LOST TEMPO, ELEMENO PEA and BRAWLER Set for Boston Playwrights' Theatre's 2017-18 Season

LOST TEMPO, ELEMENO PEA and BRAWLER Set for Boston Playwrights' Theatre's 2017-18 Season

Boston Playwrights' Theatre (BPT) today announces the plays that will comprise its 36th season. The line-up includes Lost Tempo by Cliff Odle, Elemeno Pea by Molly Smith Metzler, and Brawler by Walt McGough.

"I'm so proud and excited to be showing off our talented alumni-after our stunning six-play season of collaboration [with Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Theatre] last year," BPT Artistic Director Kate Snodgrass says. "All three of these playwrights are at the top of their form, and it shows."

The season opens in October with Lost Tempo by Cliff Odle, which follows jazz saxophonist Willie "Cool" Jones, lured back from Paris-by a past love and the promise of an ownership stake in a nightclub-to 1950s Harlem. Diego Arciniegas will direct. Lost Tempo was a part of Boston Theater Marathon XVIII's Warm-Up Laps and is Odle's first full-length play to be produced by BPT. Odle is a 2009 graduate of Boston University's Playwriting program, and his plays have been produced in Boston, New York, and on the West Coast. In addition to his work as a playwright, Odle is an actor, director and educator. He is an adjunct playwriting professor at Bates College and also teaches courses in Theatre and Africana Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Next, in November, is the Boston premiere of Molly Smith Metzler's Elemeno Pea. The play centers on Devon and Simone, working class sisters who reunite at the posh summer home of Simone's wealthy employer on Martha's Vineyard. The play will be directed by Shana Gozansky. Metzler's plays-including Humana Festival 2017's Cry it Out, Elemeno Pea, The May Queen, Carve, Close Up Space and Training Wisteria (first produced at BPT in 2002)-have been performed throughout the country. For television, Metzler has written for Orange Is the New Black (Netflix), Casual (Hulu), Codes of Conduct (HBO), and is currently a writer/co-producer on Shameless (Showtime). Metzler graduated from the Boston University Playwriting Program in 2002.

Walt McGough's Brawler-the playwright's take on Sophocles's Ajax-opens in March. A collaboration with New York's Kitchen Theatre Company, McGough recasts the Greek myth in the world of the last true gladiator sport: professional hockey. Kitchen Theatre Company Artistic Director M. Bevin O'Gara will direct. BPT produced McGough's The Farm in 2011. McGough-a 2012 graduate of Boston University's Playwriting Program-was the recipient of the Milken Playwriting Prize in 2015. His play Pattern of Life was named Best New Play 2014 by the Independent Reviewers of New England.

In April, BPT will present a "season extra," The Rosenbergs (An Opera). Recognized as Denmark's Best Opera of 2015 by online journal Copenhagen Culture, this tragic love story is set during the United States' Communist witch-hunt of the 1950s. Featuring music by Joachim Holbek and a libretto by Rhea Leman, The Rosenbergs will be produced in collaboration with the Brandeis University Department of Theatre Arts. Dmitry Troyanovsky will direct, with musical direction by Cristi Catt.

Founded in 1981 at Boston University by Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott, Boston Playwrights' Theatre (BPT) is an award-winning professional theatre dedicated to new works. At the heart of BPT's mission is the production of new plays by alumni of its M.F.A. Playwriting Program, the latter in collaboration with Boston University's renowned School of Theatre. The program's award-winning alumni have been produced in regional and New York houses, internationally, as well as in London's West End. BPT's productions have been honored with numerous national, regional, and Boston awards, including IRNE Awards for Best New Script and Boston Critics' Association Elliot Norton Awards.

Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized private research university with more than 30,000 students participating in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. BU consists of 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school's research and teaching mission.

ABOUT THIS SEASON'S PLAYWRIGHTS:

Walt McGough is a Boston-based playwright (by way of Pittsburgh and Chicago). In Boston, he has held fellowships with both the Huntington and New Repertory Theatre Companies and was a finalist for the 2016 Dramatists Guild Lanford Wilson Award. His plays include Pattern of Life, The Farm, Priscilla Dreams the Answer, Chalk, The Haberdasher!, Non-Player Character, and Dante Dies!! (And Then Things Get Weird). He has worked around the country with companies such as The Playwrights Foundation, The Lark, the Huntington, New Rep, NNPN, Boston Playwrights' Theatre, Fresh Ink, Sideshow, Nu Sass Productions, and Chicago Dramatists. He has served on the staff at SpeakEasy Stage Company in Boston and Chicago Dramatists, and he is a founding ensemble member of Chicago's Sideshow Theatre Company. He holds a B.A. from the University of Virginia and an M.F.A. in playwriting from Boston University. He is a proud member of the Rhombus Playwrights Group and a co-host of the bi-weekly pop culture podcast "Crossover Appeal." More info at www.waltmcgough.com.

Molly Smith Metzler is a proud alumna of Boston University's graduate Playwriting program where she studied under Derek Walcott and Kate Snodgrass. Her plays include Cry it Out, Elemeno Pea, The May Queen, Carve, Close Up Space, and Training Wisteria, which was first produced at BPT and then transferred to The Kennedy Center's KCACTF ("Best New Play Award"). Regional: Northlight (upcoming), Actors Theatre of Louisville/Humana Festival, South Coast Rep, The O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, Chautauqua Theater Company, City Theatre, Play Makers Rep, Geva Theatre Center, Cape Cod Playhouse, and more. Off-Broadway: Manhattan Theatre Club, Ars Nova, Cherry Lane, SPF (Summer Play Festival). Metzler's awards include the Lecomte du Nouy Prize from Lincoln Center, the National Student Playwriting Award from The Kennedy Center, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education's David Mark Cohen Award, the Mark Twain Comedy Prize, and a finalist nod for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. She is currently under commission at Manhattan Theatre Club and South Coast Repertory. In television, Metzler has written for Orange Is the New Black (Netflix), Casual (Hulu), Codes of Conduct (HBO), and is currently a writer/co-producer on Shameless (Showtime). She is also a screenwriter, currently adapting Ali Benjamin's novel The Thing About Jellyfish into a film for OddLot and Pacific Standard (Reese Witherspoon's company). Metzler was educated at SUNY Geneseo, Boston University, New York University's Tisch School for the Arts, and The Juilliard School.

CLIFF ODLE is a playwright, actor and director. He is a native of New Jersey and based in New England. He has been involved with theatre around the country. His plays have been performed in Boston, New York, San Diego and other areas. Lost Tempo was a part of the 2016 Boston Theater Marathon Warm-Up Laps and is his first full-length play to be produced by Boston Playwrights' Theatre. Some highlights: His play Running the Bulls was featured in the SlamBoston festival and has been produced by his company, New Urban Theatre Lab; The Ahern Fox was a finalist in the 2007 Kennedy Center Theatre Festival; The Delicate Art of Customer Service has been produced by New Urban Theatre Lab and was entered in the Jersey Voices Annual Theatre Festival; Our Girl in Trenton has been produced by the BU New Play Initiative Workshop. He has been a resident playwright for the educational theatre group Theatre Espresso where he co-wrote their play about the 1957 Little Rock desegregation case called The Nine: Crisis in Little Rock. Cliff has also written plays about cyber-bullying, The Lesson and Think Twice, which are currently in rep with Deana's Educational Theatre. He is the adjunct playwriting professor at Bates College and also teaches courses in Theatre and Africana Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He has also taught at Wheelock College, Emerson, and at the Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre Studio in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. As an actor he has worked for Bridge Repertory Theatre (Salome); New Repertory Theatre (Baltimore, coproduced with Boston Center for American Performance), RACE, Passing Strange; Huntington Theatre Company (Brendan, King Hedley II); Up You Mighty Race (Fences); Company One (The Good Negro, Last Days of Judas Iscariot, 103: Within The Veil); Wheelock Family Theatre (Saint Joan, Oliver, Taste of Sunrise, Pippi, Trumpet of the Swan); and a variety of other theatres in New York and San Diego. He can also be seen as a background artist in the movies Fever Pitch and What's the Worst That Can Happen? and played a state trooper in an episode of Brotherhood (Showtime). His directing work includes plays such as The Colored Museum, The Diary of Anne Frank, Amadeus, Agnes of God, and The Chairs. He has directed The Cook for the UMASS Performing Arts Department. He has also directed the first UMASS Playwright's Festival and served as a mentor/dramaturg for the second. He was a co-founder of New Urban Theater Laboratory. He is also founder of Jersey Voices, a one-act play festival which is now in its 24th year producing the work of New Jersey playwrights.


SEASON 2017/2018 AT A GLANCE:

Lost Tempo by Cliff Odle

Directed by Diego Arciniegas

October 5-22, 2017

Press Night: Saturday, October 7 (8 p.m.)

Thurs. 7:30 p.m., Fri. and Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m.

Gifted jazz saxophonist Willie "Cool" Jones is lured back from Paris by past-love Babs with the promise of ownership in Mitzy's Jazz Kitchen, but Cool's inner demons compete with his ambitions as he tries to make sense of his life. A jazz riff on the addictions from which we all suffer, musical and otherwise.

Boston Playwrights' Theatre
949 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

Adults ($30); BU Faculty/Staff ($25); Seniors-62+ ($25); Students with valid ID ($10)
Subscriptions Available: Playwrights' Pass ($60)

Call 866.811.4111 or visit www.bostonplaywrights.org.

Elemeno Pea by Molly Smith Metzler

Directed by Shana Gozansky

November 2-19, 2017

Press Night: Saturday, November 4 (8 p.m.)

Thurs. 7:30 p.m., Fri. and Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m.

When Devon visits Simone for an end-of-summer sibs fest on Martha's Vineyard, she finds her little sister changed beyond recognition. As personal assistant to wealthy and demanding trophy wife Michaela Kell, Simone enjoys a lavish beachfront lifestyle that these girls never could have imagined growing up in blue-collar Buffalo-but is all this luxury free of cost? Worlds collide and sisters square off in this keenly-observed comedy about ambition, regret, and the choices that shape who we become.

Boston Playwrights' Theatre
949 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

Adults ($30); BU Faculty/Staff ($25); Seniors-62+ ($25); Students with valid ID ($10)
Subscriptions Available: Playwrights' Pass ($60)

Call 866.811.4111 or visit www.bostonplaywrights.org

Brawler by Walt McGough

Directed by M. Bevin O'Gara

March 1-18, 2018

Press Night: Saturday, March 3 (8 p.m.)

Thurs. 7:30 p.m., Fri. and Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m.

Adam was the scariest man in the National Hockey League, but now he's been demoted to the minors, gotten high on painkillers, and trashed the locker room at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. His friends need to talk him down before he gets into real trouble, but he's got his own agenda and it isn't about making saves, dekes, dangles, snipes, and passes. A modern-day take on Sophocles' Ajax as seen through the lens of the last true gladiator sport.

A world premiere, produced in collaboration with Kitchen Theatre Company.

Boston Playwrights' Theatre
949 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

Adults ($30); BU Faculty/Staff ($25); Seniors-62+ ($25); Students with valid ID ($10)
Subscriptions Available: Playwrights' Pass ($60)

Call 866.811.4111 or visit www.bostonplaywrights.org

The Rosenbergs (An Opera)

Music by Joachim Holbek

Libretto by Rhea Leman

Directed by Dmitry Troyanovsky

Musical Direction by Cristi Catt

April 12-22, 2018

Press Night: Saturday, April 14 (8 p.m.)

Thurs. 7:30 p.m., Fri. and Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m.

It's 1953 Cold War USA, and Ethel and Julius Rosenberg have been accused of atomic espionage and sentenced to death. In this most famous spy case of the 20th century, and leading into the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) Senate hearings, the Rosenbergs' love affair broke out of all bounds. Recognized as Denmark's Best Opera of 2015, this tragic love story is adapted from the Rosenbergs' letters from jail. As seen through the lens of the McCarthy witch hunts, echoes of which can still be heard today, it begs the question to all of us: "Would you die for love?"

A North American premiere, produced in collaboration with the Brandeis University Department of Theatre Arts.

Free to all students, faculty, and staff of Boston University. Regular ticket prices: Adults ($30); Seniors-62+ ($25); Students with valid ID ($10)

Call 866.811.4111 or visit www.bostonplaywrights.org.



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