With the first week of rehearsals for The America Plays almost over, it’s time to meet the cast!
Amanda Collins* (Harriet Hosmer, Asniv) Amanda has worked with many Boston-area theaters including the Huntington, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Commonwealth Shakespeare Co., Boston Playwrights’, Gloucester Stage, Wheelock Family Theater, Central Square Theatre, Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater (WHAT), Cape Rep, Publick Theatre, and Orfeo Group. Regional: The Outfit in NY and Philadelphia, American Stage in Florida, founding member of Harbor Stage Company. Upcoming shows: The Thanksgiving Play (Lyric Stage), Bright Half Life (Actors’ Shakespeare Project), The Lowell Offering (Merrimack Rep). She recently won an Elliot Norton Award for her performance in Merrimack Rep’s Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley. Television: Olive Kitteridge (HBO), Castle Rock (Hulu) and Boston’s Finest (ABC Pilot) Film: Sea of Trees. Amanda is a proud member of Actors’ Equity and SAG-AFTRA.
Ken Baltin* (Jacob Bigelow, Kaloosd) recently played Andrew Oliver in Patrick Gabridge’s Blood on the Snow at Boston’s Old State House. He appeared last season in Heartland at New Repertory Theatre, and in My Station in Life at Gloucester Stage Company for which he received an Eliot Norton Award as Outstanding Actor. Other acclaimed productions on area stages include Death of a Salesman, Glengarry Glen Ross, Lost in Yonkers, Laughter on the 23rd Floor (Lyric Stage); Kite Runner, Eurydice, Waiting for Godot, American Buffalo (New Repertory Company); Deported-a dream play, King of the Jews, Permanent Whole Life (Boston Playwrights Theatre); Operation Epsilon (Nora Theatre); Copenhagen, A Screenwriter’s Daughter, and Not Constantinople (Vineyard Playhouse); Oleanna (Merrimack Repertory); Beckett in Brief (Commonwealth Shakespeare) and many others.
Cheryl D. Singleton* (Edmonia Lewis) is very pleased to be working with Plays in Place. Boston area credits include: Intimate Apparel and The Little Foxes (Lyric Stage Co.) Passing Strange, Dollhouse, Rent and 1776 (New Repertory Theatre), Billy Elliot and James and the Giant Peach (Wheelock Family Theater), To Kill A Mockingbird (Gloucester Stage), Absence (Boston Playwright’s Theater), The Comedy of Errors (Commonwealth Shakespeare), The Seagull (American Repertory Theatre), The Superheroine Monologues (Phoenix Theatre Artists and Company One), Stuff Happens and The Kentucky Cycle (Zeitgeist Stage), as well as productions with Ryan Landry and The Gold Dust Orphans, Queer Soup and ImprovBoston. A proud member of Actors’ Equity and StageSource, Cheryl serves on three arts boards in the Boston community.
Matt Ryan (Martin Milmore, Tzolag) is very excited to be working with this talented group. Currently earning his MA in Theatre Education at Emerson College, he can also be seen acting around Boston, having recently been in the Mad Dash Play Fest for Fresh Ink Theatre. Thank you all for coming.
Karen MacDonald* (Harriot Kezia Hunt, Regina) Recent credits include Escaped Alone (Gamm Theatre), Universe Rushing Apart (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company), Calendar Girls (Greater Boston Stage Company). Regionally, she has also appeared at the Huntington Theatre Company, Trinity Rep, Speakeasy Stage, New Rep, Greater Boston Stage Company, Gloucester Stage, Lyric Stage, Israeli Stage, Merrimack Rep Theatre, Portland Stage, Boston Playwrights Theatre, Boston Theatre Company, Sleeping Weazel, The Vineyard Playhouse, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Shakespeare and Co. and Berkshire Playwrights Lab. A Founding Company Member of the American Repertory Theatre, she appeared in 74 productions, including The Sea Gull, Mother Courage and her Children, No Exit. On Broadway, she understudied and performed the role of Amanda Wingfield in John Tiffany’s revival of The Glass Menagerie. Nationally, she has performed at Hartford Stage, The Maltz Jupiter Theatre, The Alley Theatre and Berkeley Rep, among others. She is the recipient of several IRNE Awards and Elliot Norton Awards for her performances. She received The Robert Brustein Award for Sustained Achievement in The Theater and the Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence. She teaches at the Harvard Extension School and is a faculty member at Theater, Dance & Media at Harvard.
Robert Najarian* (Jospeh Story, Garabed) is an actor, fight choreographer, instructor, and author. As a performer – New York: Sleep No More (Punchdrunk/Emursive,) Daybreak (Pan Asian Repertory Theater,) Macbeth (Shelter Theater.) Regional: Sleep No More (American Repertory Theater,) Talley’s Folly (Purple Rose Theater Company,) The Kite Runner (New Repertory Theatre,) Copenhagen,Einstein’s Dreams (Central Square Theatre,) Hamlet, Intimate Apparel (Theater at Monmouth), Trajectories (Evet Arts Chicago,) Take Me Out(Speakeasy Stage Company,) Don Giovanni (Washington National Opera,) Shear Madness (Charles Street Playhouse.) Fight choreography for numerous theaters including American Repertory Theater, SITI Company / Emerson Stage, Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Ballet, and Trinity Repertory Company. Former faculty at University of Michigan, Boston University, College of the Holy Cross, and Harvard University. MFA: The Shakespeare Theatre’s Academy for Classical Acting at the George Washington University. BA: Bowdoin College. Union Member: AEA, SAG-AFTRA, SDC. His book The Art of Unarmed Stage Combat is available through Routledge.
Sarah Newhouse* (Mary Bigelow, Charlotte Cushman, Takoohy) is a Boston-based actor/director/producer/educator who has long admired the beauty of Mt Auburn Cemetery, and is delighted to have the opportunity to spend even more time within its gates. Some favorite Boston area credits include The King Stag, Macbeth, Picasso at the Lapin-Agile (American Repertory Theater); Desdemona-a play about a handkerchief (BCA); The River Was Whiskey (Boston Playwrights); The Apple Family Plays (Greater Boston Stage Co.); Legacy of Light, Lost in Yonkers, and The Miracle Worker (Lyric Stage Company); The Norman Conquests (Gloucester Stage Company); DollHouse (New Repertory Theatre); Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It (Publick Theatre); and Shear Madness(Charles Playhouse). Ms. Newhouse is also a founding company member of the Actors’ Shakespeare Project, with whom she has performed more than 20 roles in 14 years. This winter, she will appear in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged), directed by Chris Edwards. Sarah is a graduate of Hampshire College and the ART Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University, and lives in Watertown with her spouse and newly minted college freshman.
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association (AEA)
Tickets for The America Plays are ON SALE NOW!
This week, rehearsals start for The America Plays, the second series of site-specific plays to be performed at Mount Auburn Cemetery written by playwright-in-residence, Patrick Gabridge, and directed by Courtney O’Connor.
The America Plays is a quintet of short plays that sheds light on the dramas, philosophies, and struggles of those buried in the cemetery. Through the interwoven stories of figures like Jacob Bigelow, the architect of Mount Auburn Cemetery and prominent Boston physician, and Thomas Amirian, an Armenian refugee who came to Cambridge with his family in hopes of starting a new life, The America Plays offers a universal message of hope through despair through stories that span over a century.
The creative team had a lot of fun diving into the script during the first read-through yesterday, and is excited to explore more of the histories of these real-life figures over the rehearsal process. Stay tuned to find out who is who in the cast…!
Tickets for The America Plays are ON SALE NOW. Tickets are $35 and $30 for Mount Auburn Cemetery members. Performances run September 12-22 every Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday at 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM.
This past weekend, Cato & Dolly closed its 2019 run at the Old State House. Running for an incredible 8 weeks and 163 performances, this historical drama engaged with a total of 4,186 visitors and generated important discussions surrounding the real stories of Revolutionary-era Bostonians.
Stay tuned for more updates on where Cato & Dolly is going next!
Congratulations to the cast and team on a successful run:
Directed by Courtney O’Connor Written by Patrick Gabridge
Cato………………………………………………………………………………………..Stewart Evan Smith, Steven Sampson
Dolly……………………………………………………….Marge Dunn, Austyn Davis, Margaret Clark, Becca A. Lewis
Cato & Dolly (written by Patrick Gabridge and directed by Courtney O’Connor) closes this Sunday, August 11th after an incredibly successful 2-month run at the Old State House in Boston.
Originally premiering in the summer of 2018, Cato & Dolly has returned this summer to expand its viewership and allow visitors of the Old State House a more intimate look into the world of both prominent and forgotten Revolutionary-era figures whose lives intersected in the Hancock household. Two actors take on eight real-life characters in a story that spans over 50 years, staged before the preserved front door of the iconic 18th-century mansion on display at the Old State House.
There are only 9 more performances of this compelling drama, so come and “make Cato & Dolly a part of your summer.” – Bishop C. Knight (The New England Theatre Geek)
Friday, August 9th at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm & 3:00 pm
Saturday, August 10th at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, & 3:00 pm
Sunday, August 11th at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, & 3:00 pm
Performances take place in the Representatives Hall on the second floor of the Old State House (206 Washington St, Boston, MA 02109). Entrance is included in general admission to the Old State House. For more information, please visit https://www.bostonhistory.org/cato-and-dolly.
Tickets are now on sale for the world premiere of The America Plays, the second series of site-specific short plays by Mount Auburn Cemetery’s Artist-in-Residence, Patrick Gabridge and directed by Courtney O’Connor. The America Plays will run from September 12-22, 2019, for 12 performances at Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mt. Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA.
These five plays present a journey through the American experience, highlighting the drama and philosophies of men and women, from artists to immigrants, who struggled to find their place in this nation as the American identity was being formed.
Audiences will experience the performances outdoors, at various spots across the grounds. Seating is provided and free on-site parking is available. The entire performance will run for approximately 90 minutes and will include walking within the Cemetery on paved and unpaved surfaces and steep inclines; total walking distance approx. 2 miles. Shows will run rain or shine. After each performance is an optional moderated discussion with the playwright, director, actors or an expert on a person or topic explored in the plays.
Tickets for The America Plays are $35 per person ($30 for members) at https://mountauburn.org/the-america-plays/ or by calling +1 (617) 607-1980.
Thursday, Sept. 12 at 1:00 pm & 5:00 pm
Saturday, Sept. 14 at 1:00 pm & 5:00 pm
Sunday, Sept 15 at 1:00 pm & 5:00 pm
Thursday, Sept. 19 at 1:00 pm & 5:00 pm
Saturday, Sept. 21 at 1:00 pm & 5:00 pm
Sunday, Sept. 22 at 1:00 pm & 5:00 pm
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.
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.
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. www.edhoopman.com
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 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.
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.
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 Apology. Purchase 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.