BACK THE NIGHT to Run 2/4-28 at Boston Playwrights' Theatre

Boston Playwrights' Theatre (BPT) continues its 2015-16 season with Back the Night by Melinda Lopez. Running from February 4-28, this new drama will be directed by Daniela Varon.

Despite the rising number of incidents of violence on her college campus, Em is in denial. The assault of Em's best friend-feminist blogger Cassie-and the resulting investigation give rise to some unexpected personal discoveries for both young women. Playwright Lopez says the roots of Back the Night's story date back to when she-as a college undergraduate-participated in a Take Back the Night march after a friend's assault. Years later, violence against women is an issue that is ever-present in our culture.

"It's totally not my story," Lopez says. "Totally not. But the themes, the discomfort, the outrage and the guilt, well, that's sort of mine. . .I wrote my first draft about one month before the University of Virginia [rape] story, and when that story broke, thought, 'Oh no. Wrong time for this play.' Then there was the retraction of the UVA Rolling Stone article, and I thought, 'Really bad time for this play.' But you know what? The cyclical nature of violence, the two-week long news cycle, and the feeling of 'not again' that seizes us every time we hear about it-again-isn't that exactly why we need to talk? Why does every woman have a 'rape narrative' of her own? Whether it's your experience or your friend's. Why is that normal?"

A graduate of-and now adjunct assistant professor in-Boston University's MFA Playwriting Program, Lopez's award-winning plays have been seen in theatres and at festivals throughout the country including the Huntington Theatre Company, Coconut Grove Playhouse, the Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Laguna Playhouse, the Summer Playwrights Festival (NY), the Milagro Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, the Williamstown Theatre Festival, and many others. She is among the first cohort to receive three-year playwright-in-residence grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Lopez is also well-known to area audiences as an award-winning actor.

Back the Night will be directed by Daniela Varon, who guided Robert Brustein's Mortal Terror at BPT (in a co-production with Suffolk University) in 2011. Varon is a New York-based theater director and acting teacher whose work has been seen at some 40 theater companies around the country. Daniela is a long-time member of Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA, and most recently helmed Red Velvet starring John Douglas Thompson.

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