If you’ve never seen theater in the making, this is a great opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes in the creative process, as well as meet a contingent of Boston actors, directors, and playwrights collected together for a weekend of work.
In the last year, some days I found myself riding a bus between Boston and New York sometimes two and three times a week, unless I slept on my daughter’s couch in Brooklyn or sprung for a cheap (by NYC standards) hotel room in the Village, all to do development work on short pieces with The Glass Eye Theater. The discomfort was outweighed by the incredible insight and growth my plays went through with the extraordinarily talented ensemble from Fresh Produced, ending with a single night’s fun-filled production of the work in the Arthur Seleen Theater in the basement of The Drama Bookshop. Yes, artists will travel to the ends of the earth—not that NYC is the ends of the earth by any stretch—by bus if they have to, to bring life to their creations. And more than once while staring through a dirty window on a bus with crappy wi-fi did I wonder, why do I have to get on a bus to New York to do this? Why couldn’t I just get on the T in Boston and do development work?
Playwrights in Boston are starting to take matters into their own hands. Starting tonight, Interim Writers, a writing group that I’m a part of, will be gathering in the Democracy Center in Harvard Square for a “Playcation”—a weekend-long workshopping of our work with directors, actors, and dramaturges, culminating with 20-minute presentations on Sunday night of each playwright's work. This weekend, the work of Barbara Blumenthal-Ehrlich, Kevin Mullins, Laura Neubauer, and Brendon Doris-Pierce will be workshopped, with the rest of Accomplices—the name Interim Writer gives its fellows—acting as dramaturges.
You can draw a direct line from Interim Writers to Boston Public Works because Kevin and I and Max Mondi, who was part of the early planning of Boston Public Works but who has since moved to New York, all met as Accomplices, and all three of us expressed the desire to self-produce, taking the work we were doing with Interim Writers to the next level. Seven of the ten playwrights in Boston Public Works are Accomplices who accepted our invitation to join us (Two had moved to the NYC area and one had scheduling conflicts.)
Jess Foster, P5, who is organizing the event, which, if you don’t know anything about theater and theaterfolk, should be awarded a well-deserved playcation herself once the three days are complete, said, "These plays are very much in progress and are a raw, early look at a play's process that audiences don't often get to see. The hope is that these plays will surface in the next couple of years as full productions around Boston and people will be able to say they were part of the early development."
Sunday, March 2, 2014
The Democracy Center
45 Mt. Auburn Street