Paula Vogel's BARD AT THE GATE Series Adds Christina Anderson's GOOD GOODS to Lineup

By: Jul. 09, 2020
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Paula Vogel's BARD AT THE GATE Series Adds Christina Anderson's GOOD GOODS to Lineup

BARD AT THE GATE - a startup play series presented by Paula Vogel, the Pulitzer Prize-winning (HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE) and Tony-nominated (INDECENT) playwright - will add a fifth play to its four-play schedule with a pre-Election Day world-premiere presentation on YouTube of Christina Anderson's play GOOD GOODS in October (date TBA).

Inspired by S. Lansky's THE DYBBUK, the legendary Yiddish tale about possession and exorcism, Ms. Vogel states, "Christina's play is a funny, scary and hopeful journey about ghosts of African American history in a small town. I am proud to present this ground-breaking play right before the 2020 election. If we cannot exorcise all of our demons, we can vote some of them out of office." Proceeds from the BARD AT THE GATE performance of GOOD GOODS will benefit the Audre Lorde Project and College Visions. Christina Anderson's plays have been performed at Goodman Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Public Theatre, Yale Rep and elsewhere: HOW TO CATCH CREATION, THE RIPPLE, THE WAVE THAT CARRIED ME HOME and others. She was a staff writer on the CBS TV drama TOMMY with Edie Falco.

BARD AT THE GATE will continue with its second production on YouTube on Wednesday, July 15 at 7 p.m. (ET) with a reading of Meg Miroshnik's THE DROLL {Or, a Stage-Play about the END of Theatre}.

Viewers can watch the pre-taped event on YouTube and a direct link is provided on A donation is suggested, and proceeds will benefit PAAL, Parent Artist Advocacy League, a national network for caregivers in the arts, and The Dramatists Guild Foundation. The event will begin with remarks by Ms. Vogel and the Tony-winning actress Katrina Lenk (THE BAND'S VISIT), who played a leading role in an earlier workshop production of THE DROLL.

The following day a discussion of the play will be on live Zoom by appointment with Paula Vogel,the playwright Meg Miroshnik and director Devin Brain. This hour-long event will take place Thursday, July 16 at the cocktail hour, 5 p.m. Visit to register for the discussion.

Ms. Miroshnik wrote THE DROLL in 2011 having pondered the question, as the play's preface notes, "What would it have been like to discover a passion for acting during the 18 years in which theatre was illegal in 17th-century Puritan England?" Her preface written nine years ago also posed the question: "What is it like to fall in love with theatre today in the face of anxieties about its future and future audiences?"

Devin Brain directs THE DROLL's the cast which includes Brett Dalton, Rachel Spencer Hewitt, Matt Biagini, Zach Appelman, Ceci Fernandez, Blake Segal, Irene Sofia Lucio, Matt McGrath, stage managed by Catherine Costanza.

THE DROLL {Or, a Stage-Play about the END of Theatre} is one of 5 works that comprise BARD AT THE GATE, curated by Ms. Vogel, herself a playwright for 40 years, and also one of the nation's preeminent teachers of playwriting, formerly at Brown University and Yale.

About BARD AT THE GATE, Ms. Vogel states, "We may not want to admit it, but new plays are produced by theatre companies in a factory process. Three and a half weeks of rehearsal, and then onto the stage; four weeks, and strike the set, while preparing the next play in three and a half weeks."

In the time of Covid-19 she adds, "Well, now the factory is closed down. We have a moment to look at plays that were too ambitious, too quirky and too smart to be contained by the same factory process. Over the last 40 years, I've produced nine plays a season at Brown and at Yale, on $100 budgets. No box office names: just new and raw talent. I've seen these new plays work with a new audience on the strength of the script, the directing and the acting. And to see plays that linger in my mind for decades not get the attention they deserve has been frustrating. So I want to offer people a simple glance at plays that are ground-breaking."

Future productions of the BARD AT THE GATE are: Eisa Davis's 2009 Pulitzer Prize-nominated BULRUSHER, Dan LeFranc's ORIGIN STORY and GOOD GOODS in the fall.

THE DROLL, ORIGIN STORY and GOOD GOODS were, in fact, written by their authors in conjunction with one of Ms. Vogel's various celebrated playwriting exercises, which she calls Bakeoffs. With each Bakeoff, Ms. Vogel invites anyone - whether or not they've written a play before - to create a play in 48 hours based on a recipe of ingredients that she provides. Bakeoffs have included Don Juan Bakeoff, St. Joan Bakeoff, and Leda and the Swan Bakeoff. In 2016, the UBU 45 Bakeoff had over 1,000 participants across the country.

The most recent Bakeoff is a Coronavirus challenge, the ingredients of which are a host of characters based in Wuhan, Milan, Teheran and Mar-a-Lago, and props such as face masks and cotton swabs. The challenge's components also include a soliloquy for a pangolin. These recipes can be found on Paula Vogel's website:

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos