Nov 12

Vintage Neuroses in a Noir Package: “Unusual Things Have Happened: Tales of Everyday Horror”

Photo via Facebook; the cast at Charlestown Working Theatre.

Presented by imaginary beasts
Produced by special arrangement with the children of Shirley Jackson, and Catalyst Management, LLC. 
By Shirley Jackson
Directed by Mathew Woods
Ensemble: Laura Detwiler, Denise Drago, Lauren Foster, Molly Kimmerling, Amy Meyer, Bob Mussett, Jennifer Taschereau

November 2nd – November 16th, 2019
Charlestown Working Theater
442 Bunker Hill Street, Charlestown, MA  02129
The Beasts on Facebook

Trigger warning: psychological horror, emotional trauma, spooky ghosts

Critique by Kitty Drexel

“Journeys end in lovers meeting; I have spent an all but sleepless night, I have told lies and made a fool of myself, and the very air tastes like wine. I have been frightened half out of my foolish wits, but I have somehow earned this joy; I have been waiting for it for so long.”― Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House

(Charlestown, MA) imaginary beasts’ latest production, Unusual Things Have Happened: Tales of Everyday Horror brings the psychological pain of everyday anxiety into sharp focus. The beasts tell six stories adapted from the works of Shirley Jackson in a style that they have named “narrative theatre.” Cast members dictate the action onstage just as a third-person voice narrates the passages of a book.  It looks and sounds like a one or two-person Greek chorus.

The vignettes that make up the production examine the commonplace terrors that women experience on the daily: isolation, powerlessness, and disorder. There is puppetry, mime, and yes, scene narration. The narrators are like impartial babysitters watching their human companions toddle towards danger. They might stop them, but where’s the fun in that?  Continue reading

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Jan 28

Here’s Your Coffee Ma’am: “Paul Bunyan and the Winter of the Blue Snow”

True love with dog. Photo by Alex Sandberg.

Presented by imaginary beasts & Charlestown Working Theater
Written by The Ensemble
Story conceived by Matthew Woods
Directed by Matthew Woods

Jan. 19 – Feb. 10, 2019
Charlestown Working Theater
442 Bunker Hill St
Charlestown, MA
imaginary beasts on Facebook

Critique by Kitty Drexel

(Charlestown, MA) Paul Bunyan and the Winter of the Blue Snow is about best friends and the lengths we go to love them. imaginary beasts treats us with another homegrown panto in the English tradition but with an American fringe flourish. Special effects are minimal but the appeal is high. The plot may wander but the panto’s generosity of spirit more than makes up for the meandering. Continue reading

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Nov 11

Audience Trust Issues: TURTLES

Photo by Joan Mejia

Photo by Joan Mejia

Presented by Boston Public Works
By John Greiner-Ferris
Directed by Jeffrey Mosser

Oct. 24 – Nov. 8, 2014
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
BPW on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) Dear crew of Turtles: What the heck was the squeaky noise we heard during the entirety of Act 1? I’m not particularly sensitive to repetitive noises but the sound of metal rubbing on metal kept pulling me out of the play.

Turtles is a play about single-Mom, Bella (Jackie Davis), and her two kids Foos (Lauren Foster) and Finn (Elle Borders). They are squatters living on/in garbage by a billboard advertising the next Rapture. They are surviving when Jesus, who may or may not be the magical zombie-savior of lore (Alexander Castillo-Nunez), falls into their laps. Jesus lacks any sort of social context (this dude could be anybody), gives no explanation for his presence, and has serious boundary issues. Yet, together they decide to move to Boston for its turtle sanctuary. Boston becomes a metaphorical sanctuary for all of them. Continue reading

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Oct 28

“Brewed”: Happy Medium Stirs the Pot

Credit: Debut Cinematic/Karen Ladany

Presented by Happy Medium Theatre Company
By T. Scott Barsotti
Directed by Mikey DiLoreto

October 24th-November 2nd, 2013
The Factory Theater
Boston, MA
Happy Medium on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston) Happy Medium Theatre and writer T. Scott Barsotti embrace the American gothic tradition with enthusiasm in Brewed. It’s a fully fleshed-out horror story with the bones of a family melodrama, a violent reaction to the ties that bind blood siblings.  The whose story is a creepy creature and a bleakly humorous outing for the Halloween season. Continue reading

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Feb 24

Melanie Garber’s Ephemeral Direction Of Dreams and Mysteries

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A Dream Play

Presented by Heart & Dagger Productions

By August Strindberg, Translated by Harry G. Carlson
Directed by Melanie Garber

February 22, 2013 to March 2, 2013
The Factory Theatre
791 Tremont Street, Boston

Directing Profile by Becca Kidwell

photo credit:  Drew Linehan

photo credit: Drew Linehan

Melanie Garber has a dancer’s sensibility of direction with Heart & Dagger Productions’ A Dream Play, but this is not a surprise.  She has shown this intricate direction in Actor’s Shakespeare Project’s Medea, Fresh Ink Theatre Company’s Priscilla Dreams The Answer, and Heart & Dagger’s Crave.  Not only does Ms. Garber make words come alive, but she also brings life to words. From the initial moments of each of the productions, she chooses specific, distinct movements that create the environment of the play. Continue reading

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Feb 18

Everything is Possible and Likely: A DREAM PLAY

Heart & Dagger Productions

presents

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Expecting the unexpected = sexy and you know it.

 

Heart & Dagger Productions plunge into their 3rd Season with A DREAM PLAY by August Strindberg.  The production opens February 22, 2013 at The Factory Theatre, Boston, MA.

Agnes, a daughter of the Vedic god Indra, descends to Earth to bear witness to problems of human beings. Following the logic of a dream in which characters merge, locations change in an instant and a locked door recurs obsessively-A DREAM PLAY is a potent mix of Freud plus Alice in Wonderland. “The characters split, double, multiply, evaporate, condense, dissolve and merge.”

Featuring:
Elizabeth Battey, Quentin James, Emily Kaye Lazzaro, Lauren Foster, Eric McGowan, Drew Linehan, Angel Veza, Michael Dix Thomas, Nicole Howard, Katie Drexel, Tony Dangerfield, Jenny Reagan, Erin Brehm, and Ryan Edlinger.

The world premiere of A DREAM PLAY was at The Swedish Theatre in 1907, six years after it was written. August Stringberg was a Swedish playwright, novelist, painter, and poet.  He is the playwright of The Father, Miss Julie, and The Ghost Sonata.  During the 1890s he spent significant time abroad engaged in scientific experiments and studies of the occult.  Strindberg died in 1912 at the age of 63. Continue reading

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Jan 30

“Everything Can Happen; Everything is Possible and Likely”

Heart & Dagger Productions

presents

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Heart & Dagger Productions plunge into their 3rd Season with A DREAM PLAY by August Strindberg.  The production opens February 22, 2013 at The Factory Theatre, Boston, MA.

Agnes, a daughter of the Vedic god Indra, descends to Earth to bear witness to problems of human beings. Following the logic of a dream in which characters merge, locations change in an instant and a locked door recurs obsessively-A DREAM PLAY is a potent mix of Freud plus Alice in Wonderland. “The characters split, double, multiply, evaporate, condense, dissolve and merge.”

Featuring:
Elizabeth Battey, Quentin James, Emily Kaye Lazzaro, Lauren Foster, Eric McGowan, Drew Linehan, Angel Veza, Michael Dix Thomas, Nicole Howard, Katie Drexel, Tony Dangerfield, Jenny Reagan, Erin Brehm, and Ryan Edlinger. Continue reading

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Dec 12

Happy Medium Theatre’s Playing Nice while Being Naughty

"You don't know what it's like to be the world's most famous victim."

“You don’t know what it’s like to be the world’s most famous victim.”

Happy Medium Theatre proudly presents:
THE EIGHT: REINDEER MONOLOGUES BY JEFF GOODE 
(A Staged Reading)

This staged reading will be performed on December 21st, 2012 at 8pm.
Democracy Center,45 Mount Auburn Street  Cambridge, MA 02138.

Happy Medium Theatre Facebook Page

A dark, dark Christmas comedy. Scandal erupts at the North Pole when one of Santa’s eight tiny reindeer accuses him of sexual harassment. As mass media descends upon the event, the other members of the sleigh team demand to share their perspectives, and a horrific tale of corruption and perversion emerges, which seems to implicate everyone from the littlest elf to the tainted Saint himself. With each deer’s confession, the truth behind the shocking allegations becomes clearer and clearer. …and murkier and murkier. Continue reading

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Jun 11

Happy Medium Theatre’s The American Plan

The American Plan by Richard Greenberg, Happy Medium Theatre Company, Factory Theatre, 6/8/12-6/16/12, http://www.happymediumtheatre.com/.

Feature by Gillian Daniels

Happy Medium Theatre’s The American Plan starts off light.

Set during an early-1960’s summer, a young couple meet cute and begin a hesitant courtship near a resort in the Catskill Mountains.  The first act sets up initially simple obstacles, mysterious pasts and disapproving parents.  By the second act, the play finally bears its teeth, revealing far more bile for the age than its nostalgic exterior would suggest. Continue reading

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