Boston Theater Marathon

12 May

My first marathon! Thank god it didn’t involve sweaty lycra and puffing around. Nice to see my little play ALL SOULS’ DAY on stage again with an 11 year old boy performing in it. Caitlin Lowans (Stoneham Theater) directed.

In logistical terms alone, the Boston Theater Marathon is an amazing event–50 plays in 8 hours at the Boston Center for the Arts. Congrats to Kate Snodgrass for an extraordinary feat of organization and to all the artists and production team for managing this epic day.

I just dipped my toe in this year (attending the first hour when my play was featured) then heading out with family for Mothers’ Day lunch. The first hour of five plays was very enjoyable–with three apocalyptic plays (CARDS by Theresa Rebeck, set in a shelter as two women play cards post-catastrophe Outside- CLIENT #1 by R.D. Murphy, showing the consuming of Enron’s sins as a literal meal/deal with the devil; and my own post-war beach play ALL SOULS’ DAY where a child struggles with a silent adult). There was also ALL ABOUT CHRISTMAS EVE by John Kuntz (a comical meta-theatrical take on an early grade school diva competition for the role of Christmas angel) and SICK DAY by George Spelvin; a sweet and thoughtful meditation on the life un-lived (a Walterina Mitty romance in an office).

In general I’m not a huge fan of the 10 minute play festival because I think it inclines towards the sketch–fast, funny, “punchline” plays tend to survive in the 10 minute play jungle better than more thoughtful attempts at actual playwriting (ie. where the world implied is larger than the story told in it). But I loved the first hour (five-play sample) and the warmth of the 2008 Boston Theater Marathon. I guess there’s a built in “warm audience” factor in that the audience is basically the team supporters of each playwright, actors and theatre. The fact that all the plays are done by local companies and writers really adds to a sense of cohesion (and I hope, as a newcomer, to dialogue between theatres and playwrights). I’ll certainly put in a play again; it’s a nice way to speed-date a company (and a city’s theatre scene).

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One Response to “Boston Theater Marathon”

  1. Rick Massimo May 28, 2008 at 8:38 pm #

    Like you, I was pleasantly surprised that there were not so many quick ha-ha sketches. These were actual plays, most of them.

    Good work.

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