what happened after…?
Sked Du Al by Ronán Noone
Sponsored by Northeastern University Dept. of Theatre
Directed by Jonathan Carr
Benny: Carla J. McDonough
Don: Peri Griffiths
Stage Directions: Samantha Richert
Interrogation. Repeat after me. (Learn English, why don’t you?)
Playwright alum Alexis Scheer’s Laughs in Spanish, produced by BPT in 2019, is the recipient of KCACTF’s 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, an offer of publication from Samuel French, and a professional development residency, to be determined, in summer 2020. More
The BTM is an annual benefit for the Theatre Community Benevolent Fund (TCBF) and in support of the organization's commitment to provide aid to Boston's theatre community, Boston Playwrights' Theatre will publish an anthology of the plays selected for the event. Proceeds from the anthology will benefit TCBF. (Full details to come—watch this space.)
As is tradition, we asked the theatre companies committed to participate in BTM XXII to select a play. Those pairings are here:
Acropolis Stage (John Kuntz’s 12 Days)
Acting Out Productions (Jack Neary’s Pearly Gates)
Actors’ Shakespeare Project (R. D. Murphy’s Glenda Jackson in a Bodega I Am Not)
Actors' Studio of Newburyport (Scott Sullivan’s The Handle)
American Repertory Theater (Terrence Kidd’s Strained Bedfellows) More