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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Old Friends and New in 'Deported'

Artistic Director, Kate Snodgrass
Folks, we're finally at the Modern Theatre over near the Opera House for our upcoming production of Deported / a dream play by Joyce Van Dyke, and directed by Judy Braha.  Marc trucked the set from BPT over to the Modern yesterday, and he is over there now rebuilding, hanging lights, setting up sound equipment, et al., in readiness for the technical rehearsals beginning this coming weekend.  We open next Thursday, March 8, in previews!  I'm so thankful to finally be in the space where we can begin to really explore this important and exciting piece of theatre.  It's our last production in our 30th anniversary season, and I'm sad to see this season end. However, it's going out with a bang!

We have brought together many old friends and new to celebrate our 30 years of new work, and we’re especially happy to be working again with the lovely and talented Joyce Van Dyke (Love In The Gulf, 1996; A Girl’s War, 2001; The Oil Thief, 2008). I am honored that she has trusted us with this play in particular, founded as it is in her personal family history.  We want to do her proud.

Joyce's and Judy Braha's three-year long collaboration is culminating in this production.  Judy directed Joyce’s Elliot Norton Award-winning The Oil Thief at BPT several years ago.  (I feel like a matchmaker of sorts.) It’s a playwrights’ dream to find a director with the same world vision, and Joyce and Judy (I call them “Juice”) have the same strong, collaborative spirit. 

The play has had a long gestation period, and this is as it should be since it began as a “true” story and has transformed into an imaginative “dream” state.  Yes, it is a difficult story, but it is an important one that must be told.  Joyce has let the story take a shape all its own—a non-linear stream of consciousness that makes emotional sense first, and logical sense afterward.  I am in love with how the back-story and tensions of the Armenian/Turkish century-old battle and its aftermath build until finally all of us are touched by the universality of this journey.

We are cooperating with the mighty Marilyn Plotkins, her wonderful staff at The Modern Theatre at Suffolk University, and her gifted actors, directors, and dramaturges.  It has been an honor to work with all of them.  And the Modern Theatre, in its beauty and intimacy, is the perfect theatre space to explore this Armenian dream in all its glory.  

We want to continue our Founder Derek Walcott’s vision in his stead—a theatre about playwrights, for playwrights, and run by playwrights.  Deported/a dream play is everything Derek hoped for when he began our theatre, and I hope that you'll all come to see this extraordinary vision.

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