Feb 21

“The Honey Trap” Sweet Like Honey, Sting Like a Bee

Maureen Keiller, Barlow Adamson. Photograph credit: Kalman Zabarsky

Presented by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre & Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Theatre
Written by Leo McGann
Directed by Adam Kassim

February 16-26, 2017
949 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre on Facebook
Boston University New Play Initiative

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) According to the old cliché, you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. The truth of this is debatable, but it’s true that, when luring something, or someone, to its doom, it’s much simpler to do it in a soft, sweet way. On multiple levels, this was the crux of how Leo McGann’s The Honey Trap told a story of history, guilt, and revenge. Continue reading

Jan 27

Colors, Flavors and Spices: THE ATHEIST

Photo by Kalman Zabarsky, Georgia Lyman as Augustine Early.

Presented by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
Written and directed by Ronan Noone
Performed by Georgia Lyman

Jan. 19 – Feb. 5, 2017
BPT
949 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA
BPT on Facebook

Trigger warnings: “alternative fact” telling, domestic abuse, discussion of rape, invasion of intimate privacy, crooked politics  

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) It’s as if Ronan Noone timed his production of The Atheist with Kellyanne Conway’s “alternative fact” BS on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Noone’s Atheist captures the distasteful spirit of dirty tactics to make the untrue plausible. Trump’s team is gaslighting its way into our heads. Noone shows us how. Continue reading

Dec 13

“Faithless”: Waiting Room Family Reunion

Photograph By Kalman Zabarsky

Photograph By Kalman Zabarsky

Presented by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre & the Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Theatre
Written by Andrew Joseph Clarke
Directed by Stephen Pick

December 8-18, 2016
Boston, MA
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre on Facebook
Boston University New Play Initiative

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) The holidays are a good time of year to be surrounded by family. Holidays are also a good time of year to be reminded how much you hate being surrounded by family. Family reunions of any kind can be awkward, but provide the perfect landscape for tension to explode and for secrets to be revealed. And a hospital waiting room is where playwright Andrew Joseph Clarke decided to explore this dynamic in Faithless. Continue reading

Oct 24

Sacrifice and Cultural Conflict in “Memorial”

Photo credit: Kalman Zabarsky

Photo credit: Kalman Zabarsky

Presented by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre & Boston University College of Fine Arts School and Theatre
By Livian Yeh
Directed by Kelly Galvin

October 13-23, 2016
Boston, MA
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre on Facebook
Boston University New Play Initiative

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) I’ve never seen the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and never been to DC for that matter, but the storytelling in Livian Yeh’s Memorial is strong enough to make me believe I have. Continue reading

Feb 14

After so long, we’re still back to this: BACK THE NIGHT

2/3/14 Boston Playwrights' Theatre presents 'Back the Night' By Melinda Lopez. Directed by Daniela Varon. February 4-28-2016. With violence on campus rising to epidemic proportions, Em is in total denial. But when her best friend Cassie gets assaulted, Em makes some unexpected personal discoveries. Sometimes you do the wrong thing for the right reason. 2016-02-03_BACKTHENITE_002.jpg - Photograph By Kalman Zabarsky

Presented by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
Written by Melinda Lopez
Directed by Daniela Varon

February 4-28, 2016
Boston Playwright’s Theatre
Boston, MA
BPT on Facebook

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

Trigger warnings: sexual assault and physical violence, sexual situations, adult language, suicide, mental health, activism

(Boston, MA) Institutional support of criminals and criminal behavior either through incompetence or genuine ignorance is common. Although a college campus is the setting of Melinda Lopez’s Back the Night, it could be a stand-in for a fancy secondary school or any urban space. It is both cheaper and simpler in these forums to blame the victim than actually pursue justice.

Em, Sean and Cassie pit themselves against assault on campus after Cassie is injured one night. Em is the pre-med Nancy Drew who likes putting things into proper boxes and Melissa Jesser portrays her with an intensity that simmers just below the surface. Cassie (Amanda Collins), long an ardent anti-violence advocate, is finally putting a lot of her principles to the test. Sean just wants everyone to make it to graduation alive. Along the way, the undergraduates realize that intentions aren’t pure on any side of the issue. The set served as both metaphor and scenery, with decaying infrastructure and dorm furniture offset by autumn leaves and warm lighting.

When I attended, the audience of mostly college aged students and a few older attendees were both amused and engaged. Although the play is a new work, the topics have been stewing in higher education for some time. Local universities such as Boston University responded in the past three years to federal investigations related to sexual harassment under Title IX by leveraging pre-existing resources and coordinating new sets of training for incoming and ongoing students, staff and faculty. For survivors as well as for those who work at or attend a university, the transitions toward justice seem insignificant and much less than what was promised.

To be fair, there are a lot of great sea changes still occurring: a queer character like Sean, played by a bouncy Evan Horwitz, or a non-white character like Em can exist on a campus, which is a sign of progress. Authorities can’t produce those specific, permanent and positive transitions in a vacuum. Rallying and other forms of pressure by non-authorities as well as pushback, then, is more like a dance: there is movement over time, even if there is no easily discernible direction. Also, dances end, and it can take time before a different dance begins.

Lopez gets the internet’s impact on survivor’s rights in many ways: frequently the ability to reach lots of potential activists doesn’t lead to the revolution, especially since the internet reaches not only sympathetic minds, but also perpetrators and victim-blamers who are all too willing to sit on the sidelines and throw stones. At the very least, perpetrators are not given a forum in the play. There’s still lots of meat to chew on. Even when your friends are a mirror or an inspiration, they can still misunderstand and make demands on your sanity that can be almost as terrible as physical trauma. At a fairly short hour and a half, humor between the three friends lightens the frustration, exhaustion and constant questioning. Lopez has captured the voice of modern undergraduates and also provided a snapshot of the strained relationships of students to the adults who are supposed to guide and shield them.

Next on deck for Boston Playwrights’ Theatre is Rhinoceros a co-production with Suffolk University written by Eugene Ionesco at the Modern from February 25-March 13.

Jan 26

Keeping House and Conversing with Ghosts in “The Housekeeper”

Photo credit: Amanda Sheehan

Photo credit: Amanda Sheehan

Presented by Fresh Ink Theatre at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
By Ginger Lazarus
Directed by Shana Gozansky

January 15-30, 2016
Fresh Ink Theatre on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) Fresh Ink Theatre has the sole mission of allowing playwrights to shape their craft through the production and workshop processes to produce art that is professional and refreshing. I was excited to see The Housekeeper because of this mission, and I was not disappointed. Continue reading

Dec 14

Getting to Maybe: EXPOSED

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The TV has no context in this image.

Presented by Boston Center for American Performance and Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
Written by Robert Brustein
Directed by Steven Bogart
Compositions by Mark Bruckner
Musical direction by Catherine Stornetta

Dec. 10 – Dec. 18, 2015
Boston Center for the Arts
Wimberly Theatre
Boston, MA
BPT on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Normally, I adore a good potty-mouthed political satire.  I feel less alone knowing that my fellow humans also think that the Govt., its politicians, and processes are broken. As Republicans, Democrats, Independents, etc, we can all agree that the system needs an overhaul. Satires give me a modicum of hope for the future. Continue reading

Nov 04

Sleeping Weazel Presents: BODY & SOLD

Posted with permission from Sleeping Weazel

Posted with permission from Sleeping Weazel

SLEEPING WEAZEL JOINS TEMPEST PRODUCTIONS FOR A PLAY READING TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT TEENAGE SEX TRAFFICKING IN THE UNITED STATES

Boston, Mass., October 20, 2015 — Multimedia theatre company Sleeping Weazel, with director Robbie McCauley, will present a staged reading of BODY & SOLD, a documentary play by Tempest Productions’ Founder and Artistic Director Deborah Lake Fortson on Monday, November 16, 2015, 7:30 pm at Charlestown Working Theater, 442 Bunker Hill Street, Charlestown, MA 02129. This play is the result of interviews with young Americans from Boston, Hartford, and Minneapolis who ran away from home or were kidnapped and lured into prostitution before escaping with their lives. The BODY & SOLD Project was developed to foster a network of theaters and social agencies with the goal of raising national consciousness about the intertwined issues of child abuse, runaways, and child/teenage prostitution.

This reading, supported by a Sleeping Weazel Lab Residency at the Charlestown Working Theatre, is part of a series of readings being presented this season by the Nora Theatre, Fort Point Theatre Channel, Boston University, Emerson College, and Boston Playwrights’ Theatre.

CALENDAR LISTING
Sleeping Weazel and Tempest Productions present:

BODY & SOLD

written by Deborah Lake Fortson
directed by Robbie McCauley
Monday, November 16, 2015
7:30 pm

Tickets: FREE and open to the public, donations welcome
Charlestown Working Theater
442 Bunker Hill Street
Charlestown, MA 02129

About Sleeping Weazel
Charlotte Meehan and Adara Meyers are playwrights and co-directors of Sleeping Weazel, a Boston-based experimental multimedia theatre company with an online cyber art gallery exhibiting film, video, and sound art that expands “the theatrical.” Last year, Sleeping Weazel premiered critically acclaimed productions of Meehan’s 27 Tips for Banishing the Blues (September 2014) and Meyers’ Talk To At Me (June 2014) as part of the company’s Doubles, Demons, and Dreamers festival. In March, the company premiered Badass, a festival of new works by theatre greats Kate Snodgrass, Robbie McCauley, and Magdalena Gomez. Sleeping Weazel’s motto, “making different possible,” refers to the company’s mission to bridge the gap between mainstream and avant-garde, to present works that break the boundaries between art forms, and to work with artists across generations, cultures, and genres. www.sleepingweazel.com Continue reading

May 12

The Power of Shame: THE VOICES OF WE


Presented by 333 Productions and the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
Written by Robbi D’Allessandro
Directed by Shana Gogansky

April 25 – May 9, 2015
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
Boston, MA
Voices of We on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warnings: domestic abuse, gun shots, political satire, kickass feminism

(Boston, MA) Trigger warnings abounded for The Voices of We. They were plentiful because the writing was effective and the acting was very good. The stories in Voices aren’t necessarily true to life but they could be true for someone. The point is that these stories are true enough to appear realistic in performance. In the case of the scenes with the most abundant triggers, the inherent realism should serve as a warning to audience members that we, as a society living these stories, have a long way to go.   Continue reading

Apr 28

The Voices of We @ Boston Playwrights’ Theatre

The Voices of We
A New Play by Robbi D’Allessandro
Directed by Shana Gozansky
April 25th – May 9th
Presented by 333 Productions
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
Purchase Tickets

THE VOICES OF WE EXPLORES MANY FACES OF “SHAME”
Award-winning writer Robbi D’Allessandro donates all production proceeds to women’s charities.
Boston, Mass… (April 24, 2015) – Award-winning Boston area stage and screenwriter, Robbi D’Allessandro, explores the many faces of shame as 333 Productions presents the World Premiere of her original play, The Voices of We, at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre from April 25 to May 9.

The Voices of We is a new full-length play that explores the challenges women face in today’s sociopolitical and economic climate. The diverse characters in The Voices of We, face the daunting challenges inherent in the fight against domestic violence, and struggles for reproductive rights, self- defined gender identity and sexual orientation, motherhood, positive body image, and more. We are proud to announce that all proceeds from each performance goes to non-profit women’s organizations, that in part or whole, benefit women in need.

For more information about Robbi D’Allessandro, please visit www.sandsplays.com.

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE and BENEFIT CHARITY:
Sunday, April 26 at 2:00 p.m. – MassNOW – Talkback Moderator Chelsea Norman
Thursday, April 30th at 7:30 p.m. – Mass NOW
Friday, May 1st at 8:00 p.m. – MassNOW
Saturday, May 2nd at 8:00 p.m. – Our Bodies Ourselves – Talkback Moderator Judy Norsigian
Sunday, May 3, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. – Our Bodies Ourselves
Wednesday, May 6th at 7:30 p.m. – NARAL Pro-Choice of MA
Thursday, May 7th at 7:30 p.m. – GLAD
Friday, May 8th at 8:00 p.m. – Casa Myrna
Saturday, May 9th at 8:00 p.m. – The Women’s Center

Continue reading