May 20

You’re Very Cute When You Say ‘Snacks’: A Virtual Presentation of “Eyes Shut. Door Open.”

A virtual presentation over Zoom 
May 18, 2020, 7:30PM
A fundraiser and awareness campaign for The Phoenix Sober Community
Please donate to the campaign HERE

Written by Cassie M. Seinuk
Directed by Christopher Randolph
Sound design by Patrick Greene
Turner played by Michael Underhill
Johanna played by Melissa deJesus
Palmer played by Eliott Purcell
Stage Directions by Alex Leondedis

Critique by Kitty Drexel

ZOOM — I reviewed Eyes Shut. Door Open. four years ago at Warehouse XI in Somerville, MA. This response to the May 18 reading does not supersede the 2016 critique. It exists in addition to it. It is critical to examine theatre’s adaptation to online performance.

One of the new rules of Zooming is to make your bed. If you insist on streaming from your bedroom, make your bed. Anyone watching you is already judging you on your household aesthetics (or lack thereof). Inviting viewers into your bedroom means sharing an intimate part of you. They will imagine you in that naughtily unmade bed. They will see your unwashed sheets and rumpled comforter and judge your hygiene. Better to make your bed than to feed the trolls. Never feed the trolls.

Speaking of rules. Necessity is forcing actors to develop new techniques for online streaming. Monday’s performance of Eyes Shut. Door Open revealed some mighty useful technical skills in its performers and sound technician. There was a lot to learn from this reading. Continue reading

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Mar 23

Book Release and Online Event:”There Must Be Happy Endings” by Megan Sandberg-Zakian is Released Today!

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

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Oct 28

“Tomes of Terror: Beyond Grimm”

Presented by the Post-Meridian Radio Players
“A Hare-Raising Tale” by Naomi Hinchen, directed by J. Deschene
“The Myling” by Adrian Cory, directed by Tegan Kehoe
“The Boy Who Drew Cats” by Greg Lam, directed by Laura Corliss
“La Siguanaba” by Liz Salazar, directed by Joye Thaller

October 25th – November 2, 2019
Boston Brunch Church (formerly Responsible Grace)
204 Elm Street, Somerville, MA
PMRP on Facebook

Review by Piyali Mukherjee

(Somerville, MA) On Friday night, the Post Meridian Radio Players presented their Tomes of Terror: Beyond Grimm dramatized radio show at the Boston Brunch Church. The stories, collected from Norway, Ireland, Japan and Honduras, were presented as a show-case. The show provided a visual spectacle with a visible foley team and all actors in costume. Continue reading

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Sep 26

An Interview with Veronica Barron on “All Together Now #10”

Presented by All Together Now.
Saturday, October 5, 2019
Doors at 6 PM, Show at 7:00 PM

The Burren
Somerville, MA
Tickets
ATB on Facebook

Interview by Noelani Kamelamela

(Somerville, MA) Veronica Barron is a creator and performer in the Boston area.  On October 5 at 7 p.m., Barron will perform in All Together Now #10 at The Burren in Davis Square with Just Felice, Amanda Shea, and Honey Cutt.

As a singer, composer, actor, choreographer, dancer, musician, clown and puppet artist, Barron said she has been focused on creating work that examines the feminine experience and makes use of common, seemingly mundane and fragile materials to explore the limits of storytelling.  Continue reading

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Aug 26

Prison is a Place: “Cherry Docs”

The cast; Photo by Tenneh Sillah.

Presented by Acropolis Stage Company
By David Gow
Directed by Evan Turissini
Law practice consultation by Will Korman
Judaism & culture consultation by Becky Price

August 23 – September 1, 2019
The Rockwell
255 Elm Street
Somerville, MA 02144
Acropolis Stage on Facebook 

Critique by Kitty Drexel

This critique contains minor spoilers. 

Trigger warning: depictions of violence, domestic terrorism, racism, hate speech, panic attacks, white fragility

(Somerville, MA) Cherry Docs may be the most relevant-to-our-times production this theatre season. Other area-productions will claim to be relevant (storytelling often is) but they won’t attack the western world’s ongoing white, male, hetero, cis problem like David Gow’s play. Gow even offers solutions to the problems that our white men create for us. The script isn’t perfect, but it does offer the victims of predatory, toxic male behavior a way out. Cherry Docs a more compassionate play than is credited.  Continue reading

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Jun 28

Tranquility isn’t Bliss: “Reagan Esther Myer”

Photo taken by the Queen Geek; oh look, a room full of nightmares.

Presented by Rebecca Kopycinski
Mixing and video art by Michael Dewberry

June 27 – 30, 2019
Center for the Arts at the Armory
191 Highland Ave
Somerville, MA
Instagram It

Critique by Kitty Drexel

 “WARNING! You exhibit symptoms of a glitched ThotBot. An ULTRA Operative has been deployed to reboot your operating system. Avoid contact with other Bots until you have been successfully rebooted.”  – ThotBot.me, http://thotbot.me/glitch.html on 6/28/2019.

SOMERVILLE, Mass. — The ThotBot Implantation Center fliers are all over Camberville. An acquaintance assumed they were for a cult. No, they are for Reagan Esther Myer, a one-woman, multimedia, performance art concert about a dystopian future in which The Ultra leads through thought-control and nearly all human brains rely on tech to retain peace of mind. In these days of Texas concentration camps and selling your gold for cash, this science fiction drama isn’t at all far fetched.    Continue reading

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May 22

An Alternate Tyranny and Timeline in Handel’s “Silla”


Presented by The Cambridge Chamber Ensemble
Music by G.F. Handel
Libretto by Giacomo Rossi
Music Directed by Juliet Cunningham
Stage Directed by Ingrid Oslund
Produced/Executive Direction/Translation by Martha Birnbaum
Rossana Chung, violin
Rob Bethel, violincello
Lisa Putukian, oboe
Juliet Cunningham, harpsichord
May 17 – May 19, 2019
Warehouse IX
Somerville, MA
The Cambridge Chamber Ensemble on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Somerville, MA) Roselin Osser as Silla has the wild eyes, swagger, and exquisite cheekbones of a villain as he dominates the stage. In this alternate version of 2019, the Roman Republic is alive and well and Silla, after a successful military campaign, announces that he plans to rule as Perpetual Dictator of Rome. The reporters are horrified. Silla’s wife, Metella (the hilarious Theresa Egan) grits her teeth and stands by her man. As Silla begins to openly lust after other women and jail his political enemies, however, Melania–I mean, Metella, yes, begins to wonder just how much her loyalty to a tyrant husband is worth. Continue reading

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Mar 18

Apply Anointment Directly to Area: “Burning”


Presented by
Theatre@First
By Ginger Lazarus
Directed by Andrea Humez
Fight choreography by Nathan Johnson
Makeup/Blood by Meg Boeni

March 15 – 23, 2019
Unity Somerville
6 William Street
Somerville, MA
T@F on Facebook

Critique by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warning: domestic violence, victim blaming

(Somerville, MA) It’s very simple. If a man* cannot talk to a woman** then that man* isn’t good enough for that woman**. Effective communication is the foundation of any relationship. Anything less than efficacy will cause the relationship to fail. Burning is about how one such relationship failed more than just a pair of lovers.  Continue reading

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May 03

Meet the Producer: An Interview with The Startup’s Elisha Siegel

An Interview with Elisha Siegel
Presented by Boston Chai Party
Foundation Kitchen
Somerville, MA
The Startup on Facebook

By Diana Lu

(Somerville, MA) When the words “Boston” and “startup” are used in the same sentence, most people think of software or biotech. However, Boston has also been a long-time incubator for some of the best comedy of this generation. Countless internationally famous comedians have cut their teeth at local institutions, such as The Comedy Studio and Comedy Connection. Today, the local comedy community is as welcoming as it is thriving—I recently heard a heartwarming story in which a young man who was interested in comedy visited a newly opened theater, and the theater manager let him in, took him in front of the empty theater, and just lit the spotlight for him, because he had never been onstage before. There are more theaters, shows, and open mics now, and in more areas of the city, than ever before. New performers have every opportunity to try telling jokes for the first time in their lives, while veteran comics march on creating, experimenting, and developing their unique voices, as well as producing independent shows. Audiences only need to Google “comedy Boston” for a slew of high-quality options to choose from on any given night of the week. Continue reading

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Oct 25

“The Werewolf”: Supernatural Melodrama is Split Open to Reveal Howling Good Time

Photo credit: Sara Haugland; a werewolf, extra fluffy.

Presented by WholeTone Opera 
Based on Le Loup-Garou by Louise Bertin
Fresh Libretto by Teri Kowiak & J. Deschene
New Music by Molly Preston

October 20—31st
The Rockwell in Davis Sq, Somerville
255 Elm Street, Somerville, MA 02144
The Werewolf on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Davis Square, Somerville, MA) The Werewolf fooled me. Genuinely fooled me. I don’t know if that was its intention, but it did. It begins wholly in the realm of operatic convention. Alice (Jeila Irdmusa/Katie O’Reilly) wanders through the dark woods, possibly beset by something terrible. She meets her sisters, played by Nathalie Andrade, Elizabeth Clutts, Brooke Dircks, and Rebecca Wright, and they frolic. Then she encounters a handsome young man (played fantastically by Andy Troska through out the play) and they, well, also frolic, though in a much more suggestive way. Then we jump forward to Alice and her sisters preparing for her wedding, where Bertrand (Nick Stevens) reveals a werewolf (or loup-garou) is on the loose and the charming, flamboyant Vincent (Von Bringhurst/Nora Maynard) is referred to as a man of “unusual tastes,” everyone starts kissing each other, and the ethereal aura of the beginning collapses into a riotous comedy of errors with supernatural elements and a prominent queer subplot. Continue reading

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