“It will always be impossible to know, for the good reason that all writing is itself this special voice, consisting of several indiscernible voices, and that literature is precisely the invention of this voice, to which we cannot assign a specific origin: literature is that neuter, that composite, that oblique into which every subject escapes, the trap where all identity is lost, beginning with the very identity of the body that writes.”
– From The Death of the Author by Roland Barthes
BOSTON, Mass. — In watching SpeakEasy’s production of The Sound Inside, I was reminded of Roland Barthes’ infamous essay, The Death of the Author. The Death of the Author is an essay that argues for stripping an author’s intentions and personal biography from a reader’s interpretation of their writing. A reader should separate the author from their art.
Barthes says writing is intended to be read by others. Regardless of the author’s intentions, the reader will formulate their own understanding of the work. The reader’s interpretation is no less valid than the author’s. Continue reading →
“Pass Over” Written by Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu Directed in Boston by Monica White Ndounou, January 3 – February 2, 2020 Directed in New York by Danya Taymor August Wilson Theatre 245 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019 Tickets on sale now
Article by Kitty Drexel
NEW YORK, NY and BOSTON, Mass.– Broadway stopped all activity in March 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic closed indoor entertainment venues across the nation.
Thirty-one plays and musicals were running before the shutdown, including eight new shows in previews. An additional eight productions were in rehearsals and preparing to open in the spring the Broadway League said. COVID-19 closed them all.
BOSTON — Fourteen theatre companies in the Greater Boston area will require proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test for all artists, staff members, and audiences as live, indoor performances resume for the 2021/2022 season, said a press release dated August 19. Masks are also required.
The list of participating theatres is below.
The press release said that these policies begin immediately and remain valid through October 31. Policies are per CDC guidelines and will be reevaluated as COVID-19 pandemic evolves.
“Proof of vaccination may include showing either a vaccination card, a photo of the card, or a digital vaccine record (through an app such as Bindle at www.joinbindle.com/people),” said the press release. Audience members without proof of vaccination will be required to show proof of a recent negative COVID test before entering.
Individual theatres will list specific protocols and guidelines on their websites. At this time, New England Theatre Geek has received protocol updates from the Huntington Theatre Company, SpeakEasy Stage Company, and Central Square Theater in addition to the joint press release from the fourteen theatres.
The New England Theatre Geek eagerly awaits updates from other New England performing institutions. “We are reluctant to attend or review indoor performances by organizations that do not enact similar protocols and safety measures,” said Queen Geek Kitty Drexel.
“Our primary mission is to support our theatre community. We cannot do that if organizations aren’t first taking the necessary steps to protect their staff, crew and casts. Audience members can’t make informed decisions if they aren’t assured the community’s health is a priority.”
The June 2021 results of the ArtsBoston Audience Outlook Monitor survey said that 73% of audiences plan to resume indoor performances by Sept 2021. Audience Outlook Monitor is a longitudinal survey to keep tabs on arts attendees thoughts, concerns and intentions as the pandemic and the state’s reopening guidelines evolve, said ArtsBoston.com.
The 14 theatre joint press release said that the most recent round of Audience Outlook Monitor survey data (collected August 9 – 13, 202) found that 80% of respondents indicated that proof of vaccination would make them more likely to attend indoor events. 50% said that proof of vaccination or negative COVID test is a prerequisite for their attendance. 98% of respondents reported being fully vaccinated or planning to do so.
Theatres in New York City, Washington, DC, and Chicago have established similar policies requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test and mask wearing.
It is good practice to stay home if experiencing COVID symptoms on the day of the performance. Common symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, muscle or body aches, new loss of taste or smell.
Presented by Speakeasy Stage Company Written by Fabiola R. Decius, Adriana RoCale, Nico Pang, Hortense Gerardo, Paige Monopoli, and Magda Romanska Performed by Cheryl Singleton, Garciela Femenia, Jupiter Lê, Paige Clark, Gigi Watson, and Darya Denisova Directed by Dawn M. Simmons, Michelle Aguillon, Desire Bennett, Michelle Ambila, Alex Lonati, and Dmitry Troyanovsky
ONLINE — Celebrating the unique identities and experiences that make up the city of Boston, Speakeasy presents The Boston Project: Project Resilience. Showcasing six original plays by Boston local playwrights, Project Resilience is part of Speakeasy’s initiative in supporting the creation of new play development set in Boston.Continue reading →
Tah-Janay Shayoñe as Sally in SpeakEasy’s “TJ Loves Sally 4 Ever”
Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company Written by James Ijames Directed by Pascale Florestal In Partnership with Boston Conservatory at Berklee Video Production by Wesley Verge Lighting Design by Aja Jackson Costume Design by Rachel Padula-Shufelt Sound Design & Music by David Freeman Coleman Choreography by Kira Cowan Troilo Featuring: Dru Sky Berrian, Jordan Pearson, Tah-Janay Shayoñe, Sadiyah Dyce Stephens, Jared Troilo
SpeakEasy Stage’s CONTENT ADVISORY: TJ Loves Sally 4 Ever contains scenes involving strong language, sexual harassment, slavery, and Black trauma. Viewer discretion is advised.
NETG Advisory: TJ Loves Sally 4 Ever also features an adult white man in academia who knows better making an absolute fool of himself to appear young and cool to attract a woman. If you’re offended by the portrayal of this character’s antics, you may know or be that white man. Get help.
Review by Kitty Drexel
VIMEO — Thomas Jefferson, US founding father, raped Sally Hemings. They weren’t in love. She wasn’t his mistress. Hemings was a slave without autonomy. She was raped repeatedly and mothered seven children by Jefferson. An owned person can’t give consent.
TJ Loves Sally 4 Ever put this #MeToo epidemic and holds it under a microscope of history by comparing it to Thomas Jefferson’s ownership of Sally Hemings. Play character Sally (Tah-Janay Shayoñe looking like Janet Jackson in Poetic Justicereincarnated) is a university fellow of smarmy university administrator TJ (Jared Troilo). TJ won’t let Sally’s “nos” get in the way of his orgasm. She is supported by her best friends and historic voices of reason Pam (Dru Sky Berrian) and Annette (Sadiyah Dyce Stephens). Meanwhile study buddy Harold (Jordan Pearson) is challenging the university’s legacy of slavery one protest at a time. These students are trying to get an education that includes them. TJ can’t understand he isn’t cool anymore. Continue reading →
Stacy Fischer pretty in pink as Trisha Lee in “The Pink Unicorn.”
Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
Written by Elise Forier Edie
Directed by M. Bevin O’Gara
Featuring Stacy Fischer
Video production design by Ari Herzig
Music by John-Allison Weiss
Dialect coaching by D’Arcy Dersham
Post-show Panel: “Learning the Impact of Language” Panelists: Taj M. Smith (he/him), Katie Omberg (she/they), Mx. Chris Paige (they/them), Leo Austin-Spooner (he/they)
March 5-18, 2021
The performance is available to stream
RUN TIME: 80 minutes, followed by a post-show panel discussion exploring the themes of the play
SpeakEasy on Facebook
Critique by Kitty Drexel
SpeakEasy Stage’s Content Advisory: “The Pink Unicornfollows one mother’s journey to accept her genderqueer teenager. In telling this story, this play contains multiple instances of transphobia and misgendering as well as ableist and fatphobic language.”
VIMEO — If it takes a white person to reach a white person on issues of racial inequity (it does), then one could reason that it takes a cis-hetero person to reach a cis-hetero person on issues of gender diversity. I’m not saying that these issues are at all equal. Hardly. What I am saying is that the compassionate tactics of one righteous cause will work on another equally as valiant cause.
SpeakEasy presents The Pink Unicorn through March 18. It is about a mother, Trisha Lee (Stacy Fischer in an endearing performance), coming to terms with her teenager’s genderqueer identity. Trisha is sharing her story through the virtual family and faith summit series, Walking Together. She sits at her kitchen table, sips tea and tells the anecdotes that culminate in her acceptance of her beloved child, Jo. Continue reading →
Orson Welles, 1938. Shown in rehearsal, standing, center background: director Orson Welles; seated, right: composer Bernard Herrmann NB: directing his Mercury Theatre of the Air troupe, such as created panic on the CBS radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds, October 30, 1938
Article by Kitty Drexel
The pandemic has sparked a greater interest in radio drama.
In May, the New York Times shared a great article by Alexis Soloski that named multiple Broadway podcast radio shows called “For Your Ears Only: Broadway’s New Stage Is a Mic.” It references the Great Depression (as we head into another recession), quotes recording actors like James Monroe Iglehart, and then details their podcast projects.
Kelli O’Hara, Annaleigh Ashford, Iglehart, and others answer pertinent questions such as “How do you develop a character using just your voice?” Their answers are excellent advice to actors making podcast theatre during the pandemic. It’s a good read. Continue reading →
The New England Theatre Geek believes that BIPOC Lives will continue to matter when it’s no longer popular to mass media or convenient to white people.
As the weeks go by, we will share resources as we are made aware of them to them. StageSource has a brilliant anti-racism list. Check it out HERE.
Resources for Anti-Racist Action May-June 2020 – “This list was sourced from countless activists and information sharers. We thank you. It was created to support action and organizing for white-identified folks within the artEquity alumni network, so some resources speak specifically to white folks. However, EVERYONE is welcomed to utilize and share anything that is useful to your actions and organizing.” (quoted from the document)
Front Porch Collective Black Composer Minature Challenge presented by Castle of our Skins Friday June 19 @ 12:00 PM | via Instagram Live Composer Shannon Shea will be presenting the world premiere of “Hannah Elias II” performed by Castle of our Skins Executive & Artistic Director and violaist Ashleigh Gordon on the COOS Facebook and Instagram at noon. Part of their weekly 30-second Black Composer Miniature Challenge, be sure to tune in on time…or you might miss it!
Juneteenth: A Community Celebration presented by BAMS Fest & Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Friday June 19 @ 4:00 – 7:00 PM | via Facebook Live & YouTube Join BAMS Fest for the MFA’s annual (virtual) Juneteenth celebration to honor the contributions of Black creatives, scholars, and artists to the City of Boston. We have curated two amazing artists, Debo Ray and DJ Where’s Nasty to to celebrate all things Black and joyful.
Fresh Ink Theatre — Presents a digital reading of MAIDEN VOYAGE. Written by Cayenne Douglass. Directed by Liz Fenstermaker Available online, June 8 – 14, 2020. REGISTER to view the performance In solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, we will be donating 50% of the proceeds from the reading through June 14th to two organizations:Violence in BostonandBlack and Pink. Thank you for joining us in supporting these organizations, and for championing new work by local writers during this time of social distancing!
Liars & Believers — Macbeth Trailer by Liars & BelieversAmid isolation, dislocation, and digital absorbtion… desire and ethic, madness and reason tear each other apart. This is Shakespeare’s classic tragedy – TODAY. Using social distance and the tools at hand, we’ve reimagined theatre in Pandemia! We’ve broken this 5-act tragedy into short weekly episodes.
Luminarium Dance — This week’s TEN4TEN performance takes viewers back to Luminarium’s 2014 feature production The Sleeprunner, which transformed the Multicultural Arts Center space into a dynamic dream world for a two-week sold-out run. Sensical to quirky, humorous to dark, come engage in a full night’s journey told through dance, with gorgeous costumes designed by Sueann Leung.
Puppet Showplace Theater — Puppet Showplace Theater is excited to announce a new grant and virtual summer residency program for Black puppeteers and artists working in the field of puppetry. Inquiries from interested applicants across the U.S. are welcome. The deadline to apply is June 27th. APPLY 5 selected artists will receive $1,000 grants to support the research and development of original puppetry projects during summer 2020. Puppet Showplace Theater will facilitate community-building among members of the grantee cohort and will create opportunities for artists to support and learn from each other while sharing works in progress. The residency will conclude with an invited virtual public sharing of the work or work-in-progress.
Apollinaire Theatre Company — Apollinaire at Home announces the special event: Queer Soup’s Mal Malme and The Invasion of Pleasure Valley. Queer Soup Theater’s Mal Malme and members of the original cast of The Invasion of Pleasure Valley join Apollinaire at Home next Thursday, May 21st to revisit their early campy hit.
ArtsEmerson — ArtsEmerson is thrilled to announce that renowned musician, composer, producer, and activist Toshi Reagon is launching Parable Path Boston, based on the tenets of Octavia E. Butler’s novel The Parable of the Sower. Parable Path Boston will kick-off on Friday evening, May 22 with a one-night-only streaming event, the centerpiece of which is a full presentation of Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower: The Concert Experience.
To access any or all of the May 22 online events, please visit ParablePathBoston.com.
Central Square Theater — “ART IS OUR ACTIVISM – Online Series,” is a series of online play readings, Central Conversations, and educational programs specifically designed to engage audiences in a conversation for the here and now. Wild Goose Dreams
By Hansol Jung. Directed by Debra Wise Monday, May 18 at 7PM on Facebook Live! Presented by Underground Railway at Central Square Theater
A Conversation with Sherry Turkle & Sarah Shin Thursday, May 21 at 7PM on Zoom & Facebook Live!
Join Dr. Sherry Turkle, a researcher of human relationships with technology, and Sarah Shin, a co-founder of Asian American Theatre Artists of Boston, for a conversation about Wild Goose Dreams. Dr. Turkle will discuss how technology supports and inhibits connection in the play, while Ms. Shin will speak to the Korean cultural aspects.
Much Ado About Nothing
By William Shakespeare. Directed by Eric Tucker Monday, May 25 at 6PM on Zoom & Facebook Live! Presented by Bedlam
By Ella Ford. Directed by Cassie Chapados. Monday, June 29 at 7PM on Facebook Live! Presented by The Nora at Central Square Theater
Classic Stage Company — Classic Conversations continues on CSC’s Facebook page every Thursday at 6PM. Follow and Subscribe to watch every premiere Thursdays at 6pm.
Tony Nominee, Ethan Slater, Thurs. May 21 at 6pm, Spongebob Squarepants, Fosse/Verdon
Steven Pasquale, Thurs. May 28 at 6pm, The Bridges of Madison Country, American Son
Bianca Horn, Thurs. June 4 at 6pm, The Great Comet, The Awesome 80s Prom
Luminarium Dance Company — Luminarium continues to present its TEN4TEN Performance Series celebrating its tenth anniversary season with curated shows every two weeks, highlighting its award-winning repertory spanning 2010 to present. This week’s online performance features early examples of Luminarium Dance Company’s interdisciplinary take on community engagement. Enjoy choreographic collaborations that go “beyond dance” with the New England Quilt Museum (2013) and the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (2015).
Luminarium Dance Company & Monkeyhouse are thrilled to produce the seventh 24-Hour ChoreoFest!
SATURDAY, MAY 23
12-8pm: Live-streamed creation period & interviews
8pm: Live-streamed performance
Liars & Believers — LAB presents Ted & Marie by Joy Besozzi. It is live on its Pandemic Play page.
Coming Up: LAB has 3 shows in the pipeline, a big project gearing up, and a new experiment percolating.Plus several friends are creating shows and doing concerts. As long as this goes on, we’ll keep making art and sharing with you great things we find.
Merrimack Repertory Theatre — Merrimack Repertory Theatre’s professional training program for high school students, the MRT Young Company, goes virtual this year with classes online from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for three weeks, July 13-31. Renowned Chicago educator, director, and actor Robert Cornelius returns to lead the intensive.
The rate is $450 per person for the full course. Past Young Company participants may register for only $350. To register, visit www.mrt.org/youngcompany or call the Box Office at 978-654-4678. The program requires a laptop or tablet and internet access; if needed, MRT will provide technical support for any student.
Open Theatre Project — Week 3 of the OTP Community Write. On Monday, featured playwright Nick Malakhow chose “Communication/Miscommunication” and “New Rituals” to inspire our community’s writing this week. Performed by Alissa Cordeiro, Erik McGowan, Dave DiLillo, and Tasha Matthews. PANDEMIC-MONUIM by Bob Williams with Dave DiLillo Home Not Alone by Judith Black with Tasha Matthews Talk To You by Nick Malakhow with Alissa Cordeiro & Erik McGowan
Silverthorne Theater Company — Silverthorne Theater Company presents Days of Possibilities by Rich Orloff. Streaming now-June 4. <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/WXc9WmKAjXc” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>
SpeakEasy Stage Company — Beginning Wednesday, May 20 at 5PM, is a five-week half-hour series offering an insider’s guide to the five shows making up SpeakEasy’s 2020-2021 Season, which is also the company’s 30th Anniversary year. Those interested can join by tuning into SpeakEasy’s Facebook page for each live 30-minute Q&A session. The schedule of shows and artists is as follows: Once On This Island – Wednesday, May 20, 5:00-5:30pm; Artists present: Director Pascale Florestal, Music Director David Freeman Coleman People, Places & Things – Wednesday, May 27, 5:00-5:30pm – Artists present: Director David R. Gammons, Actress Marianna Bassham, Actor John Kuntz Slave Play – Wednesday, June 3, 5:00-5:30pm; Artist present: Director Tiffany Nichole Greene Bright Star – Wednesday, June 10, 5:00-5:30pm; Artists present: Director Paul Daigneault, Actress Laura Marie Duncan, Choreographer Misha Shields, Music Director Eli Schildekraut The Inheritance – Wednesday, June 17, 5:00-5:30pm; Artist present: Director Paul Daigneault
Announcing the SpeakEasy Play Discussion Club – a weekly discussion surrounding some of today’s most exciting scripts! Join SpeakEasy staff and artists for an online conversation about the play’s major themes and impact on the American theatre canon.For this series of plays, the theme is Celebrating Contemporary Female Voices:
Introduction Session or “Play Reading 101: A How-To Guide” An optional resource for those interested in the tips and tricks of play reading!
Thursday, May 21 from 5:00 – 5:30pm (Sign Up Here)
WEEK TWO: Cost of Living by Martyna Majok
Thursday, May 28 from 5:30 – 6:30pm (Sign Up Here)
WEEK THREE: Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee
Thursday, June 4 from 5:30 – 6:30pm (Sign Up Here)
WEEK FOUR: DIASPORA! by Phaedra Michelle Scott
Developed through SpeakEasy’s The Boston Project
Thursday, June 11 from 5:30 – 6:30 (Sign Up Here)
WEEK FIVE: Wild Goose Dreams by Hansol Jung
Thursday, June 18 from 5:30 – 6:30pm (Sign Up Here)
“You have a choice, don’t you, exactly, at our age which is that you slow down, melt into your slippers, start ordering front fastening bras out of Sunday supplements, or you make a committed choice to keep moving you know because you have to think: This is not the end of our lives but a new and exciting chapter.” – Hazel, The Children by Lucy Kirkwood
Boston, MA — Science fiction is about how humans interact with each other and the world amidst scientific and/or technological changes. Without getting into the nitty-gritty details of what is and isn’t science fiction, The Children is science fiction theatre. It has a lot to offer to everyone: science fiction enthusiasts will see themselves represented on the stage; science fiction cynics will see scientists as people. Everyone will see a great play by Lucy Kirkwood. Continue reading →