Category: Boston Theater Marathon XXIII

Voices of BTM XXIII: Nick Malakhow

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

Voices of BTM XXIII: Sophie McIntosh

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

Voices of BTM XXIII: Mark Evan Chimsky and Zev Burrows

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

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

Voices of BTM XXIII: David Valdes

April 5th, 2021 in Blog, Boston Theater Marathon XXIII, new plays, short plays

Tell us a little about your play.

This is Not America was inspired by the experiences of Capitol rioters in their own words. Reading their blogs and interviews, and watching their home videos, I was startled at how mundane many of their posts were. I read one woman complaining about how long the line was at the liquor store when she needed drinks for the gals back at the hotel; the absurdity of this being the issue was the launch point for the play, which is heavy on found text.

What made you want to tell this story?

Let’s be real: election season, all ninety-eleven months was brutal. The stress and fear of what might happen never seemed to let up—including after the election was over. January 6 was a culmination of all those anxieties made manifest, and it was shocking to me that anyone could try to dismiss what took place. I mean, it was not a rally; it was a siege with a body count. I started reading coverage from the rioter’s points of view to try and get a sense of what kind of logic made that defensible. And what I found was an almost surreal disconnect from the seriousness of the events. More

Voices of BTM XXIII: Laurie Lee

March 30th, 2021 in Blog, Boston Theater Marathon XXIII, new plays, short plays

Tell us a little about your play.

Okay is all about both the ability and inability to connect. It is difficult for the four characters of the play to have a genuine interaction amidst a global pandemic because their form of communication is restricted to a laptop screen. It is also difficult because it is further complicated—two characters enter a past conflict while the other two characters try to find support and love from one another. In other words, Okay calls attention to how love languages are influenced by the way we are raised in different cultural settings, and how these differences can impede effective communication between individuals.

What made you want to tell this story?

Like others, I spent a lot of time alone during the pandemic. I changed as a person, and fully came to the realization that time is so valuable—we don’t ever see it fly past us unless it’s 10 years later and we’re like, “wow! Am I that old?” I think of 2020 as a year of timelessness, but I also see that so much change happened—lots of life-transforming thoughts born from little action. I also think of grief, loss, and, most importantly, hope. Surprisingly, these thoughts that occurred within a year have changed me more than action has in all my years of life. More

BTMXXIII: Special Zoom Edition schedule of plays

March 17th, 2021 in Blog, Boston Theater Marathon XXIII, new plays, short plays

Boston Theater Marathon XXIII: 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. BTM XXIII is a free event; 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.

This annual event will take place as a Zoom-based “lunch break” beginning Thursday, April 1 and continuing each day (with the exception of Sundays) through May 28. Readings will start at 12 noon ET, and each play will be followed by a question and answer session with the audience. 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.

Please visit for additional information and to join the Zoom.


We wish to express our gratitude to the Performers’ Unions:





through Theatre Authority, Inc. for their cooperation in permitting the Artists to appear on this program.


April 1
Okay by Laurie Lee
Sponsored by Boston University School of Theatre
Directed by Shamus McCarty

Featuring Grace Goble, Emma Laird, Naomi Li, and Sarah Shin

Ora, Kala, Aurora, and Yonder join a walk-in Zoom meeting to find comfort in new strangers during a pandemic, but are drastically hindered from openly communicating with one another when past estrangements come into contact with a blooming friendship.

April 2
A Nasty Piece of Work by Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro
Sponsored by Asian American Playwright Collective
Directed by Daniel Gidron

Featuring Emily Kuroda

A bitter actress rants about her terrible co-star, revealing more about herself than anything else.

April 3
The Ark is a Metaphor by Andrea Fleck Clardy
Sponsored by Cohasset Dramatic Club
Directed by Lisa Pratt

Featuring Madison Pratt and Aisling Sheahan

Two women argue about the meaning of bad weather, as a violent storm comes closer and closer.


Plays and playwrights of BTM XXIII

February 23rd, 2021 in Blog, Boston Theater Marathon XXIII

John Oluwole ADEkoje’s Auditioning for Mary

Miranda Austen ADEkoje’s The Come Up

Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro’s A Nasty Piece of Work

Jeanne Beckwith’s The Grand Reality

Amy Bennett-Zendzian’s Mother Goose's Grave More