RECONSIDERING HANNA(H) Begins 9/25 at Boston Playwrights' Theatre
Boston Playwrights' Theatre (BPT) opens its 2014-15 season with Reconsidering Hanna(h) by Deirdre Girard. Running from September 25 to October 19, this new drama will be directed by Bridget Kathleen O'Leary.
The play centers on international journalist Hanna, who is struggling to cope with her husband's violent death. After accepting a seemingly tame assignment, Hanna becomes increasingly obsessed with uncovering the history of another Hannah: the infamous Hannah Duston, kidnapped by Native Americans in 1697.
Playwright Girard first heard Duston's (also spelled Dustin) story mentioned in Haverhill native Andre Dubus III's 2011 memoir Townie. Duston was kidnapped from her Haverhill farm by an Abenaki raiding party and later killed ten of them to escape. While she returned home to rewards and honors, historians have long debated whether Duston was a hero or a villain - a brave mother who saved herself or a ruthless monster who might have been rescued if it wasn't for her bloodlust?
"At first, I was most intrigued with the question of why she not only killed but scalped the Abenaki - and my contemporary protagonist in the play similarly becomes obsessed with this question," Girard says. "But as I looked deeper into the story, and read hundreds of wildly different interpretations, I became even more intrigued with how our histories and personal narratives tell more about the storyteller than the actual story. And I thought a lot about the price we pay both as a society and as individuals when we fail to look at the truth dead on, without excuse or explanation."
A graduate of Boston University's M.F.A. Playwriting Program, Girard has been a playwriting fellow at New Repertory Theatre in Watertown where she developed Reconsidering Hanna(h) over the past two seasons.
Reconsidering Hanna(h) will be directed by New Repertory Theatre Associate Artistic Director Bridget Kathleen O'Leary. The production marks O'Leary's first time directing at BPT since helming Nathan Warren Lane's The Devil's Teacup in 2007 as a Boston University M.F.A. Directing candidate. Her next directing project is New Rep's production of Muckrakers by BPT alumnus Zayd Dohrn.