Prospero (Juliet Bowler) welcomes you! Photo via Flat Earth Theatre.
Presented by Flat Earth Theatre New plays by Sari Boren, Hortense Gerardo, Gabriel Graetz, MJ Halberstadt, Michal Lin, Cliff Odle, Kelly Smith Directed by Jessica Ernst, David R. Gammons, Lee Mikeska Gardner, Shira Helena Gitlin, Johnny Nichols, Jr., Elizabeth Yvette Ramirez, LaToya T. Robinson “Prospero” by Amy Lehrmitt; directed by Lindsay Eagle; performed by Juliet Bowler.
Aesthetics Designs by Michael Clark Wonson Sound by Kyle Lampe Costumes by Zane Kealey Props & special effects by S Ayala Showrunner: Amy Lehrmitt Dramaturgy by Betsy Goldman
Full cast of actors: Sydney Roslin, Kira Helper, Kristen Heider, Michael Lin, Sharmarke Yusuf, Shanelle Villegas, Kalee Burrows, Olivia Dumaine, Naomi Ibasitas, Evan Turissini, Jo Michael Rezes, Blair Nodelman, Lorraine Kanyike, and Miles Wheeler II.
Accessibility Notes: This online event offers captioning. Instructions are available before, and during the live-stream.
Review by Kitty Drexel
Content Warnings: Blood, strong language, abuse of white privilege, mentions of cannibalism
ZOOM — Flat Earth Theatre’s 7 Rooms: The Masque of the Red Death is a massive undertaking of considerably wide and deep proportions that will impress even the most nihilistic of digital theatre naysayers. 7 Rooms will tantalize; it’ll tease; it’ll entreat you to shake your booty.
Running July 28 – August 15, audience members are invited to attend a party at Prospero’s (Juliet Bowler) extravagant mansion. There’s no need to rabble rouse with dirty plebes sick with the plague. Not when there’s a fancy ball to attend! Continue reading →
It’s May 5. Boston was originally expected to open yesterday. According to Mass.gov.com, that date was changed to May 18. It is important that we stay at home, use a mask that covers our noses and mouths when we’re outside, keep at least three to six feet from others, and to stay at home. For the love of Patti LuPone, please stay at home!
If you are a person who is consuming content and you can afford to, DONATE. If you can’t donate now, buy a ticket/tickets when the theatres reopen.
If you can do both, DONATE now and BUY A TICKET later.* Consuming streaming content without making a donation means that our theatres might not exist when the economy reopens.
Entropy Theatre — Entropy Theatre offers Domestic Explorations, “a semiweekly series of recipes for creating meaningful experiences for yourself to have inside your home.” They just released Domestic Exploration #8. It is a delight!
Flat Earth Theatre – Flat Earth continues A. Lehrmitt’s sci-fi radio play Fine-Tuned Universe. New chapterswill stream for FREE on Saturday nights at 7pm through May 30th. Each week brings a new 20-minute chapter. Check Flat Earth’s YouTube channel if you missed the streamed reading.
Luminarium Dance – This week’s online performance features Luminarium’s 2012 production MYTHOS:PATHOS, originally presented at the Center for the Arts at the Armory (Somerville MA) and Arsenal Center for the Arts (Watertown MA), with a culminating sold-out performance at A.R.T.’s OBERON Theater (Cambridge MA).
Also! Luminarium Dance Company & Monkeyhouse are producing the seventh 24-Hour ChoreoFest! Malden Choreofest
Saturday, May 9
12-6pm: Live-streamed creation period
8pm: Live-streamed performance
Links become available at https://www.luminariumdance.org/choreofest at 12pm & 8pm on May 9th.
MassOpera – MassOpera is offering Mother’s Day Songs and Shout-outs through a virtual event on Sunday, May 10th at 4:00 PM. Check this SITE for details.
New Rep Theatre — New Repertory Theatre announces a call for the general public to describe their quarantine experiences for the Quarantine Creatives project. In an initiative to provide unique, engaging digital content while their doors are temporarily closed, New Rep aims to put real-life stories on the virtual stage. Submission form is HERE.
The Umbrella Arts — This week’s offering comes from Charlotte Anne Dore and Rosalita’s Puppets. “The Sea Story” is an undersea adventure tale based on Dore’s puppet characters.
Elsewhere on the Internets: The Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center posted an “Alumni to Watch” list for Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and other platforms. The list doesn’t include links but it does include the names of the Theatre Center’s alumni and their attending years. Playbill: Patti LuPone, John Malkovich, Dylan Baker, More to Kick Off New Online Play Reading Series Broadway World: “Performing Arts Centers in South Korea Plan to Reopen This Week With New Guidelines,” by BWW News Desk. May the Fourth be with You… And also with Babu.
ArtsEmerson – The Together Apart series presents Sequence 8. Sequence 8 from The 7 Fingers will be available to view from April 13-27, 2020. From the ArtsEmerson website:
“Contemporary circus arts require the utmost faith in your fellow performers. When it comes down to it, your life is quite literally in their hands. The lessons we, as the audience, learn from circus take on a new importance in light of our current circumstances; while we cannot physically hold each other, we prop each other up through zoom calls with family and friends, encouraging text messages, and sharing a common knowledge that by acting together, we help each other. We care for each other deeply, standing together by standing apart.”
Flat Earth Theatre – Coming to Facebook Live, their new radio play Fine-Tuned Universe by A. Lehrmitt will stream weekly on Saturday nights at 7 P.M. from April 25th – May 30th. Each week brings a new 20-minute chapter. Fine-Tuned Universe: a radio play by A. Lehrmitt. Directed by Jake Scaltreto Saturdays, April 25th – May 30th, 7pm EST, Streaming on Facebook Live Featuring: Juliet Bowler, Kristen Heider, James Hayward, Chris Chiampa, Melissa de Jesus and Liz Salazar. With sound design by James Rossi
Homesick Play Project and Sparkhaven Theatre present a performance of Nosferatu, The Vampyrby M Sloth Levine with original music by Alissa Voth. HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 30 April 2020 at 3:30 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 5:30 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 6:30 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).
HOWL Shakespeare – HOWL Shakespeare presents their first livestreamed event! Over a dozen of the Boston area’s boldest young Shakespeare performers performing a Socially Distanced reading of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM.
This reading is to raise money for Massachusetts General Hospital’s efforts to fight COVID-19. Don’t want to wait to donate? Donate to MGH here: https://tinyurl.com/HowlMSND Send us a screenshot of your donation receipt and we’ll give you a shout-out in the livestream
From Our Homes to Yours – Everything Possible – Boston Gay Men’s Chorus
(Our eyes are leaking.)
Huntington at Home – Huntington @ Home is a series of new programs to connect with our audiences right now and includes:
Sign up for Huntington @ Home and receive a phone call from a Huntington artist or staff member. Choose for a staff member to deliver a short monologue from a past Huntington production or have a discussion with a member of the Huntington’s acclaimed production team about how the theatre created one of your favorite plays or musicals. We want to do our part by sharing our collective love of theatre and storytelling on a personal level.”
MassCreative – Every Friday at 9:45AM, MassCreative will host a 15-minute COVID-19 Virtual Policy & Action Update to help you make sense of what Congress and the MA Legislature are doing to strengthen the social and economic safety net during this public health emergency. Their goal “is to keep these webinars short, sweet, and to the point.” REGISTER
MassMouth – “Live shows may be postponed, but this is still a good time to continue improving your storytelling skills. Join our online events, including coaching sessions, webinars and virtual classes. Learn more below HERE.”
Craft your story. Tuesday, April 28th. 7:30 ET. – Each story featured on Stories from the Stage is unique, but the principles behind a good piece are universal. Explore key story elements and hear about the experience of a former teller, Cecilla Viveiros. Free. Massmouth will share the World Channel registration link with the community shortly.
Story workshop. Sunday, May 3rd. 4:30pm ET. – One of the best ways to improve a story is to share it with others and get their feedback. In this workshop, exchange a story with five other participants and one of Massmouth’s coaches. Hear what they love about your piece, as well as their ideas for improvement. Free. Register online.
Story workshop. Sunday, May 17th. 4:30pm ET. – One of the best ways to improve a story is to share it with others and get their feedback. In this workshop, exchange a story with five other participants and one of Massmouth’s coaches. Hear what they love about your piece, as well as their ideas for improvement. Free. Register online.
Museum of Science – ArtsBoston has a super convenient list of sites to access the Museum of Science online.
New Repertory Theatre — NEW! In the Wings Artist Salon Series Presented by Artistic Director, Michael J. Bobbitt. Head over to New Rep’s Facebook page on Sundays at 2:00 for a live panel. Host Michael J. Bobbitt will be joined each week by local artists, to discuss the state of theatre post-COVID-19. This week: Boston area Playwrights
The Hatchery: Virtual Project Night/ Tuesday, April 21 | 6:30 – 8:30 pm. FREE Virtual “Drop-in” Event – Donations Welcome – Join Resident Artist Sarah Nolen for Puppet Showplace Theater’s first-ever digital Hatchery! Now, from the comfort of your home or studio, connect with fellow puppeteers and puppet-curious artists in a low-stress Zoom Room setting. Participants can share and discuss project ideas, works-in-progress, and strategies for creative resilience during a pandemic. Join for all or part of the time!
April 30 – Next Live Performance! – Celebrate the power of DIY theater in miniature! In early April, the amazing artists of Great Small Works gathered Toy theater practitioners from all over the world the world to share original short shows, many of which were created in response to the present circumstances. All performances are still available to watch, and a new festival is coming April 30th. Don’t have time to watch two full nights? Check out Resident Artist Sarah Nolen’s performance “Don’t Stop the Pot!” on Day 2 at 1:41:35.
Faye Dupras’ new children’s series, Cozy Corner(It has a catchy theme song and puppets!)
GAME NIGHT! Online Improv Playground Apr 25, 2020 to Apr 25, 2020
ONLINE! Let’s come together, all ages and abilities, to play using skills and techniques from the world of Improvisation.
Civil Discourse Society: The Art of Persuasion– Apr 30, 2020 to May 28, 2020 ONLINE! Join our newest club! Civil Discourse Society is for mastering the art of persuasion. Consider the language you use, and your approach to truly activating dialogue in your private and public.
Like you, we at the New England Theatre Geek are starting to go stir-crazy during these times of social distancing #COVFEFE19. Below is a small collection of links to streaming content, classes, and performances to occupy your days.
We wish you all the best! Please wash your damn hands, get enough exercize, Zoom your friends, and stay home as much as you can.
Cloud Cafe – Tune into Cloud Cafe tonight at 6 p.m.! Each night of this performance series will be curated by a different Boston based artist–all of whom have been forced to cancel gigs and tours to protect the community from COVID-19. Each curator will hand-pick members of their community who have been directly impacted by the pandemic to build creative performances that bring people together to heal and find joy.
(Watertown, MA) There is a lot of ambiguity in Aguirre-Sacasa’s King of Shadows. He doesn’t communicate a clear message to his audience. Specifically, he doesn’t clarify what it is he’s trying to say. At no fault of Flat Earth, Hisamoto or the cast, Aguirre-Sacasa implies in only uncertain terms that teen homelessness is bad, rich grad students with savior complexes are ineffective, and fairytales are fun. The details are a mishmash of complications. Flat Earth does a good job with the script, but Aguirre-Sacasa isn’t doing them any favors. Continue reading →
(Watertown, MA) The myth of Medea is a story of betrayal and fury, where Jason of the Argonauts takes a sorceress wife for material gain and is deeply surprised when she takes her vengeance out on him and their children. Here, the myth of a child-killing witch fits roughly over a more contemporary story of an overworked nurse in pediatric oncology as she takes a night for herself to recount a bitter divorce with humor and then with searing rage. In mainstream culture, the Classical myth of Medea has become known as the story of a mother so cartoonishly evil, it’s difficult to feel the full impact of the horror her narrative contains without exploring each bloody layer. Luckily, the audience of Not Medea has been blessed with both the intimacy of a stripped-down theater experience and the raw passion of actress Juliet Bowler as the titular-woman-who-is-not-Medea-though-she-also-plays-Medea.
Not Medea appears to be a combination of genres, a one-woman show fused with a Classical play, complete with Chorus (Cassandra Meyer). There’s a late reveal that further opens the story into discomfort and parental Hell, but the melodrama keeps the bones of a Greek tragedy by centering a character’s terrible trauma and the wisdom she gains from it. Bowler as the Woman and director Elizabeth Yvette Ramirez make remarkable choices in humanizing a character who’s not a clear-cut heroine.
Bowler, as always, brings grit to her role, and, here, sympathy. She plays Medea and the Woman with the same tumult of anger, lust, and hurt, even if their actions aren’t quite identical. We get the sense of this stressed, tough as nails nurse seeing this play and hating how much she sees herself in it. Certainly, as an audience, we are asked to judge each character presented in the show, like Gene Dante as the heroic Jason with a selfish surfer dude’s dimwitted edge, but we are never made to regard them with the inhumanity and scorn that so many versions of Medea heap on these characters.
I like how brave the play is in addressing the fallibility of mothers. It’s something I’ve been delighted to see in few other shows where women who have children are not portrayed as goddesses or people always able to see the best in their kids, but fallible individuals with their own sources of pain. Yes, facing the imperfection of mothers can be a tough sit, but the way this show explores all the troubles and regrets of motherhood is deeply refreshing.
Even the Chorus seems to have some internal struggles regarding her relationship to the story. Meyer repeatedly nears the end of the stage with fear, unable to leave. She also, memorably, seems furious with the Woman for addressing the audience directly–obviously the Chorus’s job, and a delicious meta moment in the narrative.
Not everything works for me. Playwright Allison Gregory’s makes some distracting choices. The sections of the play that more strictly adhere to the source material often become repetitive, jarring with the contemporary ebb and flow of Not Medea’s other, less Classical scenes. I think there are story elements in the show that would have packed a firmer punch with some careful editing. Also, I found Gregory’s choice in names for the Woman’s offspring just a little too on-the-nose.
Ultimately, the play succeeds in what it seems to set out to do: exploring the layers of a Classical myth with understanding and thought. Like the queen goddess Hera angry at her husband for his many dalliances or the punishment Aphrodite earns for not being loyal to a husband she was made to marry in the first place, popular Greco-Roman mythology has been filtered through a lens that dismisses female anger. Not Medea leans into that fury and, like many Greek tragedies, comes out the other side wiser for it.
Photos by Jake Scaltreto; Christine Power as Lise Meitner, Barbara Douglass as Edith Hahn. Blanket babies are the easiest babies.
Presented by Flat Earth Theatre Company By Jennifer Blackmer Directed by Betsy S. Goldman Dramaturgy by Regine Vital Violence choreography by Cassie Chapados Dance choreography by Meghan Hornblower Language consultation by Allison Olivia Choat Artistic ASL direction by Elbert Joseph
September 28th – October 13th, 2018 ASL-Interpreted Performance: October 13th at 8pm The Mosesian Center for the Arts 321 Arsenal Street Watertown, MA Flat Earth on Facebook
Trigger warning: One character is willingly committed to an asylum, misandry
Critique by Kitty Drexel
“Science and art both relentlessly pursue truth and meaning. In the past, scientific and medical procedures were performed in front of witnesses, audiences, if you will, who were able to verify the truth of what took place. For me, science and art were never at odds, and part of my overall goal as an artist is to get audiences to understand that. We still think of science and art as two separate cultures, but they’re more alike than most people realize.”
Flat Earth Theatre interview with Jennifer Blackmer
(Watertown, MA) Jennifer Blackmer crams a lot into two hours of theatre. Delicate Particle Logic (DPL) tells the story of how Otto Hahn stole nuclear fission from Lise Meitner. He committed war crimes for the Nazis in the name of “chemistry,” and claimed the Nobel Prize in 1944… Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. DPL is about Otto Hahn’s work-wife, Meitner, his home-wife, Edith Junghans Hahn, and their imaginary friendship. Edith and Meitner’s performance of emotional and physical labor on behalf of a man holding more respect for his work than for his partners. Between the science and the toxic masculinity, there is art: glorious, painful, epiphanic art. Continue reading →
ONE WEEK LEFT: March 26th @ 7:30pm; March 29th @ 8pm; March 30th @ 8pm; March 31st @ 8pm The Black Box at the Mosesian Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St., Watertown, Massachusetts 02472 From the MBTA — take the Red Line to Central Square in Cambridge; then take the 70 or the 70A bus.
Flat Earth on Facebook
Review by Bishop C. Knight
(Watertown, MA) I could provide an enthusiastic review for every aspect of this play. I will start with a nod to costuming.Continue reading →
(Watertown, MA) A Bright Room Called Day transports us back to a sitting room in 1930s Germany, inhabited my minor actors, eccentric filmmakers and artists. This bohemian gaggle of comrades band together in the early 1930s through their love of Communism, Art and Revolution. As 1933 marches on, the world around them darkens and the sitting room becomes their last refuge from Hitler’s rule.Continue reading →