Lisa Tucker and Ed Hoopman looking through binoculars.

Meet the Cast of The Nature Plays!

Lisa Tucker and Ed Hoopman looking through binoculars.

Lisa Tucker and Ed Hoopman in Cerulean Blue. Photo credit: Corinne Elicone.

Plays in Place is excited to introduce you to our cast for the first installment of Patrick’s Mount Auburn Plays, The Nature Plays! Immerse yourself in the lush environment and natural landscape of Mount Auburn Cemetery this June guided by our company of four actors: Jacob Oommen Athyal, Ed Hoopman, Theresa Nguyen, and Lisa Tucker.

Jacob Oomenn Athyal

Excited to make his Plays in Place debut, Jacob Oommen Athyal* plays a young spotted salamander new to the mating game; Lizzie Agassiz, wife to the well-known genealogist Louis Agassiz; an eager recruit to a secret society; an enthusiastic bird-watcher; and a sassafras tree in love. Jacob’s previous credits include Guards at the Taj (Underground Railway, Best Actor Elliot Norton), The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Perseverance Theater, AK & Company One), Rhinoceros (Boston Playwrights/The Modern Theatre). He is a proud alumnus of Suffolk University and is currently getting his MFA in Theater from The Ohio State University.

Ed Hoopman

In the Nature Plays, Ed Hoopman* plays an experienced “mac daddy” on the prowl; the famous Louis Agassiz; a cemetery employee with entrepreneurial ambitions; a lifelong lover of birdwatching; and a sassafras tree in love. He has recently been seen in Romeo and Juliet at Huntington Theatre Company, Macbeth and Equivocation for Actor’s Shakespeare Project, and Dancing at Lughnasa with Gloucester Stage. Other regional credits: Finish Line (Boston Theater Co./Boch Center); Old Money, King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew (Comm Shakes); Camelot, Peter and the Starcatcher, City of Angels, Dear Elizabeth, The Importance of Being Earnest, and Groucho Marx in Animal Crackers (Lyric Stage); Ideation, Mister Roberts and Indulgences (New Rep); A Civil War Christmas (Huntington); Dog Paddle (Bridge Rep); and Shear Madness (Charles Playhouse). Mr. Hoopman is also an accomplished voiceover actor whose work can be heard both locally and nationally.

Theresa Nguyen

Theresa Nguyen* is grateful to be able to share these stories with such a wonderful group of people, in such a beautiful place. In the Nature Plays, she plays a discerning salamander looking for the right amphibian to fertilize her eggs; Jane Gray, wife of renowned botanist Asa Gray; a curious cemetery employee seeking to uncover secret goings-on; a bright-eyed new bird watcher; and an expressive young woman in mourning. She received a B.F.A in Acting from Emerson College with previous credits including Stage Kiss (The Lyric Stage Company) & Sila (Underground Railway Theater).

Lisa TuckerLisa Tucker (AEA, SAG-AFTRA) is very happy to be working with Pat and Courtney again, and plays theaccomplished botanist Asa Gray; the suspicious leader of a secret society; an experienced birdwatcher who sees beyond what her eyes show her; and an old beech tree jaded by time and pain. She is a founding member of Beau Jest Moving Theater (who is celebrating their 35th anniversary this year!), and has co-created and appeared in all their shows, including the title roles in their Elliot Norton-winning Krazy Kat and IRNE-winning The Remarkable Rooming-house of Madame Lemonde. Other credits include Next Door Theater, Aim Stage, Centastage, Fort Point Theatre Channel, New Century Theatre, Foothills Theatre, Stoneham Theater, Shear Madness, Lyric Stage, Tempest Productions, Wheelock Family Theatre, Durham Center Stage, Threshold Theatre, City Stage, and the Boston Theater Marathon, as well as voice over, commercial and industrial work.

The Nature Plays run June 1 through June 9, 2019, at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge. [GET YOUR TICKETS TODAY]


A busy summer ahead: The Mount Auburn Plays to perform Jun/Sept 2019, plus Cato & Dolly returns!

It’s going to be a busy summer for Plays in Place!

Patrick’s Mount Auburn Plays, two series of short plays inspired by the lush natural environment and rich history of Mount Auburn Cemetery, will premiere this summer at Mount Auburn Cemetery: The Nature Plays in June, and The American Plays in September. Following actors across the grounds, audiences will become immersed in the untold stories of Mount Auburn Cemetery as brought to life by Patrick’s words. Each performance will be followed by a discussion.

The Nature Plays (May 30-9, 2019) highlight stories inspired by Mount Auburn’s landscape and natural environment, with topics such as spotted salamanders in Consecration Dell, birders at Auburn Lake, and historic debates between naturalists who are buried at the Cemetery. You can get tickets here.

The American Plays (September 2019; specific dates coming soon) highlight the diverse storiesof some of the extraordinary people buried in the Cemetery. Tickets will be on sale soon.

Plus, after its successful initial run last summer, Cato & Dolly will return for a second year to the Old State House Museum, June 17-August 11, 2019! Running 7 days a week, 3 times a day, visitors to the Old State House Museum can experience Patrick’s original 25-minute play, which offers a glimpse of everyday life behind the Hancock door through the eyes of those who lived there: Cato Hancock, an enslaved man in the Hancock household, and Dolly Hancock, John Hancock’s wife and First Lady of Massachusetts. You can learn more at the Old State House’s website.



Sneak Peak at Mt. Auburn plays this month

As part of Patrick’s residency at Mount Auburn Cemetery, he is creating two series of site-specific short plays to be produced by Plays in Place on the Cemetery grounds in 2019. To help develop the plays, and to offer audiences a sneak peak into the work-in-progress, there will be some public staged readings coming up in September. All the readings will be directed by Courtney O’Connor.

On Saturday, September 8, at 1pm, there will be readings from three plays in the America Plays series: A Man of Vision, Consecration, and Variations on an Unissued ApologyPurchase tickets here.  The cast will include Dale Place, Elle Borders, Matt C. Ryan, Karen MacDonald, and Margaret Ann Brady.

On Tuesday, September 25, at 5:30pmpm, there will be readings from three plays in the Nature Plays series: Cerulean Blue, Hot Love in the Moonlight, and one other play.  Purchase tickets here.

Patrick will also be leading a two-day workshop on site-specific playwriting, on September 15 and 22.  Patrick will talk about his own experiences creating site-specific work for Mount Auburn, for wild spaces in Colorado, as well as for the Old State House in Boston (Blood on the Snow) and lead a discussion on the craft and discipline of writing for specific spaces. Then the group will tour Mount Auburn to discover spots for which they will write their own short plays. On the second Saturday, a small ensemble of professional actors will read the participant’s new short plays in the spaces at Mount Auburn for which they have been created. Patrick will lead additional discussion around the new drafts and potential revisions, and lead reflections of the group on the joys and challenges of writing plays for specific places. Tickets and more info here.

Cato & Dolly is up and running!

Cato & Dolly opens July 6!

Door from Hancock Mansion

Rehearsals for Cato & Dolly start next week!

Door from Hancock Mansion

The inside of the Hancock Door exhibit. We’ll perform right on that platform.

Plays in Place begins rehearsals on our first major project next Tuesday, as we prepare Cato & Dolly for production at the Old State House in downtown Boston. Cato & Dolly is a 20-minute live theatrical presentation traveling through some of history’s most pivotal events, giving new perspective to the American narrative. Two actors will inhabit the title roles of Cato Hancock, an enslaved person in the Hancock household, and Dolly Hancock, John Hancock’s wife and First
Lady of Massachusetts, as well as other Revolutionary-era figures whose lives intersected at the famous Hancock House at the dawn of the American Revolution. Cato & Dolly was commissioned especially for the Bostonian Society’s Through the Keyhole exhibition, an all-new 2018 event surrounding the display of the
original front door of the Hancock House for the first time in decades at Boston’s historic Old State House.

The two actors will inhabit the show’s multiple characters, taking us through the threshold into never-before-seen drama unfolding behind the door, in a play that is both fun and poignant.

Cato & Dolly will open on Friday July 6 and play July 6, 7, and 8, before starting a regular run of performances every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, at 11am, 12:30pm, and 2 pm, through September 29. Admission to the play is included with the regular museum admission.

Patrick has written the script and Courtney O’Connor is directing, so the team that brought the hit play, Blood on the Snow, to the Old State House is back in action. We’ve got a tremendously talented set of actors: Margaret Clark, Marge Dunn, and Becca Lewis will rotate into the role of Dolly, and Stephen Sampson and Felton Sparks will share the role of Cato over the course of the run.

Front Door Side of door

The front door side of the Hancock Door exhibit. The surround was made by students at the North Bennett Street School.