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Saturday, May 12, 2012

BTM XIV: The Warm-Up Laps

It’s difficult to believe that BTM weekend is just a week away, isn’t it? Here’s a look at the three plays that will be featured in next Saturday’s Warm-Up Laps readings. Presented in association with the Boston Center for the Arts, each of these new works is supported by one of the BCA’s resident companies. The Warm-Up Laps are free and open to the public; seating is limited and based upon availability. 

Check ‘em out.

The Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts
527 Tremont Street, Boston
Saturday, May 19

Joshua Faigen
12 p.m.
A Book of Snow by Joshua Faigen
Supported by SpeakEasy Stage Company, directed by Scott Edmiston

In A Book of Snow Vera and George, a couple in mid-marriage, manage a small and painful triumph. Winter provides the backdrop as the two characters try to understand what it means to live with each other in and out of love. In some ways, the play ends in the same place it starts; in other ways it doesn’t.

What inspired this piece?
I am a book of snow,
a spacious hand, an open meadow,
a circle that waits,
I belong to the earth and its winter.
- Pablo Neruda, Winter Garden

Joshua Faigen’s plays have received awards and productions in Buffalo, Winston-Salem, Hollywood, Providence, Boston, and St. Louis. Most recently, A Book of Snow won the Newburyport (Ma.) 2012 Firehouse New Works Festival. Josh lives in Newburyport with his wife, noted singer and teacher Penny Lazarus, and his two sons Adlai (currently studying theater tech in California) and Max.

Steven Bogart
2 p.m.
The Last Skywriter in the Universe by Steven Bogart
Supported by Company One, directed by Victoria Marsh

A mother struggles with her son's terminal illness and discovers the power of his imagination.

What inspired this piece? The piece came after several difficult losses over the past two years. I was all bottled up with grief and needed to write something through it. The play came out of this need, and also from the support and encouragement I received from Kate Snodgrass, Amy Attaway, Gary Garrison, and Cathy Norgren at the Kennedy Center Playwriting intensive last Summer. 

Steven Bogart is a playwright, stage director, teacher and visual artist, and is an artist-in-residence at Southern New Hampshire University and adjunct professor at Emerson College. His plays have performed in Boston, NYC, and Chicago. He leads workshops in collaborative playwriting around the state of Massachusetts and has created over 50 workshop theatre pieces. He lives with his wife Amory in Maynard, Massachusetts.

James McLindon
4 p.m.
Comes a Faery by James McLindon
Supported by the Huntington Theatre Company, directed by Vicki Schairer

A single mother deployed overseas in an endless war. Her little girl left with a less-than-willing aunt. A cantankerous Irish fairy who may or may not have escaped from a favorite storybook. Has he come to keep the lonely child company…or steal her soul?

What inspired this piece? Three things. First, I have long wanted to write a play in which an Irish fairy figured prominently: not a Lucky Charms leprechaun, but rather a dark, mercurial and ultimately very dangerous fairy that Irish country people of 150 years ago would have recognized...and deeply feared. Second, the problem of single parenthood in our military is a real and largely unaddressed one. I think of it as merely one more manifestation (like funding tax cuts through the evisceration of social programs) that many of us are all too happy to let someone else’s sacrifice solve our national problems. This play examines some untalked-about casualties of our adventurism of the past decade: the children of our military personal and their family members who must somehow care for and parent them for the duration. Third, I love the challenge of taking material this potentially grim, and finding the veins of comedy that run through it. This play is a drama, but one laden with humor.

James McLindon is a New Voices Playwriting Fellow at the New Rep in Boston. His plays have been produced or developed at theaters across America including the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, hotINK Festival, Irish Repertory, Samuel French Festival, Lark, PlayPenn, Victory Gardens, Hudson Stage Company, Abingdon, New Repertory, Lyric Stage, Detroit Rep, Great Plains Theatre Conference, and Seven Devils. They have been published by Dramatic Publishing and Smith & Kraus.

And of course we hope you’ll join us on Sunday, May 20 for Boston Theater Marathon XIV. Click here for tickets and complete event details. See you there!

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