Presented by The Civilians Written by Darrel Alejandro Holnes Directed by Victoria Collado Video Game created by Ché Lovell Rose & Jocelyn Short Produced by Ilana Becker Sound Design by Twi McCallum Featuring Christon Andell, Kyla Jeanne Butts, Starr Kirkland, Darrel Alejandro Holnes, Constance Fields, Phillip Patrick Wright, Michael Diamond, Mia Anderson, and Brandiss LaShai Seward.
YOUTUBE — BLACK FEMINIST VIDEO GAME is a groundbreaking, online theatrical experience that explores love, neurodiversity, and the importance of Black feminism.
After a first date gone wrong, Jonas Jones (Christon Andell) is determined to find a way to win back his crush, Nicole (Starr Kirkland). As a biracial teenager with autism, Jonas broadcasts his life online as a means of connection, destigmatising autism, and becoming a filmmaker. Integrating live chat in the performance, Jonas asks audiences for advice on what he should do. While brainstorming, he finds an old gift from his mother; a video game that may lead a way to winning Nicole back. Continue reading →
MRT’s Content Alert: Based on real events, Until the Flood includes references to racism, bigotry, prejudice, and off-stage violence. The play contains strong adult content/language, including racial slurs. Recommended for ages 16 and older.
Critique by Kitty Drexel
STREAMING — The US police keep killing Black people. On Wednesday, April 28 a Collin County, Texas medical examiner ruled Marvin Scott III’s death a homicide. That was last night. Ma’Khia Bryant was killed by police on April 22. Derek Chauvin was convicted of killing George Floyd on April 20. Nearly a year after the murder took place. Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Aleah Jenkins, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown: I could go on and on. It’s no wonder that human rights lawyers from around the world have called for an investigation of the internationalcriminal court into the systematic murder of Black people in the US.
Until the Flood is a one-woman show about the stories we tell with our lives. On August 9, 2014 Darren Wilson, a white police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an African American teenager in Ferguson, Missouri. In response to the murder, Dael Orlandersmith interviewed Black and white people, compiled their stories and created this play. We are witness to a spectrum of views. Each monologue takes the viewer closer to Michael Brown and the events that formed the Black Lives Movement.Continue reading →
(Boston, MA) Have you heard the one about the chicken that crossed the road? Yes? What about the one regarding what came first, the chicken or the egg? Really? Okay. What about the one about Diogenes the Cynic who, when Plato called men “featherless bipeds,” plucked a chicken, brought it to Plato’s Academy, and shouted, “Behold! A man!” Because the last is a wonderful encapsulation of what Ken Ueno and Guerilla Opera have created.
The encore performance of Gallo: A Fable in Music in One Act uses animals to poke at mortal folly, to laugh at us and our flimsy hold on the order of the universe, at ontology, philosophy, and all the castles we build in culture that will one day fall into the sea. That particular anecdote is also a great definition of the show’s continued subversion of expectations, like the fact it takes place on a beach made entirely of Cheerios. Continue reading →
A-Típico: A New Latinx Play Festival Presented by Teatro Chelsea A Resident Artist at the Black Box Theatre through Apollinaire Theatre Company’s Resident Artists at the Chelsea Theatre Works Artistic Associate: Carla Mirabal Rodríguez Program Director: Armando Rivera
Featured Works: All performances start at 7 PM. Performances in Spanish will not be subtitled for English-only speakers. April 9, Before We Focus On Others by Diego Lanao April 10, Malas Mañas by Alejandra Ramos Riera April 15, Anormales by Fernando Vieira, and SAA (not that one) by Luis Roberto Herrera April 16, Binary Star by Guadalupe Flores April 17, Flood by Alicia Margarita Olivo
April 9-17, 2021 Streamed via Zoom at 7 PM Chelsea, MA 02150 Teatro Chelsea on Facebook
Review by Kitty Drexel
ZOOM — Teatro Chelsea presents two weekends of play readings in A-Típico: A New Latinx Play Festival with English, Spanish and bilingual performances through April 17.
I was told by program director Armando Rivera that the reading of Before We Focus On Others by Diego Lanao on April 9 was still “in development.” Plays involved in this festival are performed for audience feedback. I watched with the understanding that this play and its characters were still in their nascent phases. There is always room for compassion in a critic’s response.
So color me surprised when the cast of Before We Focus On Others gave us a performance-ready show over Zoom on April 9. The cast* had great chemistry: they worked well off of each other, gave excellent facial cues; their dialogue was believable and sincere sounding; I could imagine these characters as real people off of the page.
Before We Focus On Others is about marriage counseling from the perspective of a husband and wife involved in the counseling profession. Lanao’s research is credible. The dialogue between the husband, wife, and psychologist is realistic. Lanao takes great care to give equal weight to both the men and women in this script: it’s thoughtful, intersectionality feminist, and sympathetic to all sides.
This is a bilingual play but anyone with basic Spanish skills should understand the characters’ intentions when Spanish is spoken. The actors’ motives were clear. Lanao’s used Spanish sparingly but to embellish a scene’s drama. To complain about the Spanish in this play is to reveal one’s racism.
Only the active Zoom chat brimming with missives of love and joy from friends and family gave away the reading’s intentions for feedback. Actors don’t receive the same feedback over Zoom as they do from a live audience. An open chat alleviates the weight of performance insecurity.
It is super duper exciting that Boston finally gets its own festival of Latinx plays! I hope there is more, much more where this came from.
A-Típico: A New Latinx Play Festival continues this weekend: Performances in Spanish will not be subtitled for English-only speakers. April 15 @ 7 PM, Anormales by Fernando Vieira, and SAA (not that one) by Luis Roberto Herrera April 16 @ 7 PM, Binary Star by Guadalupe Flores April 17 @ 7 PM, Flood by Alicia Margarita Olivo Tickets are HERE.
About A-Típico: A New Latinx Play Festival from the Teatro Chelsea website: “In the American theatre space, the Latinx narrative reflected on stage can tend to revolve around narrow topics like the “border” or “disaster” play. While shedding light on the ongoing crisis on the Mexican-American border and the aftermath of natural disasters like Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico are narratives deserving of attention, these stories can overly narrow the breadth of Latinx experiences in the United States. Teatro Chelsea’s new Latinx play festival, A-Típico, aims to showcase and expand the focus on underrepresented Latinx stories.”
Presented by The Public Theater Written by Erika Dickerson-Despenza Directed by Candis C. Jones Music composed by Delfeayo Marsalis Sound design by Palmer Hefferan Featuring Te’Era Coleman, Lizan Mitchell, Lance E. Nichols, Lori Elizabeth Parquet, Sunni Patterson, and Michelle Wilson.
PODCAST — Making its world premiere, SHADOW/LAND is a poetic force to be reckoned with. Mixing jazz and jook joint writing, Erika Dickerson-Despenza presents a vibrant play with a reckoning with the past.Continue reading →
March 18 – May 31, 2021 Trinity Rep and other theaters are streaming this production to their audiences in collaboration with the Marin Theatre Company and Round House Theatre. Trinity Rep on social media: @trinityrepertorycompany
Critique by Kitty Drexel
STREAMING — Actor William DeMeritt is not virologist Nathan Wolfe. DeMeritt plays Wolfe with startling humanity, humor, and confidence. DeMeritt and Wolfe look similar in appearance: they both have medium complexions, curly kinks in their hair, and tall statures. Lest one falls into the trap of assuming that an actor is their character, we must establish that these two men are not the same person. DeMeritt only plays a virologist on screen. Continue reading →
Presented by Sparkhaven Theatre & Homesick Play Project Written by by M Sloth Levine Original music composed by Alissa Voth Directed by Hannah Pryfogle Musicians: Rebecca Elowe, Bri Tagliaferro, Andrew Gaffney
Disclaimer: This review is a response to the experience of a Zoom performance of Nosferatu, The Vampyr.
ONLINE, Everywhere — Nosferatu, The Vampyr, a play with original music about a mysterious plague with mysterious origins, is the dramatic queering that society needs. It was meant to run at Chelsea Theatre Works March 19 – 28, until the coronavirus, our factual plague, prevented its run. While it would have been brilliant to review Nosferatu, The Vampyr in real life, the Zoom version proves that great theatre can be created specifically for internet viewing with time, ingenuity, and some creative tweaking. Not all streamed theatre content is worth viewing. Nosferatu is. Continue reading →
Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Odyssey Opera Release Schuller’s “The Fisherman and His Wife” Presented by Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Odyssey Opera Gunther Schuller: The Fisherman and His Wife (#1970) Opera by Gunther Schuller Libretto by John Updike Based on a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm Conducted by Gil Rose Featuring: Sondra Kelly (mezzo-soprano), Steven Goldstein (tenor), David Kravitz (baritone), Katrina Galka (soprano), Ethan Depuy (tenor)
Release Date: April 7, 2020 Available to purchase HERE
Review by Kitty Drexel
Boston, MA — The opening bars of Gunter Schuller’s The Fisherman and His Wife sound like the scoring for an episode of the Stark Trek: The Original Series. Not the opening theme song famous for it’s 70s crooning lounge jam. The organ, shivering strings, and cacophony coming from the woodwinds remind me of composer Fred Steiner’s work in the episode, “The Corbomite Maneuver.”
Gunter’s work doesn’t politely introduce its listener to his opera. We’re introduced to a dire world of conflict from the opening chords. The orchestra paints an uneasy ocean with low tones and dissonance. We’re caught in a negative reverie until a forceful “Meow!” (Katrina Galka as the cat) breaks the atmospheric tension caused by the orchestra. This small world hides stark unhappiness that unravels toward the ear in rumbling phrases.Continue reading →
Here is the latest list with online community happenings and be-ins.
Zoombombing is a threat. Please keep yourselves safe by implementing security measures against these fuckboi trolls.
Articles for context: The Verge,”Zoom adds new security and privacy measures to prevent Zoombombing.” The New York Times, “‘Zoombombing’ Becomes a Dangerous Organized Effort.” Buzzfeed News, “Here Are 8 Quick Tips To Keep You From Getting “Zoombombed” By Trolls”
Keep washing your hands, stay at home, and know that you are necessary and loved,
Queen of the New England Theatre Geeks
Rockettes Dance Class: The Radio City Rockettes offer live dance classes on Instagram every week beginning on April 2 at 12PM EST. Additional classes will take place on successive Thursdays at noon.
Trinity Repertory Theatre – Rhode Island’s Tony Award-winning theater is generating digital content and creating virtual events and classes, so that “the show goes on.” Content is being delivered through its social media channels and is aggregated at
*Registration for all adult and kid’s classes and/or the knitting circlecan be found HERE.
*Streaming of the movie I Am A Seagull by directors Brian Mertes, Melissa Kievmanis, and The Chekhov Project is available to steam until April 15 by clicking HERE.
*Virtual tickets are available here for a streamed version of Asolo Rep’s production of Into the Breeches!, which had its world premiere at Trinity Rep in 2018. Available through April 14.
WGBH, ArtsEmerson, Huntington Theatre Company – WGBH will present a special broadcast of Mala, a poignant drama written and performed by local playwright and performer Melinda Lopez. This award-winning play will air on WGBH 2 and YouTube TV on Thursday, April 9 at 9 p.m.
Following the broadcast, ArtsEmerson will host a pre-recorded online conversation between playwright/performer Melinda Lopez and director David Dower at ArtsEmersonBlog.org.
There Must Be Happy Endings: On Theatre of Optimism & Honesty By Megan Sandberg-Zakian Published by The 3rd Thing Press Olympia, 2020 Available on Kickstarter with a $24.00 pledge Paperback, 230 pages
LIVE ONLINE EVENT! Megan Sandberg-Zakian in conversation with Melinda Lopez March 23, 2020, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm Free on the HowlRound website! More info below.
Event on Facebook
Review by Kitty Drexel
“An ending doesn’t have to be happy to be satisfying. A good ending, happy or not, draws a line around the experience of story hearing and telling. It picks the story up, holds it in its hands, and offers it out, whole. It gives us the opportunity for a collective breath. A good ending is honest: a boundary we can feel, the knowledgable edge of a reliable container. It is a ritual threshold between story and not-story.”
— Megan Sandberg-Zakian, “There Must Be Happy Endings,” There Must Be Happy Endings: On Theatre of Optimism & Honesty, 2020.
Somerville, Mass — There Must Be Happy Endings by Megan Sandberg-Zakian is an exploration in the personal dramaturgy of the mind and spirit. In her first book of essays, the author takes a deep dive into the works that have made a lasting impression upon her. They are an extension of her need to share stories through theatre. Whether by quoting Homer, The Dark Knight or Annie, these essays draw the reader into the author’s personal story by circumnavigating the landscape of the greater western narrative. She tells us why happy ends are important and why they are especially important to her. Her title essay isn’t demanding sappy closure but commanding a divine right to culminate our narratives with an end to the suffering within them. Continue reading →